If South African comedian Trevor Noah isn't on your comedy radar, he should be now. On Friday, he made his first appearance on The Daily Show and he completely owned it.
Taking on misconceptions about South Africa, Trevor and Jon Stewart bantered about how many types of racial inequality are actually worse in the U.S. now than they were in the country of South Africa under apartheid. No kidding here.
Trevor opened with what seemed like a weak line about flying in from South Africa and his arms being tired, and the audience groaned. But, then holding his arms up in the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture, he said "I never thought I'd be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa."
"To a lot of Americans," Trevor continued, "Africa is just AIDS huts and starving children, who you can save for just five cents a day. But, there's a whole other side of Africa you never get to see."
"Yeah!" interjects Jon, "You've got that video of the lions who chase that buffalo and then a crocodile comes up and he grabs it, you know what I mean, and then the buffalo gets away..."
Trevor tells John that's not what he means, and they play a game called "Spot the Africa," where two photographs are on screen and Jon (and the audience) guesses which was taken in the United States and which is from an African country. It's a joke, but the kid trying to sleep on a desk in Detroit isn't really that funny.
According to a 2014 Pew Research Report on income inequality, the U.S. is more unequal than most of our peers in the developed world. According to the report, the U.S. ranked 10th out of 31 Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries in income inequality based on “market incomes," which take into account the redistributive effects of tax policies and income-transfer programs such as Social Security and unemployment insurance. After accounting for taxes and transfers, the U.S. had the second-highest level of inequality, after Chile. Oh, and per The New York Times, the income gap has worsened in the last decade, with the United States now having a greater wealth gap by race than South Africa did during apartheid. (Whites in America on average own almost 18 times as much as blacks; in South Africa in 1970, the ratio was about 15 times.)
Face, meet palm. Here's the video.