If you call what happened in Charleston a tragedy, says Jon Stewart, you're completely missing the point.
The "Daily Show" host opened last night with his thoughts on the shooting that claimed nine lives at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, highlighting his disgust at the pretense that race had nothing to do with it.
"[We] are steeped in that culture in this country and we refuse to recognize it. And I cannot believe how hard people are working to discount it," Stewart said.
"Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them, who wanted to start some kind of civil war. The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina and the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels his country’s being taken away from him. We’re bringing it on ourselves."
The emotional speech ended with sharp criticism from Stewart for the way that Americans refuse to examine this type of violence, or identify it as terrorism.
"Al Qaeda, all those guys, ISIS – they’re not s--t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis," he said.