John Oliver Talks about South Carolina and the Confederate Flag on “Last Week Tonight”

Posted by Elaine Magliaro

On Sunday night, John Oliver took on the subject of the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of South Carolina’s statehouse.

This entry was posted in American History, Civil War, Conservatives, Political Science, Politics, Short Video, South Carolina, States, Television, United States and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to John Oliver Talks about South Carolina and the Confederate Flag on “Last Week Tonight”

  1. blouise says:

    But, golly gosh gee whiz … flags don’t kill people ….

  2. Elaine M. says:


    No, flags don’t kill people–but people with “flags” can kill people.

  3. blouise17 says:

    But to do so in mass numbers, a person should have a gun. A nice, shiny gun that one can clean and polish and fondle. I think they should leave the flag up and confiscate all the guns. But then, who would shoot the wild turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner? It’s a conundrum.

  4. Elaine M. says:


    Right, what would we do without all our gun totin’ manly men?

    BTW, I bet Sarah Palin could tell you where you can get a nice fresh turkey.

  5. I wish the Confederate flag would be “Gone With The Wind.” Flags represent ideas: some are good and others are evil. After the split of the Democratic-Republican Party into the Democratic and Whig Parties, many of my forebearers were Unionist Whigs. That was also the original party of the great Abraham Lincoln. My family served in the North Carolina House of Commons that is now known as the State House of Representatives. This includes Robert H. Cowan. Let’s put the Confederate Battle Flag and the stars and bars in a museum. Old Glory is my flag and I am proud of it. Democrat Charles Miller of Virginia.

  6. Elaine M. says:


    Remember when?

  7. blouise17 says:


    That is my all time favorite clip of Palin. I kept asking myself, “Did McCain pay for that scarf?”

  8. Aridog says:

    Given from what I’ve learned about the “stars & bars” flag, that is apparently wasn’t a big deal until 100 years after the war when some SCOTUS finding upset the locals, and up it went in several government locales. I’d say it is a meaningless banner and should be removed. The original confederate flag had 7 stars and red and white stripes….later to be replaced by the conventional “battle flag” of the effort to salvage slavery economically and socially/politically. It serves no legitimate purpose, at lest not a defensible purpose, so be gone with it. The lately purpose misappropriated “Gadsden Flag” of a snake should also be relegated to a museum. When I wore the uniform of the US, only one flag meant a dang thing…the conventional stars and bars covering all all states…and when we saw it on approach we knew we were safe. Usually.

  9. blouise17 says:


    Watching that clip almost creates the need for a barf bag. But she was certainly a patriot.

  10. Elaine M. says:


    Sarah is one of the “real Americans.” I’m not ’cause I’m an elite librul from the Northeast.

  11. blouise17 says:


    Poor baby. Hopefully you’ll be saved in the nick of time.

  12. Elaine M. says:


    I fear it may be too late for me. Maybe I should start watching Fox News every day. That would warp anybody’s brain and thinking processes…but it might help make me into a “real American.”

  13. blouise17 says:

    Every time I enter an establishment that’s playing FOXNEWS, I asked to have the channel changed and when they ask me to which channel, I say, Shopping. (I can’t stand CNN either)

    You’d be amazed at the number of places that meet my request.

  14. An avalanche can start with a single pebble.

    Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn (R-Clinton) says the Confederate battle flag emblem on the state flag must go. A referendum was held in 2001, but was defeated. Phil Gunn is being joined by a true bipartisan group of Mississippi legislators, and when the Legislature meets again in January, it is certain to be on the agenda. I used to live in Clinton, and Phil did not live very far from my home. He is an attorney with a reputation for being a good negotiator.

    NASCAR has announced the organization supports removal of the flag from the SC capitol grounds. They won’t (probably can’t) prevent fans from displaying the flag, but it won’t appear on the track or any NASCAR merchandise.

    Walmart is pulling all Confederate themed merchandise from its shelves. So is Sears.

    Amazon is in the process of eliminating sales of the flags. Reviews of some of the flags still up on the site are beyond scathing.

    Etsy has told vendors they will not allow sales of Confederate flag merchandise.

    Both of Tennessee’s U.S. senators, Republicans Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, made statements Monday calling for the flag to come down in South Carolina.

    Here in our local area, Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesperson Alan Howell said, “I think in South Carolina, they should take that down.” He talked about how it had been stolen from him when racists took it for a symbol of racism rather than an historical artifact.

    The news is coming in so fast I can’t keep track of it. Some Confederate statues on college campuses have been defaced. There is no way I can support defacing any statue or emblem on either public or private property. I recall the Taliban blowing up Buddhist statues. Unacceptable.

  15. blouise17 says:



  16. Just learned that EBay is banning the sale of Confederate flags and similarly themed merchandise. As in the case of Amazon, there is a lot of stuff for their administrators to wade through, but stuff is disappearing from the site, according to what I read.

    I am not going to waste time looking to see what is up and what is not. I have an idea they may leave true antiques for sale, but not replicas.

  17. Elaine M. says:

    CNN Guest Defends Confederate Flag: Efforts to Remove Are ‘Cultural Genocide’

    South Carolina’s top politicians favor removing the Confederate flag from state house grounds, but there are some people still defending the flag as a symbol of Southern heritage. Pat Hines, the chairman of the South Carolina League of the South, attempted such a defense on CNN tonight.

    He told Don Lemon it’s a “memorial to our ancestors,” to the skepticism of South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson and CNN’s Sunny Hostin. They and Lemon were baffled at Hines questioning the presence of the American flag at the capitol.

    Kimpson said it’s good that people are finally tackling this “divisive symbol,” but Hines shot back by saying people like him are “moving to do cultural genocide on the Southern men and women.”

  18. blouise17 says:

    Cultural genocide? Wow. I didn’t know that southerners considered themselves to be an Indigenous People. Aren’t the majority of them descended from immigrants?

    • French, Acadians, Irish, Scots, Germans, some English, a smattering of other Europeans. More Spanish of course the further west you get. Africans. Whatever Native Americans that survived the plagues and purges mostly ended up on reservations.

  19. blouise17 says:

    Okay. If they want to be an Indigenous People, we can oblige by moving them to a reservation. Then, when we take their flag they can cry, “Cultural Genocide!”

  20. swarthmoremom says:

    Most of the Germans went north. I think Scotch Irish and English immigrants are the majority in the South except for Southern Louisiana.

  21. blouise17 says:

    Then they can build a casino and get rich and move to Chicago and become Democrats.

  22. swarthmoremom says:

    . Gene There is a pocket in Texas in the hill country but nothing compared to Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

  23. swarthmoremom says:

    I have distant relatives that left Virginia and settled in the south. My branch went north and fought in the Union army.

  24. Aridog says:

    Elaine M. says:

    I fear it may be too late for me. Maybe I should start watching Fox News every day.

    Might I suggest you also watch Aljeezera-America as a cable news source. You’d be surprised at the wide range of world news they cover that is unnoticed by the MSM. It’s my main go to news station. I know, I know…I am a traitor to my conservatism. Tough.

  25. Aridog says:

    I need to say that I resent, strongly, the inference that by the coincidence to my birth (as an Irish descended American) that I am likely a bigot and don’t recognize white privileged for what it is. Anyone who calls me a racist is a damn blind fool who doesn’t know me, or my friends, and very likely has not lived a life like mine. I am grateful for the diversity of that life, both here and half a world away. Those who presume I must be something because of my white skin can go kiss my shinny backside. Those who do have been no where and done nothing.

  26. pete says:

    Al Jazeera is the best for international news. Sad, ain’t it. Sometimes I wonder if nsa has time/warner tracking who watches it though. Just for the meta-data.

  27. Aridog says:

    Pete … good evaluation of Aljeezra America. Sure beats the old trope of the channel under Al Gore. I watch it regularly in the time I allot for cable and broad cast “news” because it does cover the whole world, and usually(seldom actually) without an Islamic bent. In short, no boogie men there regularly. I began due to my neighbors, nearly all Muslims, who suggested that I’d find its content broader than I was used to with the scandal or other local dust up of the day. They were right. I realize that some of my conservative brethren might think me odds, but that’s okay…I will listen to anyone who can present cogent views without snark or hostility. I didn’t mention AJAM here, and elsewhere, because I thought it wasn’t worthwhile, regardless of its ownership source. In that sense, I own my recommendation on the subject.

    And, yes, it is sad our regular news providers can cover more of everything and not just the muck raking of the day. Those who think I am wrong, please say so cogently and I will listen.

  28. Aridog says:

    Dang: “can cover” = “can’t cover” I promise to be less of a proof reading putz soon…just don’t hold your breath. 😦

  29. Elaine M. says:

    The Historical Roots of Dylann Roof’s Racism
    South Carolina’s warped public display of its white-supremacist history confronts South Carolinians, white and black, with a stark message about who rules the state.
    Eric Foner
    June 25, 2015

    Dylann Roof, the accused murderer of nine men and women in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, is clearly a disturbed individual. Yet the language he drew on to justify his crime demonstrates the enduring power of historical myths and memories. Before opening fire on his victims, Roof reportedly explained his actions by saying, “You are raping our women and taking over the country.” This supposed need to save white women from black rapists has deep historical roots. It was invoked to legitimate the violent overthrow of Reconstruction, the nation’s first experiment in interracial democracy. Black victims of lynching in South Carolina and elsewhere were often described as rapists, even though, as the anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells pointed out, in nearly every case the accusation was a “bare lie.” A black rapist was a pivotal figure in The Birth of a Nation, the 1915 film that glorified the Ku Klux Klan. Claude Bowers’s influential 1929 history of the post–Civil War years, The Tragic Era, described rape in the South as the product of the political rights blacks achieved during Reconstruction—a ludicrous statement in view of the countless black women who suffered sexual assault under slavery. Roof’s complaint that blacks were “taking over” the state echoes justifications for racist violence during and after Reconstruction and the disfranchisement of black voters in the 1890s.

    Roof has a sense of history, warped though it may be. He claims to have read “hundreds” of slave narratives, all demonstrating, to his satisfaction, how benevolently slaves were treated—an idea long discredited by historians, but still encountered on white-supremacist websites and conservative talk-radio shows. He had himself photographed not only with the flags of the Confederacy, apartheid South Africa, and Rhodesia, during its short-lived period of independence under white domination, but at a slave plantation. He knows enough to have chosen the Emanuel Church, long a vital center of black life and politics, to strike his blow against the black community.

  30. blouise17 says:

    “You are raping our women and taking over the country.”

    Why in the world would an 87 year old black woman want to rape a white woman or take over a country?

    These white supremacists are freakin’ nuts.

  31. Aridog says:

    blouise17 … nuts is too nice. I’m thinking I’d like for him to have run his mouth near Warren Ave & 23rd street in Detroit. Hang out there a bit spouting off. He might have lasted a week then been disappeared. Would have saved many people in South Carolina. I cannot help but laugh every time I see a photo of him in all his absurd garb…What the flip is all I can say.

  32. Aridog says:

    For one person speaking only for myself…the tragedy in South Carolina shook me. I normally have a mental “switch” that causes ambivalence or out right cold hardheartedness when such events occur. It was once a survival tool. Didn’t work this time around. The circumstance and the motivation was just too much. That this punk could believe what he does, espouse it at all, and then coldblooded murder several wholly innocent people who had nothing to do with his life is just too much. What could possibly been going through his mind as shot them down? I’ve been in combat and I never felt as distracted at this clown Roof. I am no longer convinced that such racism doesn’t exist in too many people’s heads. It does. Period. I regret very much coming to that conclusion after the decades of progress and my time in the 50’s and 60’s.

    When I was more socially active, the black community in Detroit and their families were among the most warm, welcoming, loving people I knew…only the 70’s trashed that relationship because I felt I was an inconvenience to them (they plainly felt a need to “protect” us & it was overt), not baggage to me and/or my wife at the time. We were the baggage. I was therefore an impediment, or felt like it, too often. Was I wrong? To this day, I do not know. She is a very beautiful Asian woman, a survivor of two personal trials as a refugee orphan, and no one, I repeat no one treated her enthusiastically more as a welcome equal than the black families I knew. I stay in touch virtually and face to face with several I really care about a lot, regardless of social barriers.

    I’d have to ask “why?” but what would be the use? Do I need to know what a mentally perverse person thinks? It’s not a “sickness”…it is a fatal character flaw. Would I prefer him dead? Yes, damn right I would. Preferably before he got to Charleston, but even right now, today, would be fine. He’s nothing, just a very scrawny little man who has no soul. He has imaginary visions of superiority which when carried out prove the opposite.

    Given what I have just said, I confess I am unable to rationalize what occurred in Charleston … I must stand mostly mute … but I am surprised and encouraged by the reaction of the people in Charleston. I assure you that this memory of Charleston and the aftermath will inform my opinions forevermore.

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