Heather McGhee - “The Sum of Us” & The True Cost of Racism | The Daily Social Distancing Show

Birt 18 feb 2021
Heather McGhee talks about examining the economic impact of racism in America in her new book “The Sum of Us,” and underlines the importance of having honest conversations about past and present racism at a community level. #DailyShow #TrevorNoah #HeatherMcGhee
Subscribe to The Daily Show:
Follow The Daily Show:
Twitter: TheDailyShow
Facebook: thedailyshow
Instagram: thedailyshow
Watch full episodes of The Daily Show for free: www.cc.com/shows/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah/full-episodes
Follow Comedy Central:
Twitter: ComedyCentral
Facebook: ComedyCentral
Instagram: comedycentral
About The Daily Show:
Trevor Noah and The Daily Show correspondents tackle the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah airs weeknights at 11/10c on Comedy Central.


  • Please bring pt back

  • Get Thomas Sowell on to debate her

  • The youthful stitch approximately preserve because freckle morally shelter around a glib peripheral. actually, elated hexagon

  • Like you Trevor, many of us have been thinking and talking about this kind of analysis for a very long time. All systems of oppression hurt everyone that is part of them - the dominant group as well as the targeted group, albeit in different ways. Also check out “Dying of Whiteness” by Jonathan Metzl. Very much looking forward to reading Heather McGee’s book. Thank you.

  • Sickoning

  • There you go

  • Trevor Noah has such a cute laugh 😊🥰😇

  • As Long As We Are Divided....We are conquered........SOOOOOOO TRUE.....As is seen in Many pOLITICIANS IN THIS COUNTRY

  • I just ordered her book. I'm thinking it should be required American reading.

  • I listened to her on NPR. Her book explains a lot, like why people in power are happy to destroy all of society. She does answer the question, why can't we have nice things?

  • I kept thinking, I know her from something. Her Ted Talk- she told the pool story in it also. Still recommend checking it out.

  • Im reading his book 4 a school assignment

  • Everything is racecraft to racists; these people are stupid.

  • She is fascinating.

  • Heather McGhee is amazing! So glad Noah had her on!

  • Dear Trevor, we are blessed to have you and your show. You communicate to an all color audience the richness, diversity, intellectuality and culture of the people of color. You are truly contributing to making this country better. God bless you.

  • Strange that Noah thinks he is funny. He is just a goof.

    • Thank you! Someone normal in these comments for once...

  • This is excellent! Can't wait to read it and hopefully see community read events. We rise or fall together. Asante sana for this insightful interview.

  • Racism has huge costs To EVERYONE

  • Wow this show sucks now. Come on. I know it’s covid but come on plz try like u actually care about your viewers

  • I want laundry that does itself too please 🙂 thankyou

  • Ha, just like Trevor I went, yeah, someone calculated this!! I wrote about it too, but very very shortly. "Why fair societies are richer." medium.com/the-gentle-revolution/why-fair-societies-are-richer-59056eb6e140

  • 'l am because We are..' Common sense in many communities. But hey, common sense is not so common, is it?? 🤔

  • Best conversation I’ve seen in years. Kudos

  • Just added this book to my Amazon basket. Was hanging on every word this lady spoke...

  • If you are in the comments and do not support reparations for Americans who descend from chattel slavery, just know, you are the problem too. Black people in American are still suffering under the weight of systemic institutional and structural racism. Save your heartfelt comments and get to work for justice. Go to www.ados101.com to learn more.

  • As a white girl, I have never thought of life as a zero sum game. I've always believed that when we lift each other, we get lifted. I know it, I see it.

  • The Metropolitan Planning Council, together with Urban Institute and a team of policy advisors, lead a groundbreaking, two-year research and policy initiative that revealed segregation costs the Chicago region billions in lost income, lost lives and lost potential each year. In other words, *if metro Chicago were less segregated, it could see $4.4 billion in additional income each year, a 30 percent lower homicide rate and 83,000 more bachelor’s degrees.*

  • Ummm.... I could Have saved her 20years and told her.... duhhhhh. America is the most racist place on earth. And that hatred for “other” will always keep everybody down

  • Whites will cut off their nose to spite their face.

  • It's like white people have been cutting off their noses, to spite their faces.

  • Heather, lady, I never heard about you till this very night. And now I need to read that book. You see, I live in a South American country that was fantastic in 1970 and is a ruin now. Here the problem is not racism of the kind you have there. But the blind, stupid belief in that 0 sum game IS our worst problem, or at least one of the worst ones. I never looked at it that way, but I think I could name half a dozen differenrt versions of it, about gender, about migrants, about poor people, about provintces against the capital city... So, I'm very grateful for this interview and having the chance of hearing it. Trevor, darling, I love your show.

  • Facebook banned you from my Facebook in Oz. Please make your daily show vids available to us in Oz. Cheers Mr.

  • Reminder: you base your reality and world view on the opinions of a comedian who is a South African citizen but South Africa was not good enough for him so he abandoned his country and moved to USA but also hates USA lol. What an inspiring story of opportunism and lack of loyalty.

  • Reminder: Trevor Noah is not a US Citizen. He is a foreign agent meddling in US elections.

  • That is insane that we white people would rather fight against things that would make our lives better just because it would also help poc. Total freaking bullshit. Stop being racist.

  • The public pools where I learned to swim have been destroyed.

  • I can't wait to read this! Just placed myself in line at the public library, 21st in line and estimated 9 week wait

  • Becouse i am black and i live in switzerland, over here its just sooo much (deferent). The hole gouvermental system is so much (deferent). But you got to keepon fight and pray for a better Future.

  • I dident knew that this situation is so twisted and so wrong in america. That the opression has a hold on every thing was has something to do with the black Comunity. Its realy exhusting, sad, misrable and fustrating that this is still going on in a (dewelluped) country.

  • Wow, Heather, you sound SO much like Gina Torres! I had to move away from the video as I was watching, and the timbre of your voice struck me as very familiar (I'm a huge Firefly fan). I grew up in a small/medium sized city in the Pacific Northwest. We only had a a couple of kids in my area that weren't white. I cannot remember a single incident where their color was even brought up. It just never occurred to anyone in my circle that skin color was any kind of differentiator. While this represents a significant naivete on our part, it also highlights the stupidity of racism. I'm about 99.99% certain it existed around me in some form growing up. I simply never saw it. The bottom line, though, is I just don't get it. Why humans feel the need to put groups of people in certain boxes is just something I've never been able to comprehend. An individual, ANY individual, should be judged on the merits of their character. What does the color of their skin have to do with anything? (The obvious answer? It doesn't.)

  • I’m with Trevor. I didn’t know it for a fact, I just knew it. Racism costs us all tremendously. Great work, Heather McGhee! And yes, the economy is NOT a pie. Sharing the economy will NOT take money from my pockets.

  • Can you guess where this statement from a public document comes from? Guess before looking at the answer below. "We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land."... "We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs-expansion of social security-broadened coverage in unemployment insurance -improved housing-and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people." www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/republican-party-platform-1956

  • That Montgomery park and pool story is insane. Damn.

  • Ordering this book today!

  • Perpetuating a big lie absorbs a great deal of energy and resources. It also stunts growth and leads to ignorance.

  • Love this interview. Thanks for bringing Heather McGhee's book to my attention. It's now on my list. I just also found her TED Talk from 2020 about the same topic. I'd also recommend a similar book called "Dying of Whiteness" by Dr. Jonathan Metzl that looks at education, healthcare, and gun ownership and how white people are a detriment to themselves because of racism.

  • The USA is a sad place .

    • Oh you think America is a sad place? Let me take you to a place called “Africa”

  • rejecting unions?! you can be racist and stupid

  • Adding this book to my list. Thank’s Trevor for continuing to bring authors on your show.

  • i can wait all day for that smile!!!

  • The Montgomery story is absurd....talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Racism makes people too crazy to see their own interest. Just ordered he book.

  • Cut the check and give up Reparations. We can deal with that Truth and reconciliation later.

  • at 1:20 she describes Canada. Proudly canadian. I love paying taxes if it means social justice.

  • Black people have known this for centuries - Ms. McGhee is finally writing about it.

  • Maybe everyone should register to vote as independents and focus on issues and forget parties and politics and personalities.

  • Sadly, there are many in power who continue to think that the only way to grow their wealth and control the rest of us is divide and conquer and they will use anything from race, religion or immigration, etc. to do that.

  • The 10 best countries to live in are all predominately European white countries, like Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Why is that? Because few black live there?

    • Just because some of the “best places to live” (I have no idea where you got this information from about these countries being the best to live in, in comes down to opinion not fact) are predominantly European white countries doesn’t make it racist, they may be better to live their because lower crime rates, better health care (maybe even free healthcare), nicer places to live and so on. It seems arrogant to pin this as racist.

  • Thank you for doing the WORK 🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾🙌🏾

  • The pool example hit home for me!

  • Pandemics, market crashes, etc show us just how stupid capitalism (with all of the inequalities it empowers) really is. This crisis and others would be much, much easier if we all had universal healthcare, tuition free education, internet for all and a UBI. It would be easier still if we all had home, business and covered parking rooftop solar arrays, electric vehicles, indoor, outdoor and vertical food gardens in every home, business, school, grocery store, restaurant, public park and land, etc and if more of us studied and worked remotely from home. Let’s STOP TRYING TO SAVE CORPORATIONS AND SMALL BUSINESSES with selective bailouts and instead simply put capitalism on hold (mortgages and loans, rent, interest, dividends, late fees, utilities, etc) and launch universal healthcare, a UBI, universal education and internet for all! #NoCorporateBailoutsRequired #TooFarLeft #StillSandersPlatform #DEMEXIT Education is a good investment from an individual, family, community or national perspective and tuition free education will reduce the burden from the root on our medical expenses too for example. Healthcare for all is actually CHEAPER with the insurance industry off of the table along with most of the time lost due to billing among many other reasons. A universal basic income (UBI) is CHEAPER than all of the thousands of individual federal, state and local social safety net programs including things like Social Security and unemployment insurance, etc with all of their budgets, overhead expenses and inefficiencies eliminating the humiliating need for people to lose time to prove their poverty to qualify for aid. Internet for all is a great and necessary investment to give everyone the opportunity to study, search for work, work remotely, etc online. Solar power is CHEAPER and electric vehicles are soon to be CHEAPER to make and already are considerably CHEAPER to maintain and operate, especially if charged from your own solar power. What do you think will happen to crime rates, peace and equality in general after we launch universal healthcare, a universal basic income, universal education and internet for all, raising the starting point of capitalism from zero, we’ll let you die with no money, to a level of life with dignity, reducing societal daily fears on a massive scale and freeing us to welcome the automation revolution with open arms rather than with fear and great harm? 😃 #EqualityMovement #BLM Call me overly positive, but I think we’re leaving the era of ‘greed is good’ and celebrating wealth and entering an #EraOfAltruism and equality. Let’s #AutomateEverything and #SkipToAbundance.

  • Lovely smile! :D

  • What an enlightening story. Bravo.

  • Fantastic interview on both sides. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  • I can't help but think that the real first racist crime is actually the violence that men play out on women (if it can be perceived as such) and whatever it is about this patriarchal society that is based on men (first and foremost) always trying to beat down other men and subsequently beating the holy sh*t out of women, that making love should be the most beautiful act between a man and a woman and reduced or translated to the most horrific through rape and subjugation.

  • "Solidarity dividend"-- love this concept

  • Racism is at the core yes, but even more so the belief and ideology of white supremacy is the true culprit.

  • Wow! A basic theme of life, Helping others equals helping yourself, I teach it to my sons and students. It is the basis of my business. Appreciating the differences of others, welcoming the new culture can only make you more powerful and compassionate and you have a fulfilling life. Thank you TDSDS and Miss McGhee...just beautiful.

  • CAIN n ABLE 😆

  • If more American-black women sounded like Heather McGee, anti-black racism would be far less. The vast majority of American-black people do NOT sound or even *think* like this. That's the main problem, IMHO

    • ​@Maria G. Well, anyone can label comments whatever they want. One person's "racist" is another person's "uncomfortable truth". I *have* actually gotten around the shadow-deletion before, but it took almost 30 minutes of trial-and-error to pick the right words, clever word-alterations, euphemisms, etc. Eventually my comment was accepted, but it was very *watered-down* . Not worth the effort, IMHO. In any case, that's not the point. The point is, we (adults) cannot have *real discourse* if we're being intellectually dishonest. You and I both know that the majority of... "that demographic" (I'm trying to avoid the ISmem shadow-delete)... constantly makes bad choices that have NOTHING to do with... _(the color you get when you mix all light colors together)_ Supremacy. Ugh, ISmem shadow-delete system sometimes makes engaging really difficult...

    • @Chinedu Opara maybe ask yourself why your comments are unacceptable. People are telling you your understanding of racism is wrong and in fact racist. I’d guess your deleted comments were so explicitly racist that even ISmem couldn’t accept them. It’s ok to have racist ideas as long as you’re willing to learn they’re racist and do better. It’s work we all have to do

    • @Sarah Francis I had a longer response but ISmem shadow-deleted it as usual. So if you want a real discussion, feel free to message me directly. Else, I dunno what to tell you except Have a Nice Day.

    • @quinacridone duck I offered some clarity, but as usual ISmem shadow-deleted my previous comment. Dunno what to tell you other than, I get your point, and I *partially* agree 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • @Chinedu Opara That is exactly what victim blaming is. Telling someone it's of course really bad what happened to them, but telling them they should have done X or not done Y and it wouldn't have happened or wouldn't be so bad. People don't have to sound white to be treated like people.


  • On Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully landed at the Jezero Crater on Mars at 20:55 GMT, after 7 minutes of terror.

  • he seemed really excited to do this interview (^ ^ ;) this 'idea' they have about racism is something that should be applied to every inequality that exists. And it's not something profound: just stop being a dick.

  • Take action but it also starts with telling the truth.

  • The Human Race is so dissapointing! We have everything we need, just have no idea how to use it!!

    • How is the human race disappointing? We are the most intelligent organisms on this planet, coming from being cavemen to extremely intelligent beings which have invented tech, houses, spaceships and etc. The list goes on.

  • Can we please financially ruin those who believe in Reaganomics? I really don't want to give any business to people who endorse that lie. Picture an app that advices you to buy or not buy a given product, and all you have to do is enter the bar code.

  • I do believe in the concept. But what upsets me is that Trevor says white people. Meaning that every white person is prejudiced. It is simply untrue. also the example that they're using about the pool have been decades ago. The problem is the greed in corporate America. And the other problem is our lower wage workers do not take pride in their work. Yes they should be paid a good wage. But most of them are not worth it. My first job working in a grocery store I started at $2.45 an hour. And if I wanted more than 20 hours a week I had to work hard with sweat coming off my brow to earn those 20-plus hours a week. I also learned the job so when I punched in I started to work right away and getting the job done without my supervisor telling me what to do. Our workforce has had an attitude you want me to work well pay me and then I'll work. And these people when they're on the clock spend more time figuring out how not to work than doing their jobs. And they expect to be rewarded for that. And let me be clear I am not talking about one race of people. I am talking about everybody. I am so sick of Trevor keep on saying that all white people are racist. His comments of this nature is helping us stay divided. But that's okay the more controversy he helps create puts a lot more money in his pocket.

    • @Maria G. knowing and Acknowledging racism that is around us doesn't make anybody a racist. even in an argument when we say the most hurtful thing just to hurt the other person doesn't make us a racist. we all say thing we don't mean when emotions are high. its when you act upon it and truly believe someone is beneath you out of pure hate for your fellow man. i don't believe its a choice either. true compassion is the answer.

    • As a white person I know I’m racist because racism is built into everything around me. Acknowledging that I’m going to have racist ideas and commit racist acts leaves me free to learn about societal racism, personal racism and my racism. That leaves me free to choose to be anti-racist. The truth will set you free!

  • The whole show should be called “if you don’t know, now you know“ like his segment… He’s a genius, his guests are brilliant and the quality of his interviews is simply next level... Thank you Ms McGhee for this book, I cannot wait to read and recommend it! 🙏

    • I love your comment, but puzzled how someone is cautioning you to be careful of the 'media"? WOW, it's scary how some people out there think TDS is news.

  • Please everyone share this it’s the least anyone can do please racism is ridiculous

  • God Bless you it’s amazing when I see anyone that can explain how ignorant is a part of something that I can’t ever explain to anyone besides everyone is a human being it’s ridiculous so thank you

  • I definitely need to find this book. It sounds fascinating and I hope the research she did can be used to refute some who may dismiss it as "anecdotes" (though some will still do this).

  • It is unfortunate that racism continues in this country but the only way it propagates through time in our society is because it is taught to children from parents and communities. Therefore since racism is detrimental to society as a whole shouldn't people who are racist be denied the ability to raise children. Since we do this to drug addict parents so they would not harm the children and expose them to a life of drugs. Or if someone was labeled or convicted of child abuse would we not remove the child's from the household because of the influence and in danger to that child. It is time for America to realize that racism is taught and exposed to through the parents therefore parents who are part of the kkk or all right groups or Nazi groups should have their children removed so that we can end the cycle of racism.

  • Over here in Jamaica we had a similar talk some time ago. It was about how the British government who we have a Governor General does owe us reparations. I remember one of their higher ups I believe he was called David Cameron came up and it seems there was a discussion about it and he seems to have refused even the thought of reparations so I was like "Either he's racist or he's doing the thing where they say 'but we personally aren't responsible for what our ancestors did! It's not our fault'" so I was hearing something like a truth and reconciliation idea going around like talking about the truth behind slavery and how they treated our people and how best to make up for it. I don't know white people just don't seem like they wanna take any responsibility even if it's not their fault. It's like if you're mom pushed your friend down some stairs and she then passed away and your friend says "well someone has to pay for my hospital bills" and demands you do it because your mom pushed him. And they're all like excuses excuses excuses just cuz they didn't personally do anything. 💆💆💆 I'm sorry it just baffles the mind is all

    • @Katmeow Garcia Yeah I was just drawing an analogy for like not taking responsibility for something especially if it affects a wealth of people but what I mean is they tryna brush it off instead of dealing with the problem at hand. Hence the analogy

    • If your mom pushing your friend down some stairs effected every institution your friend interacted with negatively such as schooling, property ownership, loans and mortgages and access to healthcare and food for 400 years then maybe it would make sense to look at it that way.

  • The other side to this discussion, of course, is the elite class who want to maintain the status quo at all costs. There are enormous financial forces resisting the will of change.

    • "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." Lindon B. Johnson

    • @ksquish16 Then man am I with you 100%! I get that they are voting for their pocketbooks, and that makes economic sense. But to my mind, turning a blind eye to the suffering the party is causing doesn't stop you from being complicit, or racist.

    • Right, right. #notallrichpeople I'm talking about those richest that stay out of the spotlight. The ones that hide away on their islands, stashing their gains in offshore accounts and tax havens. These people can use their vast riches to lobby governments, bribe politicians, and delay laws they don't want passed.

    • That depends on how you define "elite." There are plenty of upper-class liberals who don't want the status quo, and actively fight for change, even if it doesn't benefit them financially.

  • Hi Heather! Love from Iowa

  • I feel so blessed that I was taught to love 💘 thank you to my elders! How can we fix this?!? 🤷‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️ No one should feel better or worse than another. We need to lift up not put down!

  • I feel like the world wants us to be divided. Puts us against eachother! We cannot listen to others negativity. Act the way you would want to be treated, your children, your elders! We would be so much better! I dont care what nationality you are. I care how your heart is. Sending love to all! Chin up hoomans! Let's work together!! 🥰🥰🥰

  • Two members of the forever victim club

    • @Fatima M Notice he didn't say it was untrue...

    • Then why did you come to entertain yourself in their “victim hood”. Just looking for a spot where you can reject the fact that racism has had adverse effects on white people as well? Trolls will be trolls and so often are looking for the door to the bigotry room.

    • Lying and retelling history may help you sleep soundly at night. Say your criticism. You have none? Oh ok, now the name-calling makes sense. Got it 👍

  • Thank you the #DailyShow . I just bought the book! I can’t wait to read it and see what part I can contribute to heal our nation

  • Draining pools....wow...America is crazy racist,not coming over there till you fix that

  • 🎷😎🎸ismem.info/for/v-deo/tp-QjaSsmZbfioo.html

  • Act better, be better, dont do crime, earn your reputation, get treated better. Simple as that.

    • Please continue to listen and to read - thanks for opening your mind to watch this...keep on going! (And trust me - the treatment black people receive isn’t because they don’t act right - it’s because they’re black in a society set up for white people like me.) I WISH that weren’t true but it really is the case. But keep on listening like you are - and ask some friends to listen and read and discuss along with you.

    • I can tell you did not really think this through because rarely is anything "Simple" when it comes to societal problems. If your theory was correct then people with ancestors who were colonizers would have nothing and be treated terribly since the colonizers were literally criminals, stealing land, hurting women and animals, stealing resources, damaging and disrespecting the environment, and doing horrific things to brown and black people. The government was set up by colonists to uplift colonists (handing our land for free to white men only)! It would also mean that all those hard working people in the US with multiple jobs struggling to get by should eventually succeed. However most never make it out of poverty, very few poor people in The United States America ever make it out of poverty no matter how they act. Poverty also makes mental health issues skyrocket keeping people in a state of survival making more difficult to "act better" or "do better". Also poverty is criminalized. Look up moms who get arrested for working to feed their kids, or how living in poverty increases your risk of being arrested for crimes rich people get away with on a regular basis. This Pay for Play system and the capitol for "playing" was stolen to begin with and is now being hoarded.

  • She really opened my eyes.

  • Yes, class consciousness!!

  • Lupe Fuentes

  • I ordered my book this morning online from my local Black Woman owned bookstore in Minneapolis!

  • Nice to see some people with some damn sense. The thought that people would screw themselves over just because it would benefit black people... is it weird to say "F**king white people" despite bring white myself?

  • It's not about race, it's about gender

  • She Has a Beautiful Smile!

  • But think about all we're getting for that $16 trillion