Jimmy Kimmel led off his show Friday night not with a typical yuk-filled monologue, but by speaking his mind about the death of George Floyd, the anger directed at police brutality, and a president who seems to do nothing but add fuel to the fire.
It was “a scene you’d typically only see in a country that is at war,” he said of Thursday night’s protests in Minneapolis, then he rolled back to explain the roots of the unrest, describing how George Floyd “became the latest in a series of unarmed black men to be killed by a police officer.” He reminded that his alleged crime was using a fake $20 bill, adding that “he may not have even known was a fake $20 bill.”
For anyone who might have been on a mountain retreat away from news broadcasts for the past few days, Kimmel summarized the agonizing “loop” of social upheaval. “It goes from ‘it isn’t right to kill an unarmed man’ to ‘it also isn’t right to loot and set fires and attack the police’ to ‘but the police are attacking us,” he said, echoing the internal monologue no doubt shared by many viewers.
He then turned his attention to Donald Trump, or, in his words, “our disgusting excuse for a president, Mr. Tough Guy, Donnie Bone Spurs.”
Kimmel commented on Trump’s now-notorious tweet that used the provocative term “thugs” and the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (The tweet was the first to receive an official citation from Twitter for “glorifying violence,” but was allowed to remain accessible “in the public’s interest.”)
Kimmel asked his audience, specifically addressing older members “who have lived this nightmare of race riots already” if “this who you want leading us?” He concluded by showing a monologue from actor Tyler Merritt called Before You Call the Cops.
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