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Jon Stewart Forgoes Jokes for Heartbreaking Discussion of the Charleston Shooting

Watch his blistering monologue on race and terrorism in America

Sadie Gennis

After the horrific murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., Jon Stewart did not have it in himself for any jokes.

"I have one job, and it's a pretty simple job," The Daily Show host began Thursday'sepisode. "But I didn't do my job today, so I apologize. I've got nothing for you in terms of jokes and sounds because of what happened in South Carolina. And maybe if I wasn't nearing the end of the run or this wasn't such a common occurrence, maybe I could have pulled out of the spiral, but I didn't. And so I honestly have nothing other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of the gaping racial wound that will not heal and 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 jack s--t," Stewart added. "Yeah. That's us. And that's the part that blows my mind... What blows my mind is the disparity of response between when we think that people that are foreign are going to kill us and us killing ourselves."

"They're already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for this," Stewart continued. "This is a terrorist attack. This is a violent attack on the Emanuel Church in South Carolina, which is a symbol for the black community. It has stood in that part of Charleston for a hundred-and-some years and has been attacked viciously many times, as many black churches have. I heard someone on the news say tragedy has visited this church. This wasn't a tornado. This was racist."

9 killed at South Carolina Bible study

"Nine people were shot in a black church by a white guy who hated them who wanted to start some kind of civil war," he went on. "The Confederate flag flies over South Carolina and the roads are named for Confederate generals. And the white guy's the one who feels like his country's being taken away from him.

"We're bringing it on ourselves. And that's the thing. Al Queda, all those guys, ISIS -- they're not s--t compared to the damage that we can apparently do to ourselves on a regular basis."