Jon Stewart has stepped up to the plate when it comes to hosting The Daily Show after national tragedies. He connected with America’s heartache following 9/11. He noted collective astonishment at the fact that Daniel Pantaleo, the man who killed Eric Garner on camera, escaped indictment.

Stewart didn’t come with any jokes or wit when speaking about the tragedy in Charleston that took nine lives. Instead, he was compassionate. He was honest. He was blunt.

Once again, we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence we do to each other in the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal — yet we pretend doesn’t exist. I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it — by staring into that and seeing it for what it is — we still won’t do jacks**t.

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