In response to the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which an Australian man was responsible for 50 deaths and numerous injuries, comedian Jim Jefferies focused his Tuesday night show on the tragedy, looking particularly at the racism and intolerance that has been building in his homeland.
At the top of Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show, Jefferies noted that New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern did not speak about “thoughts and prayers” after the tragedy, as American lawmakers tend to do, but instead announced to the country that her government will work on gun reform. Jefferies went on to express that the most horrifying element of the attack was how it was seemingly “made for” an Internet audience, since the shooter live-streamed everything on Facebook and the video was reposted over a million times. The comedian recognized that a lot of right-wing content lives on YouTube and an inherent issue with the platform is the algorithm that recommends videos to users — some can enter the extreme, such as one titled “How Did White America Allow a Muslim Into Congress?” Jefferies weighed in on all this by stating, “It’s not a free speech issue, it’s a don’t be a fucking sociopath issue.”
Jefferies began the travel segment by expressing his shock that the shooter was a white supremacist who was “radicalized” in Australia. He then looked at the anti-immigration perspectives of some Australians and found a specific hatred of Muslims. In an attempt to understand the ideology, Jefferies interviewed a Jewish activist who wants to “cut” Islamic immigration as well as black South Africans. The comedian said in response, “[But] you can’t live in a society where we go, ‘this race can’t be in our country.'” The activist quickly said, “Absolutely we can.” He later added the view that “walls work” in reference to Trump’s insistence on building a border wall to tighten entries from foreign invaders.
The comedian concluded that many Australians are seemingly comfortable “saying this shit out loud,” similar to outspoken Americans. He moved on to investigate Queensland senator Fraser Manning, who attributed the Christchurch massacre to the result of an immigration program that allows “Muslim fanatics” to enter New Zealand. Jefferies likened Australia’s fear of immigrants to that of the Trump administration’s.
“Immigration is far more complicated than building a 5 billion dollar wall,” Jefferies said, adding that he learned that Australia is home to the largest migration fence in the world — he promptly went to investigate. “The fence is 500,000 kilometers long, that’s way longer than America’s Southern border,” Jefferies pointed out. He interviewed the man who maintains the fence, referred to simply as Carl. When asked what immigrants are being kept out from the existence of this fence, Carl replied, “None mate, just dingoes.” Dingo expert Emma Malik clarified that dingos chase sheep, and therefore the dingo barrier fence is needed.
“Once they get in, you can’t get rid of them,” Jefferies said, likening the dingo issue to that of immigration challenges. “Some refuse to assimilate, living by their own set of laws. Others get lazy, living off the fat of the land, and they take whatever they want.”
Again striking a serious note, Jefferies posed a question to the Jewish activist from earlier in the segment. “What gives anyone the right to tell anyone where they can and can’t live?” He replied, “When you import this culture, what do you think’s going to happen? Australia’s going to end up the same shithole that they were escaping, and you see that across Europe.”
Throughout the segment, news footage of “White Lives Matter” rallies were shown to demonstrate the hatred that can spread from groups whose message remains visible in the community.
Again referencing the New Zealand massacre, Jefferies said, “Fifty people were killed because a deranged asshole became convinced that Muslim lives are worth less.” He went on to say, “Words matter. So think about that instead of focusing on some pointless wall.”
New episodes of The Jim Jefferies Show air Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Watch the full segment below.