On last night's episode of The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah suggested black people should register as Republicans to stymie voter suppression efforts.
“Every black person in America needs to register as a Republican," he said.
“Just say you’re gonna vote red. You don’t have to do it, just say ‘I’m a Republican,'” Noah added. “When you come out and they ask you who you voted for you, just go, ‘Yo, snitches get stitches.’ That’s all you do.”
Noah made the joke while discussing the gubernatorial race in Georgia between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Kemp, who is currently Georgia's Secretary of State, has faced withering criticism over his refusal to step down (meaning he is effectively overseeing his own election) and his decision to place 53,000 voter registrations on hold. 70 percent of these registrations are for black voters who are expected to overwhelmingly vote for his opponent.
Noah continued, explaining his reasoning:
"Hear me out: Just say you’re going to vote red. You don’t have to do it, just be like, ‘I’m a Republican.’ When you come out and they ask you who you voted for, just be like, ‘Yo, snitches get stitches.’ I guarantee you, if the G.O.P. thinks that black people are voting for them, they will be making sure that your vote counts. They’re going to be waving Trayvons into the voting booth like a third-base coach.”
Noah also joked that the tactics which successfully suppress votes would never work with an organization like, say, the IRS:
“You’re telling me that some people won’t get to vote just because their voter name doesn’t match the name on file? It’s funny how this happens with voting, but it never stops the I.R.S. The I.R.S. is never like, ‘Oh, we had Trevok Noah, I guess you don’t have to pay taxes this year!’ No, they would be, like, ‘Trevor, hey, you misspelled your name, dumbass. And you owe us 20 grand!’”
If Republicans believed black voters would turn out the vote for them, Noah proposed, then they'd do everything in their power to help them along.
“If you don’t believe me, just look at Kanye West. Before him, they were like, ‘Just shut up and dribble!'” Noah said. “But all he had to do was put on a MAGA hat, and they let him into the White House to yell at the president about time travel.”
Noah referred to a rambling, off-the-cuff meeting musician West had with President Donald Trump last week during which he explained that he supports the president because Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign did not resonate with him as a man and “there was something” about donning a “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, hat “that made me feel like Superman.”
And, addressing the racial component to voter suppression efforts, Noah said, "You don't have to say who you're targeting to target someone, you just have to know which rules are likely to hit them the most."
Another late-night host expressed similar sentiments. On Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the host included a segment on voter suppression in Georgia's election and declared: “Republicans are getting more creative and more shameless about their attempts to block the vote because they know they’re not popular enough to win without cheating. They truly are the Blake Shelton of political parties.”
"Voting shouldn’t be a privilege but as long as it is, if you can, you better fucking use it and help other less privileged people do it too,” Bee concluded.
Both segments came on the heels of reports which spotlighted a video released by Brian Kemp's office two years ago which features children showing how to vote early and what documents are required. In the video, which was later removed from the Georgia Secretary of State's website, shows a white boy showing up at his polling location, presenting his identification, and successfully voting. A black girl who shows up to vote does not have the proper form of ID and is turned away.
The video has only amplified Abrams's claims that Kemp is actively working to suppress the minority vote. Her campaign has called for Kemp to resign, if not recuse himself from his duties as Secretary of State, to end the conflict of interest of overseeing his own election.