Trevor Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador - Between The Scenes | The Daily Show

Trevor Responds to Criticism from the French Ambassador - Between The Scenes | The Daily Show
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    I wanted to share this little story with you.
    I got into a little bit of trouble
    with the French Government.
    (audience laughing)
    I know. The French Government.
    So what happened was, let's start at the beginning.
    France won the World Cup.
    (audience cheering and applauding)
    And so on the show, we celebrated that and I had this joke
    where I said, I said Africa won the World Cup.
    (audience cheering and applauding)
    Yeah, and I was shocked at how angry a lot of French
    people got, like genuine, a lot of French people
    were angry and they were like, "Oh Trevor how can you say
    this, why would you say these things?
    (audience laughing)
    You know this is horrible." and I was like okay,
    I get it, not everyone likes every joke
    that you tell and I get that but this was interesting.
    I got a letter from the ambassador of France.
    And I'll read it to you, it was about that joke.
    And he says, I'll try to read it how I hope he wrote it.
    (audience laughing)
    Which was he says, "Sir I watched with great attention
    your July 17th show when you spoke of the victory
    of the French team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
    final which took place last Sunday.
    I heard your words about an African victory,
    nothing could be less true."
    (audience laughing)
    Now, first of all, I think it could have been less,
    I could have says they were Scandinavian.
    (audience laughing)
    That would have been less true,
    that would have been less true.
    He says, "As many of the players have already stated
    themselves, their parents may have come from another
    country but a great majority of them --
    all but two out of 23 were born in France.
    They were educated in France, they learned
    to play soccer in France, they are French citizens.
    They're proud of their country, France.
    The rich and various backgrounds of these players
    is a reflection of France's diversity.
    France is indeed..." Now that line there was interesting.
    The rich and various backgrounds of these players
    is a reflection of France's diversity.
    Now, I'm not trying to be an asshole but I think
    it's more a reflection of France's colonialism.
    (audience cheering and applauding)
    Because it's not like it's just like random players,
    like they all have something in common.
    Like all of those players if you trace their lineage
    you're like how did you guys become French?
    Like, how did your family start speaking French? Oh, okay.
    (audience laughing)
    And it says here, he says, "France is indeed a cosmopolitan
    country but every citizen is part of the French identity
    and together they belong to the nation of France.
    Unlike in the United States of America,
    France does not refer to its citizens based on their race,
    religion or origin. To us, there is no hyphenated identity.
    Roots are an individual reality,
    by calling them an African team it seems like you're denying
    their Frenchness. This, even in jest, legitimizes
    the ideology which claims whiteness
    as the only definition of being French."
    So now here's the thing, first things first.
    I understand what he's saying 'cause I read
    up on this afterwards, right? I take criticism.
    I'll listen to what somebody says to me.
    I genuinely believe you should, and what it turns
    out is in France, a lot of Nazis in that country
    use the fact that these players are of African descent
    to shit on their Frenchness, you know.
    So they go you're not French, you're from Africa
    go back to where you came from, you're not French.
    They use that as a line of attack.
    Now my thing, my opinion is coming from South Africa,
    coming from Africa and even watching the World Cup
    in the United States of America,
    black people all over the world were celebrating
    the Africaness of the French players, right.
    Not in a negative way but rather in a positive way
    going look at these Africans who can become French.
    You know what I mean, it's a celebration of that achievement.
    And so, this is what I find weird in these arguments
    is that people go they're not African, they're French.
    Then I'm like why can't they be both?
    (audience applauding)
    Right, why is that duality only afforded to select
    group of people, why can they not be African?
    So what they're arguing here is,
    in order to be French you have to erase
    everything that is African, 'cause what do they mean
    when they say that our culture, our this.
    So you cannot be French and African at the same time,
    which I vehemently disagree with.
    I go if you see those players I love them,
    Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, I've watched all of them.
    Like, I love those players and I love how African
    they are and how French they are.
    I don't take their Frenchness away but I also
    don't think you need to take their Africaness away.
    And that is what I love about America.
    America is not a perfect country but what I love
    about this place is that people can still celebrate
    their identity in their Americaness.
    You can go to a St. Patrick's Day parade in America
    celebrating that you are Irish.
    You can go to a Puerto Rican day parade in America
    still celebrating the fact that you are Puerto Rican
    and American at the same time.
    You can celebrate Juneteenth as black person
    and be like "yo, I'm African-American,"
    which is the duality of the two worlds.
    But here they're going, "No you are only French."
    (audience laughing)
    And here's why it vexes me, to be honest.
    This is what I find interesting,
    is like, when I read stories from Africa
    and I watch what politicians say,
    especially in France about African migrants:
    when they are unemployed, when they may commit
    a crime, or when they are considered
    unsavory, it's the African immigrant.
    When their children go on to provide a World Cup victory
    for France, we should only refer to them as France.
    And we even saw it with that African man who climbed
    the building to rescue the baby, do you remember that?
    - [Audience] Yes.
    - We watched him climb that building,
    he rescued the child and then they gave him French
    citizenship, they said you are now French.
    So now I'm going so is he now no longer African?
    (audience laughing)
    Is that what you're saying? So when
    he was on the ground he was African.
    (audience laughing)
    And then he climbed up and as soon as he rescued
    the baby now he's French. So if he dropped the baby,
    The African dropped the baby.
    (audience cheering and applauding)
    I don't believe that you need
    and here's like I would say again with respect
    I understand what the ambassador is saying.
    I'm not joining the attack and I know don't get me wrong,
    I know we live in a world where like nuance
    is something that is in short supply.
    And so you will find in America for instance,
    the alt-right saying, "That's what we've been saying,
    they're not French and we're saying but if Trevor
    says it it's not racist, but if we say it it's racist."
    Yeah, yeah. I'll say yeah, you know
    why? Because I believe context is everything.
    There are certain things you can say to somebody
    that like when I say to my friends,
    What's going on, my nigga?" and if a white person came
    and said the same thing, yeah there's a big difference.
    (audience laughing)
    When I'm saying they're African I'm not saying
    it as a way to exclude them from their Frenchness
    but I'm rather using it to include them in my Africaness.
    I'm saying, "I see you my French brother of African descent."
    Do you know what I'm saying, that's what I'm trying
    to say, when somebody else says it the other way.
    You can use the same line in different ways.
    People are like, so it's different?
    Yeah, yeah it's different, it can be different.
    It's like somebody saying, "So if you play with your naked
    child it's a problem but if I do it I'm a pedophile?"
    Yeah, yeah there's a big difference.
    There's a huge difference.
    (audience clapping)
    So I will continue to praise them for being African
    because I believe that they are of Africa.
    Their parents are from Africa and they can be French
    at the same time. And if French people are saying they cannot
    be both, then I think they have a problem and not me.
    (audience cheering and applauding)
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