Trevor Noah had a show at Loyola for DOP’s Colossus, and I was excited to attend as my first alumni event (They didn’t even check ID’s, so I could have pretended I was a Loyola student still and saved a few bucks. Darn!). Trevor had the best act for the Loyola audience who is very socially active and progressive. It was very thoughtful, and dare I say, forced me to reflect.
I especially loved how he talked about politics. He said that he loved seeing everyone engaging their civic rights. People claim that they are “resisting,” but honestly, as he noted, they are simply participating.
Personally, I think for so many years growing up, we were told to not talk about politics or religion in public. Not only can it be boring, but it can lead to rough discussions that are NSW and well, just off-limits. Now that politics have become more than a behind-the-scene show, especially through social media, of course we’re going to talk about it! Times have changed, and when conservatives don’t realize that conversations can be good, it creates stigmas around political and social activism.
I’ve heard a lot of critique on protesting especially. People say that it interferes with people trying to get to work, it wastes time, and is pointless. First of all, working in the city, you are typically warned by your supervisor to plan accordingly (same with races, parades, etc), and it doesn’t waste time. Trump may treat our country like a business, but we’re not machines. We can do more than go to work, go watch TV, sleep, and do it again. It isn’t pointless because voices are being heard. Maybe people from rural areas feel like their voices aren’t heard, but that is all the more reason to speak out against the status quo and stand for what you believe in.
No one actually tries to offend anyone (if they do, they’re a bully with internal issues). By discussing politics, we’re not trying to offend anyone, but we’re trying to improve ourselves. We’re trying to shape and improve our perspectives!
Trevor also brought up some thought-inspiring points about racism. The best joke was about white people whispering “black.” It’s like white people are afraid of sounding racist. I know I have definitely whispered “black” before describing a person, and it’s honestly ridiculous when I think about it.
We shouldn’t worry about sounding racist, but we should be worried about being racist. Racism is like a disease, and it’s often hereditary. It’s not something we should ignore and pretend doesn’t exist, but we need to approach it head on and deal with it like a disease. It can be cured.
I remember as a child, we were told the (politically) correct way to talk about black people was “African-American.” My first memory of this was filling out bubbles of standardized testing. That didn’t take long for us to realize what bullshit that was. Why are white people still white or Caucasian, but black people have to be African-American? Not all black people are Americans (I still hear some folks back home try to call foreign black people African-American, even if they’re from France… le sigh) and not all black people are Africans. Especially after being in Southeast Asia, I learned there are many blacks who are not African and they have their own distinct racial profiles. Especially in South America, there is a caste system depending on how dark you are.
Being a racist doesn’t mean being above race, because we’re all of a race, just as we are all of a gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity. I’m white, female, heterosexual, atheist, and white American. It is what it is, and I am aware that there are many others unlike me. Being aware of our differences and appreciating our differences makes us better humans as we become a more cohesive community and world. It’s kind of like Myers Briggs personality types where everyone is a combination of traits and not the same, which is ooookay! I’m an INTJ, btw.
He also talked a lot about America’s love for tacos and how it relates to immigration. The jokes are too funny to repeat, but the best was #NoImmigrationNoSpices. If you want to prevent immigrants from living in the U.S., get used to eating boring ass food.
Thank you, Trevor Noah, for the the thoughtful and hilarious show. Please keep doing impersonations, especially of Trump.
++ Mary K