Trevor Noah Asks "Where Are the Good Apples?" While Dissecting Policing in America

Next time someone uses the “it’s just a few bad apples” argument while discussing America’s policing system, simply send them the above Trevor Noah clip as a retort. On Wednesday, the late-night host shared his reaction to two police-civilian incidents that made headlines this week: that of Daunte Wright, fatally shot by Officer Kim Potter, who claimed she meant to use a Taser on him, and Caron Nazario, who recently filed a lawsuit after being pepper-sprayed and pushed to the ground by officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker during a traffic stop in December. Both left Noah with one big question: “Where are the good apples?”

He further clarified, “What I mean by that is where are the cops who are stopping the cop from putting their knee on George Floyd’s neck? Because there’s not one cop at that scene . . . Where are the other cops when Philando Castile is losing his life?” Noah pointed out how, whereas people in marginalized and disenfranchised groups are willing to stand against violence perpetuated within their communities, we rarely see cops similarly combatting the acts of brutality their colleagues are perpetrating. “We don’t see a mass uprising of police saying, ‘Let’s root out these people,'” he said. “We don’t see videos of police officers stopping the other cop from pushing an old man at a Black Lives Matter protest or from beating up a kid in the street with a baton.”

That’s not to say that there are no good people in police forces, Noah added, but their refusal to speak out against the corruption ensures the status quo remains. “They themselves know that if they do something, they’re going against the system. The system is more powerful than any individual. The system in policing is doing exactly what it’s meant to do in America, and that is to keep poor people in their place.” Circling back to the “bad apples” analogy, Noah concluded his segment with yet another astute observation: “We’re not dealing with bad apples. We’re dealing with a rotten tree that happens to grow good apples.” He added, “But for the most part, the tree that was planted is bearing the fruit that it was intended to.”

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