Jon Stewart on Charleston Shooting: ‘This Is a Terrorist Attack’ (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart Charleston shooting video
Courtesy of Comedy Central

Jon Stewart was not in the mood for political jokes or humor on Thursday’s “Daily Show.” The outgoing host, in addressing Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Charleston, South Carolina that left 9 people dead, including state senator Clementa Pinckney, said he felt nothing but “sadness” for the victims, and the racism that African Americans continue to endure in the United States.

“This is a terrorist attack,” he said. “Al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not sh-t compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”

“What blows my mind is the disparity of response,” Stewart added, visibly frustrated. “When we think people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves…We invaded two countries and spent trillions of dollars and (lost) thousands of American lives and now fly unmanned death machines over like five or six different counties, all to keep Americans safe. We’ve got to do whatever we can—we’ll torture people. We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep Americans safe. (But) nine people shot in a church, ‘Hey, what are you going go to do?’…that’s the part I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around.”

“I hate to use a pun but this one is black and white,” he said to applause.

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  1. J says:

    Telling like it is, Stewart is right on. Such a senseless, racist murder.

  2. He was doing great until he mentioned the streets, and the confederate flag. People don’t seem to understand that the civil war was not started because of slaves. The confederate flag is a symbol of those who stood up for their beliefs, and fought for them. Its not about blacks, or slavery.

    • Chloe says:

      This is pretty ignorant to say because “king cotton” and slavery were always intertwined. Cotton production could not stand without the use of slaves therefore the south did indeed fight for the continuation of slavery in some way

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        Chloe, they were indentured servants BEFORE they became slaves, see Oscar Handlin, (Harvard University) RACE AND NATIONALITY IN AMERICA, 1957 and slavery was an economic institution FIRST before a racial one. See Eugene Genovese, a specialist on Southern history.

        Maybe do some reading before opening your mouth next time.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      True, Mr. Faris, it was more about King Cotton.

    • David Benjamin says:

      And one of the, if not the MAJOR belief, was slavery and blacks, and wanting to keep both. If you think it was about ANYTHING else, you’re deluding yourself.

  3. Jon Stewart you’re a hero in america. Your empathy is hopefully contagious. Americans have their head in the sand. We need people like you to wake them up. Don’t ever stop. Malala is another hero and she’s unafraid to speak the truth.

  4. sheriv says:

    Thanks for saying the truth!!!

  5. Meg Conway says:

    Jon Stewart is the only one with the courage to be honest in our broadcast media.

    Bigotry in the south is ongoing, it’s there, but corporate media doesn’t allow honesty.

    Thank-you Jon Stewart, Meg Conway, formerly of NC

  6. Dan Meyers says:

    I wish Jon Stewart would stop telling jokes on the days we have black on white violence. I guess this just isn’t up the “no-joking” standards? No bias here, folks. Nothing to see . . . just move along.

    What about a moratorium on jokes on they days of these incidents?

    • Black Horace White, stabbing and robbing two white 84 year old.

    • Black Jerrick (Rico) Washington, murder and robbery of 31-year-old white father of four Jacob Shadrick.

    • Andrae Tewari, murder of 18-year old Memphis University college student Frank Gaines Whitington, Jr,

    • Anthony Ferrell, shot and killed 24-year-old Samuel Irick after Irick tried to stop Ferrell from stealing a woman’s purse.

    I could list hundreds and hundreds more. Stewart is a PHONY who cares only about pushing his liberal white-bashing agenda.

    • J says:

      Dan Meyers, everything you listed was from everyday criminals and it had nothing to do with race. SC church shooting was about hatred for a human being because of their race and not about murdering for robbery or for pleasure to kill. The SC gunman had a racially motivated hatred towards blacks, he picked a historical church on purpose…what did you expect Stewart to say?

    • David Benjamin says:

      Ummmm..could you provide dates on when these murders occurred? And even if it did help promote your obviously racist agenda..what’s your point??
      Do you deny that there is a huge race relations issue is the United States?

      I’m still trying to fathom what your point is..other than to judge someone who is making a valid point

  7. Noxious, just like useful and beautiful forms of life, don’t grow and bear fruit in a vacuum. The fertile soil of racism, ultra-right-wing attitudes, Confederate and gun culture will produce more Southern Dyllan Roofs in the future. The South can never forget and forgive the fact that they lost the War of Secession. Many of them and those of the like mind elsewhere in this country would like their states to secede or start another civil war. Roof was just an instrument of a deeper stratum of evil that is part and parcel of America.

  8. Nanny Mo says:

    Yes, and so was Ferguson. I fear we’re really going to need a paradigm shift in this country or we’re going to be forced at some point to have it out. It’s a shame really but the “love of many is waxing cold.” The tax payers are mad because they work and work and can’t get ahead and the poor are unhappy because they aren’t getting enough freebies. The government does listen to the will of the people be it forcing Obamacare or Obamatrade etc. It can only end in tears for somebody. Sad days for America are ahead I fear.

  9. TonyG says:

    Jon , You are the terrorist . . . . this is a wack ado crime caused by a mentally ill person who can’t live in a civil society . . . . . it is time we step up the public mental awareness and stop playing the race card every time one of these events occur. You, Jon should be ashamed of yourself for such a stupid view………………………..

    • To be able to do such a thing you have to be mentally ill. SO i agree.

    • HSVCoalition ForDemocracy says:

      Accurate description: A mentally ill person WITH A GUN. What it’s time for is time we stopped unfettered access to guns by EVERYONE. Background checks, a gun safety class ought to be the minimum required for access. We advocate testing for mental stability and sensitivity training if you pass that

    • Jarron Parker says:

      It’s shocking that someone can be as ignorant as you. How in the fuck do to justify a white male going into a HISTORICALLY African American church and killing nine people as a mental illness? That screams racism and bigotry. And you are apart of the problem if you truly think this is due to mental illness. You are the mentally ill one.

      • David Benjamin says:

        EXACTLY!! Being a racist bigot does not make you mentally just makes you a racist bigot. We in the NORMAL world call you an ASSHOLE!! Stop making excuses for this type of behavior, Tony G. Pretty sure the murderer did not have a previous history of mental illness.

    • Billy Mitchell says:

      Take your meds, TonyG. Things will be better when you wakeup. Well, maybe. Take your meds again when you wake up.

    • cam says:

      Your an idiot, kill your self

  10. Mike Poissant says:

    It is terrible to think that there are people still in this country who believe others can be judged by race. It fuels psychopaths like the young man who committed this latest tragedy, in a long line of tragedies and suffering pressed against our Black America brothers and sisters. We as Americans have power to refuse to do business with slanderers who stir up weak minds.

  11. Time to put more focus on ‘why’ as compared to ‘what’.
    Full article –

  12. TheGoot says:

    Jon Stewart is being absurd. I don’t think we have to worry about a white supremacist state conquering the whole middle east and wiping Yazidis, Christians, Alawites and Jews off the Earth. The reason terrorists are terrorists is because they are an organized ideological force with political power.

    • Sama says:

      What? You don’t think racism in this country is organized? Get your head out of the sand. What was the KKK? A garden party? They’re still here. It still exists in force in the GOP. Maybe they’re not wearing hoods now but trust me they wish they could. Black people deal with it daily. Wake up man.

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        Yeah, after this, even the neo-Nazis are worried about their image after this shooting!

  13. Tim says:

    I like how no one will point out the general racism in that the church was a “black” church. It makes it that much easier for some one to self justify violent actions like this.

    • Ben says:

      Well they let the accused into their Bible study sessions, and apparently were very warm and nice to the him. Since they were not an exclusively black church you can’t really make that argument here.

  14. Mary June says:

    I guess since none of the victims are gay, we won’t be hearing from Ellen on this vicious tragedy.

  15. Me says:

    It was a psyco they have been and always will be smugness use!

  16. Ted says:

    Horribly tragic. And Jon is not wrong. Yet, he gives no solutions. Instead of being reactionary, there needs to be a reality check that there are simply bad people who do horrendous things and not a lot can be done about it. Jon claims it should be treated like a “terrorist” attack. It is most definitely a terrorist attack, but what do we do? Fly drones over known racist houses and bomb them? Arrest them for hate speech or suspected racist behavior? Take away their guns? The gun he got for his birthday from his Dad? South Carolina has perfectly solid gun legislation. Even so, you have to be grown up enough to realize that these sick people will find any way they feel necessary to pull off their brand of terrorism. You can continue to point the right/left finger, but it is this “in” fighting that has contributed to extremist nut jobs like this monster. Racism is learned. Maybe start with that as the root of this? Jon, we need to stop painting with a broad stroke and call it what it is, a sick individual who committed an atrocious act. Blame him. And then open a dialog of discussion without pointing fingers. Peace.

    • Jennifer says:

      A man in shock had no solutions. And he was right. And Larry Willmor’s people were right when they pointed out he drove past hundreds of churches to get to this one, this symbol of African American freedom. This was a terrorist attack. The man said he was going to kill them because they were black.

      Bleeping yes, this man should not have had a gun. And I do not swear. Bleeping yes we need to realize that a person with a knife cannot do as much as with a gun and we bleeping watch the chemicals needed for a bomb.

      The rest of the First World is grown up enough to not have this happen, over and over. They don’t watch the next group of students walking out of a school knowing that their classmate, their teacher, isn’t with them, and trying to look for the classes their brothers and sisters are in to see if the gunman went into that room too. They don’t see this time and again. The French had one attack that shook the world because it does not happen there. For a very good reason. They are grown up enough to wonder why we think giving a gun to just anyone on their birthday is no big deal. He should have had a background search. Not his father, him. We should arm those we know are upstanding citizens who will defend their neighbors and not allow anyone access to the bleeping things.

      And people who know me know that I will literally say “bleep” and when I do I am mad. Well, that last one? It wasn’t “bleep”.

      It’s not Jon Stewart and me who needs to grow up. We need to keep guns out of the hands of those who can’t think like a rational adult. Histories of domestic assault, members of hate groups, and so many others should not qualify. The right to life came when we declared our freedom and seeing it put aside by people who say that it would have happened anyway, but no other method will kill so many with so little effort by a single person (bombs take a lot more effort and you’re going to risk it blowing up on you before you get there)…

      There are guns in my house. Their owner is former military, a man who taught for 24 years. He has positive ties to the community. There are no domestic assaults, no hate group affiliations. They would have done a background check on the man’s father, not his son. Once a gun is bought it can go anywhere.

      And we need to grow up and limit guns to the people who we have reason to trust will use it for target practice, for hunting, and for self-defense, and will keep it secure from others. The guns in this hous are black-powder. And still secured, away from the gunpowder and the lead balls…

      • Mike Hunt says:

        If you feel so strongly about guns being in the hands of AMERICANS, who are constitutionally protected to have them, then you should “bleeping” move to France.

  17. Deidra says:

    it is shameful to say that this commentary warrants our applause but John is absolutely right. we have a deliberate dissonance about racial inequality in this country that defies logic. then have the audacity to lament when, inevitably, the consequences rain down around us. it is so hurtful to see stories of hatred, bigotry, and disparity go so brazenly unchecked time and time again.

  18. jo says:

    where is the outcry and the speeches and the sadness.. All I hear is CRICKETS from Stewart.. the News and the President. Black Lives only seem to MATTER when white people kill them.

  19. Thank you Jon. You said it the way i would say it. I am amazed at now much hatred we have in our country and the destruction here and around the world. there is no talking to each other with sincere good feelings. i for one am always on edge, just reading and trying to make good comments to change the atmosphere. reading all comments can actually make you feel the pain of our fellow countrymen and women. i keep saying we need to unite and stand strong to help each other through. any positive input i have seems to get shot down, by a radical extremist and i actually feel the hate. but i will continue to try to bring light to my country. to show compassion for those who suffer under this hatred. we do have ISIS right here. we can name it whatever we like, but it is pure hatred.

  20. soullfire says:

    Reblogged this on Soullfire and commented:
    Jon Stewart on Charleston Shooting

  21. Tommy Martin says:

    Sounds like Jon Stewart has been smoking a little too much meth again. This is no different than a workplace shooting, a post office shooting, even a mall shooting. Leave it to Jon Stewart to start pulling a Brian Williams just to shore up his ratings. Nothing more disgusting than using a tragedy like this to put more money in your pocket Jon!

    • Patrick says:

      Can’t tell if you’re trolling or serious.

      I think the point is, things like Bengazi are taken so seriously by some, and in this incident, twice the number of people are killed, on home turf, and the same people are like oh its a crazy guy, on to ISIS.

      The victims are not in the military/foreign service in a hostile country, yet people chose to say ‘oh well crazy nut’ to this, and go all out insane if a terrorist shoots a diplomat on Obama’s watch.

      • The Usual Suspect says:

        Invalid comparison. Benghazi was a preventable, but was allowed to happen by the inept handling of the incident by our President and Secretary of State. This latest killing(s) is virtually impossible to prevent the immediate event. The shooter likely has mental problems, was likely on prescription drugs, and has some background issues that have been growing for decades. Jon Stewart (Lebovitz) is actually part of the problem.

      • Randy Parker says:

        Tommy Martin…I take it you are white. And the fact that you think this is like any other shooting, it makes you white and blind. Until you’ve walked a day in a working class black persons shoes, or dealt with some of the things we deal with on a daily, keep your comments to yourself. I don’t care what his motives are, he’s calling it what it really is at the end of the day. As a black man, I know first hand racism is alive and well. Office shooting? lol, you’re insane, out of touch.


  22. raptor600 says:

    The truth is these people are the base of the republican party. Southern Confederates, Cults, the KKK, NRA, Westboro Baptist Church, Fundamentalist Christians, White Supremacists, Abortion Clinic Bombers and abortion doctor shooters. Most of these idiots are bible nuts that are taught that the earth is only 6000 or so years old, dinosaurs never existed and the earth was created in 6 or 7 days.

    • Aggie says:

      And raptor, practically every single word you wrote shows that you are a bigot and a major part of the problem. Most idiots like you don’t even know how stupid they appear to others. You are definitely part of the problem.

    • Tommy Martin says:

      If your statement had any validity then all outbursts from blacks, riots, shootings, rapes, and murders would be lumped in with everything that ISIL is doing in the Iraq and Syria but it is not the same just as your statement is nothing more than a disparaging attempt at making your inadequate self feel better. They now have drugs for that so quit trying to shame everyone.

  23. Wallace says:

    People like Stewart scream like idiots about this stuff. His argument isn’t very valid. If it were, you would have to put the various inner-city gangs in as terrorists, because they kill more people a year and they are connected by general definition. There’s not as much a general sense of what you are supposed to be as a man today.

    • Kai says:

      Inner city gangs? You do know that they kill each other over territory, drugs and money right? It’s amazing that you go to the inner city gang argument before mentioning the mob who systematically do the same things but in suits instead of t shirts. It says a lot more about you to not want to acknowledge that this guy is a terrorist and he himself stated that he wanted to start a civil war. Was the OKC building explosion an act of terrorism? What about the dark knight movie theater murders? My God even the shooting in Phoenix that injured the congresswoman and killed another was not called an act of terror but let it be a man do darker skin and wow look at that

    • Doesn’t sound like screaming to me. Sounds like a man who is too tired to get angry anymore. Because it’s going to keep happening. Because people like you would rather turn a blind eye than do something about what’s happening here.

  24. brianbvl says:

    Reblogged this on Brian Exploration and commented:
    Emotional speech from Jon Stewart on the Charleston murders. Nothing to do with travel or photography, I know, but it is showing a very tragic social climate in the US, and we can all learn from this to prevent it from happening in our respective countries.

  25. Greg says:

    Regular citizens of this country do not have a lobby group like AIPAC. Hence domestic terrorism has no response like that in the middle east.

  26. GabreyaB says:

    Racism is destructive, deadly, and evil.

  27. William says:

    300 millions of weapons in the United States, 30000 people per year dead. 4500 soldiers killed in action in Irak between 2003 and 2011. 300 000 US civilians killed in the US during the same time.

  28. Clark Williams says:

    Jon Stewart,

    I respect so much of what you say normally. You have some incredible points that no one can argue, but you need to stop looking at southern culture as hating people all over especially black people. We are not all like that, the people that respect those generals are not cheering for slavery I mean Jesus Christ I dont even know how people like that could be allowed on television(Fox News) or allowed to share that unproductive point of view. Anyway thank you for speaking the truth to America. You are an amazing guy.


  29. Fred Johnson says:

    You can’t legislate away crazy people. Not possible. Federal attempts to do so take away rights and privileges from 310 million people.

    • David Benjamin says:

      Except the shooter isn’t crazy. It can’t be used as an excuse…just another crazy white guy. This was a hate crime. The shooter wanted a race war.

      • David Benjamin says:

        @Fred Johnson..I’m not sure what a “standard white guy” looks like. Can you elaborate, please? Dylann Roof is a racist bigot murderer who yearned for the proverbial “race war” to come about.

      • Fred Johnson says:

        Huh? Sounds like a crazy to me. Are you saying he was a standard white guy? That sounds pretty racist.

  30. Reblogged this on tudors & other histories and commented:
    It was a hate crime ad Jon Stewart and others have pointed out, plain and simple. A domestic act of terrorism and I hope that bigoted murderer POS rots in prison.

  31. Jon knows the truth but its a truth that no one ever really wants to talk about. Our country, our government does not really care about keeping its citizens safe or, to cut to the chase, actually care about its citizens beyond the rich that keep people in power.
    We fight wars in the Middle East to protect financial interests and because when we are in wars, lots of people get really really rich, the military–industrial complex.
    If anyone actually cared about keeping our citizens safe the first place we would start would be gun control. But yet all we get is the giant PR machine and the brainwashing of our citizens to think we all need to be armed to the teeth so that more and more and more guns can be sold.
    This shooting in Charleston is yet another perfect example, it shows we need gun control, but the corporate spin will be that it is proof that you need to buy more guns to protect yourself from evil. Divide and conquer, if we are all shooting each other because we are all scared of each other, the people selling guns get really really rich. Gun control will only happen once the people making and selling guns and the politicians that protect their industry start getting shot on a daily basis.
    And you can have this same discussion about thousands of issues, small battles are occasionally won to protect our citizens while the wars are almost always won by those making all the money.
    Soylent Green, that is all we are, that is what it really means to be a citizen of this country.

    • GB says:

      Jon has had Obama on his show many times and not once has he taken him to task for his gun control failure when he was on the show.

  32. Jon is an unfunny hack says:

    Was he honest about the confiscatory gun control policies he favors?

    • Sam Busby says:

      Do you honestly think Gun control will keep criminals and just plan Ole evil idiots from getting guns…:) Really??? You honestly believe that??? If that be the case, why then don’t we have a drug Free country?? Aren’t illigal Drugs controlled??? If so, how come you can go to the most rural town in America and buy them on the street corners?? Wake up people. By your on words a criminal is a Non Law Abiding Person. Therefore any Gun Control Laws we inact will apply to law abiding citizens and DO Nothing to curb Gun crimes. Some people are just educated beyond there intelligence. Come on down to some common sense people.

      • William says:

        Look at european states, were guns are controled. Of course, maniacs can have access to gun in these countries, but it is far more difficult. The results are here : the US lose 30000 people per year because of guns, when in the European Union the bodycount is ten time less important.

    • Pete C says:

      Well, since Jon isn’t running for office, he doesn’t have to kowtow to the NRA and can support rational policies on firearms, unlike virtually all U.S. politicians today. Not that there’s any hope of change. For the foreseeable future, America is doomed to remain “exceptional,” which in this case means having the rate of death by guns many times higher than in other industrialized countries. Take a look at this Wikipedia article on gun deaths worldwide

      Some stats to ponder:

      Gun deaths per 100,000 people:

      Australia 0.86
      Canada 2.22
      France 3.01
      Germany 1.24
      Italy 1.28
      Japan 0.06
      Spain 0.62
      Sweden 1.47
      United Kingdom 0.25
      U.S. 10.64

      Oh yeah, the Second Amendment is keeping us SO safe!

      • William says:

        To the usual suspect : please, please, there is a lot of black men in France and in the UK as well, as a result of their former empire, and the bodycount is ten time less important. So the problem is NOT coming from an allegedly violent behaviour from black men.
        To Yt : UNODC murder rates per country : USA : more than 4%, UK, France, Germany, Japan, 1% or less

      • Yt says:

        And what are the stats for non-gun murders? People killed by knives, beatings, etc.

        And what are the murder stats by race?

      • The Usual Suspect says:

        That’s probably true, however look up the FBI crime stats under “homicide by race.” The murder rate of blacks by blacks is about 80% of total. White people in America commit very few murders, it’s actually a lower rate than the British commit in London England. The second amendment is primarily to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government in order that we may remain free.

    • Smh says:

      And THAT response is the problem. Pry my guns out of my (actually a whole lot of other innocents’) dead hands.

  33. Jacques Strappe says:

    Racism in the US isn’t just alive but thriving.

    • FYI Police says:

      Thriving?? How then, are there more inter-racial marriages than EVER! And a bi-racial president?
      These tragic events are awful, but random racists who do horrible things will always be around. — But compared to the country’s past — racial relations as a whole are much better than in the past.

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