If you ask me, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is one of the best weekly shows on television right now. In just a little over a year, Oliver has made it a point to inform people of stories they normally might never have even heard about, delivered with the wit and humor necessary to keep things interesting.
Well, last night Oliver weighed in on the controversy surrounding South Carolina and the fact that the Confederate flag is still flown in front of the State House. Something that’s honestly difficult to comprehend considering it’s 2015 – not 1915.
Oliver expressed his frustration at how, in 2015, there’s still a state in this country flying a flag that represents racism and treason against the United States. Then again, this is South Carolina we’re talking about. It was the first state to secede from the United States and it was the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
Oliver didn’t call for an outright ban of the flag; to the contrary, he offered a fairly hilarious “use” for the Confederate flag.
“The Confederate flag is one of those symbols that should really only be seen on t-shirts, belt buckles and bumper stickers to help the rest of us identify the worst people in the world,” Oliver quipped.
He then went on to mock how many Republicans have gone to some rather interesting lengths to dance around the issue of whether or not the flag should be taken down.
Though he pointed out that removing the flag isn’t exactly something that can be done easily considering it takes two-thirds of each chamber of the state assembly to do anything to the Confederate flag flying in front of the State House. And I get the feeling that even after such an intense public backlash following one of the worst acts of racial violence in a very long time, this symbol of hate is still going to remain flying in South Carolina.
“They were originally going to make it three-fifths, but even they thought that might be a bit on the note,” Oliver said, alluding to the time in our history when African-Americans were only counted as three-fifths of a person.
Seeing this all play out, it’s easy to become disillusioned. I still can’t believe that we’re even having this debate. While its defenders might try to twist around history to claim that the Confederate flag doesn’t mean what every sane person in this country knows it does, the bottom-line is there’s nothing to be proud of as it relates to any flag that represented any part of a time period or movement in our history when this country was nearly ripped apart because some people wanted to continue owning other human beings as property.