The debate over Confederate monuments has hit a fever pitch over the past two months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police and protests throughout the nation calling for change on many levels. The latest round of “back and forth” has seen very little in the way of new arguments from either side. People sympathetic to the Confederacy still contend that the statues are “history” and “heritage” while those opposed to the statues remain steadfast that they represent slavery, hate, and are symbols of intimidation.
John Olver tackled this subject over two years ago. Interestingly enough, everything he said then is relative now. Nothing has changed in the debate, except that more people have come to realize that the statues are more symbols of hate and intimidation than anything that should be glorified.
Yet, there are still some that don’t yet realize the real history not only of the Civil War, but these controversial statues. Statues that weren’t built after the Civil War, but more likely in the 20th century during periods of racial strife and upheaval.
Oliver also shows how other countries have removed symbols of public glorification when the values of a society change or new things are learned about the person being glorified. He also shows how different American celebrities have responded when learning that their ancestors had associations with slavery. For example, when journalist Anderson Cooper is informed that a relative of his was beaten to death by a “rebellious slave” that they owned, Cooper responds to the “did they deserve it” question with a one-word answer — “yeah.”
Oliver goes through the real history of the statues and the Confederacy with some great snark and humor that make the 21-minute segment breeze by. If there is someone in anyone’s life that still clings to the “states rights” and “heritage” arguments that say the statues should stay, they should see this presentation of unvarnished facts, get set straight, and join the rest of us on the right side of history.
Check out the complete segment from John Oliver below:
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com