While I’ll admit that the media has spent an inordinate amount of time discussing the Confederate flag this past week, I’ve found most of the debate on this issue rather fascinating. Especially considering how quickly the demise of the Confederate flag seems to be happening.
To be honest, I really didn’t see a lot of this coming. I thought that maybe after a few weeks of bad press, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley might say she wanted the flag taken down but ultimately nothing would ever happen. But I was wrong. She called for the flag to be removed rather quickly, and while it still flies at the state capitol, it now seems to be a matter of when not if this flag will be forever removed from a place it should have never been in the first place. Not to mention all of this discussion has already brought about movement and positive action in other states besides South Carolina.
Though as I said on Twitter a few days ago, it’s still embarrassing that it took the racist slaughter of nine African-Americans for many Republicans to finally admit that this flag represents hate and doesn’t deserve to be flying outside of government buildings.
Well, on Wednesday night Jon Stewart had some rather choice words for those who continue to defend the Confederate flag, essentially accusing them of trying to downplay racism. Stewart pointed out that many of its defenders claim the Civil War was about states’ rights, not slavery. He also went after those who claim it’s about “Southern pride” and “heritage,” saying that their ancestors might have had other redeeming qualities, but that doesn’t negate the primary reason why the Civil War happened – slavery.
“It’d be like saying you support flying the Nazi flag because you’re proud of their robust anti-smoking agenda,” Stewart said, showing a piece of Nazi-era anti-smoking propaganda. “But that wasn’t really their thing.”
Though The Daily Show host did point out that it’s becoming more difficult to find anyone in the “mainstream” who’ll defend the Confederate flag, using a clip of a representative from the Sons of Confederate Veterans discussing how he feels taking down the flag is a “slippery slope” to removing monuments and changing street names that honor members of the Confederacy.
“Let me explain to you how the ‘slippery slope’ argument usually works: usually when you do the ‘slippery slope’ argument, you like to end it in something bad,” Stewart quipped. “You don’t go like, ‘The next thing, black children don’t have to go to schools named after men who wouldn’t have allowed them to learn how to read.’”
He also went on to mock Fox News contributor Todd Starnes for suggesting that the next flag that will be targeted will be the U.S. flag.
It’s rather hard for me to “celebrate” that we seem to finally be heading toward a time in this country where the Confederacy is no longer honored, considering that it’s taken 150 years to get to this point – and even still it really took one of the worst racially-motivated terrorist attacks this country has seen in a very long time to finally ignite a movement that’s been long overdue.
Watch the segment below via Comedy Central: