Trevor Noah on Trump’s America: ‘Divided people are easier to rule’

The Daily Show host compared the current US political climate to apartheid he witnessed growing up in South Africa in his essay for the New York Times

Trevor Noah has compared Donald Trumps America to South African apartheid in a new essay for the New York Times.

The Daily Show host has expressed his disappointment and fears over the decision to elect the reality TV star as president while calling for unity as the ultimate weapon against him.

The past year has been so polarizing and noxious that even I find myself getting caught up in the extreme grandstanding and vitriol, he writes. But with extremes come deadlock and the death of progress. Instead of speaking in measured tones about what unites us, we are screaming at each other about what divides us which is exactly what authoritarian figures like Mr Trump want: divided people are easier to rule. That was, after all, the whole point of apartheid.

The South African comedian also writes about how his mixed ethnicity forced him into surviving on both sides while in his native country and how the US is facing a similar racial division.

America, Ive found, doesnt like nuance, he writes. Either black people are criminals, or cops are racist pick one. Its us versus them. Youre with us, or youre against us. This national mentality is fueled by the hysteria of a 24-hour news cycle, by the ideological silos of social media and by the structure of the countrys politics. The two-party system seems to actively encourage division where none needs to exist.

He refers to the success of Trumps flagrant misogyny and racist appeals that has masked the similarities among many Americans who just want good jobs and homes.

Mr Trumps victory has only amplified the voices of extremism, he writes. It has made their arguments more simplistic and more emotional at a time when they ought to be growing more subtle and more complex. We should give no quarter to intolerance and injustice in this world, but we can be steadfast on the subject of Mr Trumps unfitness for office while still reaching out to reason with his supporters. We can be unwavering in our commitment to racial equality while still breaking bread with the same racist people whove oppressed us.

As well as hosting the Daily Show, Noah recently released a memoir called Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

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