One of the finest segments in late-night television is “Between the Scenes,” an interstitial bit wherein The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah speaks candidly to his audience about a particular hot-button issue.
And on Tuesday night, the comedian addressed the latest drama concerning rapper Kanye West, who’s positioned himself as a money-chasing prophet of sorts on his new Christian-tinged album (and accompanying IMAX film) Jesus Is King.
In a recent interview with Big Boy, West claimed that Democrats have “brainwashed” black Americans into voting for them and force them to “abort their children.” He also took aim at hip-hop culture, claiming, “The culture has you so focused on fucking somebody else’s bitch and pulling up in a foreign [car] and rapping about things that can get you locked up and then saying you about prison reform…C’mon, man. This a free man talking.”
Noah couldn’t believe his eyes. “I was watching that, and I was like, are you shitting me? Like, of all people. I’m not saying everything he’s saying is wrong, but you are gonna say it? You, as Kanye West, are gonna talk shit about other rappers talking about buying ‘foreign?’ You, as Kanye West? ‘I know Spike Lee’s gonna kill me, but let me finish / I’d rather buy 80 gold chains and go ig’nant.’ That Kanye West? Like, are you serious? ‘You’re such a fucking ho, I love it?’ That Kanye West is gonna talk shit about rappers talking about fucking bitches?’”
“I don’t disagree that you can have your own opinion… but this is what I don’t like, is when Kanye West and people like him will say, ‘Black people in America have been brainwashed… into voting for the Democrats, believing that they’re victims, but we’re not victims! We can vote Republican! We can do whatever we want!’” Noah continued. “Then I’m like, OK, let me get this straight: you’re saying that every black person in America is brainwashed? You’re saying that 70, 80, 90 percent of black people who are voting Democrat, they’re brainwashed? So you’re saying you’re the only person who’s enlightened, and all these black people are stupidly following this Democratic victim [narrative]?”
The host then suggested West was disconnected from the wants and needs of regular black Americans due to his immense wealth. “What is more likely? The fact that these people are brainwashed, or the fact that, in America, you have to vote for the system that gives you the best chance? You only have two choices, and that does make it weird, but you only have to choices, and if you are a black person you go, well, I’m going to vote for the choice that gives me the best chance of success,” said Noah, adding, “You get to a point, and it’s true, when you are famous and rich enough as a black person where it’s like, yeah, your life isn’t affected the same way by Republican policies. In fact, it may even be beneficial for you as a rich person to vote Republican because they’re like ‘less taxes,’ and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I’ll take that.’”
Noah then turned the focus to black women, who vote in higher numbers than any other group. In the 2016 presidential election, over 90 percent of black women voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, whereas 53 percent of white women voted Trump.
“You know who doesn’t mess around with their votes in America? Black women. They don’t. They do not. And I refuse to live in a world where I go, ‘Black women have been brainwashed.’ No, I don’t think black women in America have been—or can be—brainwashed. I think, if anything, black women in America have the least leeway when it comes to messing around with their vote,” said Noah. “Black women in America are like, no, I know where my vote needs to go because I know how important this is to me, because, as a woman and as a black person combined, the impacts of my vote are exponentially felt. I have a higher rate of mortality when I’m giving birth, I have a higher chance of not getting a loan, I have a higher chance of not getting a job, I will get exponentially less for doing the same job as somebody else. As a black woman, I cannot afford to mess around with this vote. That, to me, is not a brainwashed person. That’s not a victim.”