On Friday, June 16, a jury declared former Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez not guilty for the shooting and killing of 32-year-old Philando Castile. Last year, Castile was pulled over with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter in the car for a broken taillight. He told the officer he was a licensed gun owner and had his weapon on him, yet when he was reaching for his wallet, Castile was fatally shot by the officer. During a recent segment of “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” on The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Noah points out why it’s so bizarre that the National Rifle Association has remained silent following the verdict.
“Philando Castile wasn’t just a man shot at a traffic stop,” Noah said. “He was a legal gun owner whose family was in the car and who had committed no crime. At all.”
Noah explains that “you would expect [the NRA] to be losing their goddamn minds about this,” because “according to their rhetoric, this is everything that they stand against, right? An officer of the state depriving a citizen of his life because he was legally carrying a firearm?”
He then showed a 2014 clip of the NRA’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, adamantly defending the right for individuals to protect themselves with guns. But, for some mysterious reason, the group has remained silent since Yanez’s verdict was announced. In Noah’s opinion, it’s no mystery – it’s about race.
“It’s interesting how the people who define themselves by one fundamental American right – the right to bear arms – show that once race is involved, the only right that they believe in is their right to remain silent,” Noah said.
This isn’t the first time Noah has discussed the fatal shootings of black men by police officers. Following the murders of Castile and Alton Sterling last year, the host discussed how divided America is: “If you’re pro-Black Lives Matter, you’re assumed to be anti-police. And if you’re pro-police, then you surely hate black people. . . . In reality, you can be pro-cop and pro-black, which is what we should all be.”