South African born comedian, Trevor Noah, says that US president Donald Trump is presenting the same rhetoric as leader of Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler.
“You see someone who is full of bluster, you see somebody who is trying to create their nation in isolation, you see someone who is trying to dismantle and discredit the media, and facts as a whole,” he told Talk To Al Jazeera on Saturday.
Talk to Al Jazeera’s Dareen Abughaida questioned The Daily Show host about his feelings towards president Trump, the comedian expressed concern that a culture of segregation and oppression is brewing under the newly elected president.
“He is proud to put forth a white nationalist agenda that is becoming more and more something that a lot of Americans are excited about – but more Americans are not, which is the one beacon, the light you have to keep aiming towards,” Noah said.
He added: “People always say, ‘What would you have done if you were around when Hitler was coming up?’ And everyone has theories. Now we’re in a time when there is someone who is presenting the same rhetoric, who is discrediting democracy, who is saying there are imaginary voters and a rigged election.
Where does that lead? The question I always ask myself is: If Donald Trump acts like this when he has won an election, how will he act when he loses an election?”
“It’s actually frightening to see how quickly you can repeat the ills of the past when enough people are afraid and hungry – and those are two things that if you combine them and use them in the right way you can get people to commit the most heinous crimes against each other,” Noah said.
When asked about Trump’s stated strategy to strengthen libel laws, Noah called it “a scary place to be in” but added, “The closer you get to censorship, the more comedy thrives”.
“Freedom of speech is something that people pursue regardless of the laws. As human beings, we want to speak our minds, whether it’s whispered in back alleys or proclaimed from a pulpit.
“As human beings, we want to tell the truth about what we see. Dick Gregory… once said to me, ‘The truth is way funnier than any joke you can try to concoct.’ So essentially it doesn’t become harder, because as a comedian I just tell more of the truth,” Noah said.
The comedian also appeared to suggest that Trump’s recent actions could be seen as racist, but also noted that the terms lines have been blurred recently.
“You cannot deny that Donald Trump in his actions and the way he speaks about certain people is one that is racist,” Noah said.
Speaking about Trump’s fondness for Twitter, Noah said: “Trump today is having conversations on a platform where he genuinely shouldn’t be. Any leader who is tweeting policy is ridiculous.”
The comedian also spoke about being the target of racist tweets.
“That’s social media. I feel like if you’re on social media, you’ll be the target of racist tweets. I always tell people, ‘Man, I come from a country where racism meant teargas and dogs and rubber bullets.’ So someone saying something to me online is really the most timid form of racism I have come across in a long time.”