Jon Stewart has done it again: He's reached into the heart of America and found someone with beliefs so misguided that they could easily be construed as comedy. This time, Buncombe County Republican precinct chair Don Yelton entered into Stewart's cross-hairs and did not disappoint.
Yelton was shockingly honest about North Carolina's new voter ID law, saying its purpose was to "kick the Democrats in the butt." But it's hardly the first time a Republican has been forthcoming about their conspicuous tactics. What is truly troubling however are Yelton's racist remarks.
Yelton happily makes disturbing comments such as "If [the law] hurts the whites so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it", and "Matter of fact, one of my best friends is black."
It's hard to believe that people such as Yelton still hold on to opinions such as those. But, what I find worse is what Jon Stewart continues to do with guests such as Yelton. Stewart has turned Yelton into a humorous caricature to entertain his audience, allowing us to be dismissive of his ideology and bigotry. It reminds me of the "Hooch is crazy" scenes from Scrubs. While they are very funny, they don't change the fact that Hooch is actually crazy.
While Jon Stewart does an excellent job of finding citizens such as Yelton and exposing their intolerant views to a national audience, turning them into a five-minute joke belittles the seriousness and pervasiveness of such ideas that still persist in our country.