It seems quite impossible at this point for anyone to be unaware of the events taking place across the country. The deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile set off a storm of largely peaceful protests against racial policing in many cities on Thursday night. But in Dallas, demonstrations took a violent turn when a sniper attack killed five police officers and injured seven others.
As Americans struggle to process the episodes of violence, watching in utter bewilderment on the sidelines are the many foreigners living in the United States. Many flee from countries where roiling tension and/or instability is the norm, only to witness similar issues here.
As the product of a black Xhosa mother and white Swiss father in apartheid South Africa, Daily Show host Trevor Noah has lived and breathed state-sanctioned racial discrimination. But on his show on Wednesday night, filmed prior to the events in Dallas, even Noah seemed perplexed at how all-or-nothing the debate about racial policing has become.
"You know the hardest part about having a conversation surrounding police shooting in America?" Noah asked. "It always feels like in America, it's like if you take a stand for something, you automatically are against something else."
"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."
Noah also called out the refusal to acknowledge issues within the police force despite video evidence pointing to a problem. "For some strange reason, when it comes to videos of police shootings, seeing isn't believing," he said.
Citing the Cincinnati zoo gorilla incident as an example, Noah said that after officials shot the gorilla whose enclosure a 3-year-old boy fell into, authorities said that they were looking into making changes to prevent another such accident.
He also echoed President Obama's statement that this is an "American issue." Noah said:
America has a problem within its police force. And although this is a problem that disproportionately affects black people, it's not just a black problem. This is an American problem ... everyone is involved.
Noah's unifying words on-air seemed almost prophetic after news broke of the five police officers' deaths in Dallas.
Online, he spoke out once again about the importance of fostering peace.