How screwed up is everything in Baltimore? As Jon Stewart pointed out on "The Daily Show" on Tuesday night, "You know your city's fucked up when its last, most successful employment program was casting extras for a show about how fucked-up your city was.”
He was referring to "The Wire," the TV show that used Baltimore as its location.
But the problems in the city aren't fictional, including persistent issues with police brutality, which are so pervasive that the city has had to pay out almost $6 million in court judgments and settlements to victims.
Stewart turned it into a mock lottery promo: "All you need is a broken taillight and a dream."
The problems aren't limited to Baltimore. Stewart pointed out that the scenes of recent unrest have been seen before in cities across the country periodically for decades.
"These cyclical eruptions appear like tragedy cicadas," he said. "Depressing in their similarity, predictability and intractability."
As Stewart noted, the media hasn't always helped -- especially when, like Wolf Blitzer on CNN, they appear surprised by these regular eruptions, to the point where it seems like there are only two levels of alert: "normal" and "on fire."
"It's not sustainable, Maybe a more nuanced alert system could allow for more productive intervention beyond, ‘You have 10 seconds to disperse,'" Stewart said. “Or, we could agree to keep ignoring the roots of how systemically, historically disenfranchised many African-American communities still are, only paying attention to them when we fear their periodic fiery ball of anger threatens to enter our airspace, like some kind of Alex Haley’s comet. And once again breathing a blissful sigh of forgetful relief when it’s another near-miss.”
See the full segment in the clip above.