The Daily Show's Hasan Minhaj Slams Congress Over Gun Control in the Best Way Possible
Hasan Minhaj — known as The Daily Show's senior Muslim correspondent — is usually seen cracking jokes with people like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or DJ Khaled about Islamophobia, anti-refugee hysteria and rampant bigotry.
But while delivering a speech at the Radio and Television's Correspondents Dinner on Wednesday, the comedian took a more serious approach when he slammed them for their lackluster efforts to combat gun violence.
Days after the Orlando, Florida, shooting at gay nightclub Pulse, Minhaj stood behind the podium, donning a rainbow and American flag ribbon over his heart, and joked about the current political climate.
The "fake journalist" made a few great jokes at first.
He joked about Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign struggles:
He then called out leading Republicans supporting Donald Trump despite his racist and sexist bigotry:
He mocked CNN as a fake news organization:
He pointed out Vice's hipster-y, danger-seeking gonzo journalism:
Then praised BuzzFeed, while criticizing the New York Times, for refusing to accept money for advertising from the GOP and Donald Trump:
But then his smile fades as he condemns the roomful of Congress members for sending their "thoughts and prayers" while refusing to work on establishing gun control legislation after the Orlando shooting and continuously taking money from lobbying groups like the NRA.
"You get paid almost $200,000 a year to write rules, to make our society better," Minhaj said to the silent and stern audience. "Not tweet, not tell us about your thoughts and prayers — to write rules to make our society better."
"Right now, since 1998, the NRA has given $3.7 million to Congress... So I don't know if this is like a Kickstarter thing, but if $3.7 million can buy political influence to take lives, if we raise $4 million would you guys take that to save lives?"
He didn't just stop at gun control. He went on to criticize Congress for not making changes to address the blatant discrimination toward marginalized communities and the police brutality disproportionately killing African Americans without real consequences.
"Every day in our workplaces, our homes and our religious institutions there is cover or overt discrimination or phobia towards people of different religious, racial or sexual walks of life. And we just sit there and we let it happen, because it doesn't affect our bottom line."
"My brothers and sisters in the African American community, their spines are going to continue to get shattered in the backs of paddy wagons until we stand up and say something."
Minhaj's 22-minute long speech is a good example of how comedy can not only help those in mourning, it can actually be used as a powerful tool of political activism.
Watch his entire speech below: