New 'Daily Show' host: US has 'institutionalized racial segregation'
© Getty Images
The new host of “The Daily Show” says America still has a level of racial segregation woven into its social fabric.
But Trevor Noah credits the U.S. for addressing equality and freedom for minorities in a Rolling Stone interview published Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t say that America is a white supremacist country, but I believe America suffers from a level of institutionalized racial segregation,” said Noah, who grew up in Apartheid-era South Africa.
“And the effect of that is very similar to South Africa,” he added. “It’s difficult to remedy that instantly.”
Noah argued Americans are grappling with a wide variety of social issues, including gender, race and income inequality.
These topics generate changing positions and solutions as the national mood towards them evolves over time, he said.
“Society has a long way to go in terms of getting women equal pay, equal recognition in the workplace and so on,” Noah said as an example. “And yet women have been ‘free’ for many years.”
He noted that "freedom" is often the first step on a group's journey to full, equal integration into the nation.
“A lot of people who aren’t particularly progressive think that freedom is the end, but you don’t realize that freedom is really the beginning of the conversation,” the comedian added. “Freedom and equality are two totally different conversations.”
Noah’s remarks come as he prepares for his debut behind “The Daily Show” desk Sept. 28, following former host Jon Stewart’s departure earlier this year.
Noah said his version of the show would feature a more diverse set of contributors than Stewart’s.
“Finding those voices is very difficult, but we’re lucky that I’ve worked with great people of every color and I’ve worked with fantastic female writers as well,” Noah said. “So we’re bringing that into the room.”
“He is a gift and a curse,” he said of the outspoken billionaire’s comedic potential. 
“To a certain extent, Donald Trump makes it almost too easy,” Noah said. “He’s giving you the joke and it’s nice to get the joke — but sometimes it’s nice to work for the joke. Maybe he was a farewell present to Jon Stewart.”