As the (thankfully very poorly attended) neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville over the weekend shows, we will probably be stuck dealing with Confederacy-worshiping dullards for years to come. One method of preventing this baseless Confederacy worship from infiltrating younger generations is through a simple education on the facts surrounding both the intentions of the Civil War, and the perplexing mental gymnastics the South has committed to in pursuit of ensuring truly horrible men go down as heroes. It's all very exhausting, but at least we have a 21-minute refresher course on the horrors of the Confederacy from John Oliver.
"The Confederacy, America's tracksuit sex offender," Oliver said on the latest Last Week Tonight, comparing the Confederacy to disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile. "Now, in recent years, there has been a robust debate over confederate symbols, from flags being taken down to statues being removed to the white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville, both the one that ended in violence in August and another one that happened just last night. So, as this debate is clearly not going away, we wanted to take a look at some of the arguments."
One oft-repeated argument from Confederacy defenders is the "it's part of our history" line, which drooling flag worshipers use without actually meaning it. As Oliver noted, remembering this history—and every sick, sordid, not-at-all monument-worthy detail—is indeed important, just not in the way Confederate cult members have brainwashed themselves to believe. "Think about that," Oliver said after playing a clip breaking down just how prevalent Confederacy mounts are in the U.S. "There are U.S. military bases named for confederate officers. They were the enemy! They killed U.S. soldiers. That's like finding out Nancy Kerrigan named her child Tonya Harding. Why would you do that? That's a weird choice."
The South's repeated attempts at cute-ifying the Civil War, Oliver added, recklessly overlook the fact that the Confederacy was indeed fighting for the preservation of slavery. "And that's not my opinion," Oliver said. "That is just a fact."
Watch the full clip, which also includes a pop-in from Stephen Colbert, up top.