As the debate over Confederate monuments rages on, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver took on the subject last night.
In his analysis of the calls for removal, Oliver pointed out that of the 1,503 Confederate memorials across the United States many were put up in the early 1900s as a means to assert white supremacy and later in the '50s and 60s to oppose the Civil Rights movement. "Those statues weren’t so much commemorating recently fallen dead as sending a pretty hostile message to African-Americans," Oliver said.
That's what local opponents of Confederate monuments and what they see as "pro-slavery" monuments have been arguing as well, most fervently in regards to slavery proponent and two-time Vice President John C. Calhoun (1782 –1850) whose statue stands in Marion Square.
But while the Charleston History Commission drafts a more honest plaque to be installed near the towering memorial, Oliver has another idea for a statue replacement:
“Why have a divisive Confederate statue when that pedestal can be filled by your favorite son, the Actual Stephen Colbert, who will stand there all day and tell you fun facts about your wonderful, town?” Oliver said unveiling the real life Stephen Colbert.
Testing his skills as a living monument Colbert said, "Charleston is the site of the first free public library in America."
“See, Charleston, you can have this 24-hours a day. Seven day a week!” Oliver replied.