Strange things can happen. Sometimes rock-solid expectations can be defied in the blink of an eye, and our perceptions can be altered by minor events. One perception that appears quite obvious is the notion that political correctness and monoculture are joined at the hip, two barely distinguishable features of the modern System. But that perception was challenged this week in the brouhaha surrounding Trevor Noah.
Noah, as you might have heard, was selected to replace the wise sage Jon Stewart as the new host of The Daily Show Monday. By Tuesday, his arc to fame had come crashing down.
On the same day of the announcement, the chattering class took time from celebrating the ascent of the little known mulatto comedian to look at his Twitter account.
What they found was SHOCKING.
Fat shaming, check.
In short, a lot of things you don’t want your new Daily Show host to have—especially if he was hired to act as the nation’s lecturer on all things politically correct. And that’s what The Daily Show operates as: America’s judge of political correctness. White privilege is real and Darren Wilson got away with murder are things you should believe in, and Jon Stewart was there to convince you with snark and selective evidence that these beliefs and others were “true.”
Thanks to his mockery of the Bush years and position as an elder comedian of liberalism, Stewart was able to play the role of the court’s jester perfectly with hardly any backlash or gripes. His retirement was treated in a manner more fitting for the passing of a great religious figure, which was simply a testament to the immense influence he had (and still has) in our society. Many people under 30 view the world and politics through the lens crafted by Stewart and his coterie. In his later years, he moved away from biting comedy to preachy lectures on the evils of the Western world. But, the audience still sat in rapt attention and nodded along with whatever new view or idea Stewart wanted to convey.
As Gregory Hood points out, “[t]he contemporary court jester comforts the comfortable, mocks the powerless, and reinforces the System that grants him privilege.”
That’s the torch being passed to Noah, and that’s why his politically incorrect tweets matter so much to the Left. They understand the power and influence that comes with hosting the preeminent political late night show and they do not want to hand it off to someone who is ok with mocking fat chicks. (God forbid that!) Noah is expected to tell America’s youth what to believe and to satirize traditional White America and White Europe. That’s why they loved him on Monday.
The two skits that were commonly bantered around before the shocking revelation both were intended to relate politically correct notions on race, Africa, and White stereotypes. His performance at the Apollo Theatre—before a surprisingly majority White crowd—was underlined by the belief that race is a social construct. From being mistaken as Mexican, to trying to be Black, to his designation as colored, Noah implied that the notion of race is fluid and entirely dependent on social notions. He also imparted the idea that caring about race—such as in the manner of South Africa’s apartheid policy that supposedly treated his birth as a “crime”—is ridiculous and inhumane. The style it was delivered in was self-deprecating, humble, and friendly—a message perfectly suited for a politically-mixed White audience. Even conservatives would laugh at it.
His awkward sketch on Ferguson and Africa, however, was different. Here he takes on a didactic style of self-righteous indignation. Noah shames America for treating Blacks poorly and incredibly tries to claim that sub-Saharan Africa is quite advanced. There’s little humor here and he’s not trying to appeal to a wider audience. This is catnip for masochistic urban elves and only serves to drill into their heads proper notions about Black intelligence and why they should do even more for Afro-Americans.
According to Daily Show producers, he was hired on the “strength” of his sketches on the show—which indicates that they want an insufferable tone of moral superiority for the new host. While his tweets aren’t getting him dropped, they do undermine his ability to get the job done. If, as Vox says, he reflects “cultures that are oppressive and privileged” and reinforces them, how will he be able to engage in the culture of critique. . .err, social comedy?
Fortunately for Noah, he is the living embodiment of the type of man the Left aspires to create. He is completely mixed race: half-Swiss German, quarter-Xhosa Black, quarter-Jewish. He grew up in South Africa, but now will call America his home. He can claim no culture or land as his own, as only half of his mother’s side is even remotely native to his country of birth. He’s a jet-setting, multiracial, politically correct polyglot who is perfectly suited for showing what the face of tomorrow looks like. Noah can only thrive in a System that prizes hyper-individuality over organic culture and champions the eternal Outsider over the native. Thus, his “offensive” jokes can be overlooked when his very existence depends on trumpeting the ideology of the System. Not even Stewart, a post-modern Jew, can claim the privileged status of Noah. Stewart could, at any moment, reconnect to his heritage and know he has a homeland. Noah, on the other hand, has no heritage and will never have a homeland. Stewart can have an authentic identity, Noah cannot. The only identity left for the mulatto is the one offered by a consumer society that aims to view every man as an island unto himself—a blank slate with no history, no community, and no higher values.
That’s why there’s no better representative for the rapidly growing monoculture than this 31-year-old citizen from South Africa.
But before he can present the future, Noah has to make amends with the aggrieved PC police. I wouldn’t be surprised if his first episodes center around the natural beauty of obese women and wagging his finger at some hapless guy who deigns to make an off-color joke about women. He can easily placate his critics by shaming the right targets and extolling the right opinions. He’s still “biracial” after all, and that outweighs any number of tweets bashing Israel. Monoculture, or rather a cultureless “culture,” allows for political correctness to grow and the infractions of a man who will make a perfect carrier for the ideology will be forgiven.
Monoculture is the goal, and political correctness is the tool. This brief sparring isn’t reflective of a divide between the two, only a temporary hurdle.
They’re connected for the future, and Trevor Noah is the future the System wants. Will the West be up for it?