Though swiftly reignited by the Charleston Church Massacre, the debate surrounding the display of the Confederate flag in South Carolina (and the South at large) is certainly nothing new for the region. However, from afar — the question on the minds of many is simple: Why is there even a debate?
On Monday, South Carolina State Senator Lindsey Graham joined Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott in calling for the removal of the oppressive symbol from state grounds. Shortly after, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn announced that he felt the Confederate portion of the Mississippi state flag should be removed. Though it's easy for many to criticize these declarations as hollow maneuvers in the never-ending game of politics, the reality is: the flag might very well (finally) be in its last days. In fact, Walmart has also announced that it will be pulling all Confederate flag merchandise from its stores.
Of course, certain titans of the late-night circuit have been offering their usual delivery of comedically presented truths on the Confederate flag — with Larry Wilmore using his "For the Record" segment on Comedy Central's The Nightly Show to not only call for the immediate removal of the Confederate flag, but to also highlight the hate-fueled symbol's affiliation with many post-Hitler Nazi groups:
“In 1961, [the Confederate flag] was a reminder to black people that they should know their place. It has always been used as a symbol of intimidation and terror — and that’s what it remains today. In fact, because displaying the swastika is illegal across much of Europe, skinheads and neo-Nazis often adopt the Confederate flag in its place. It’s such a racist symbol that it does double duty as the backup racist symbol for another racist symbol!”
Wilmore also skillfully debunked the opposition's tired "heritage" argument, citing actual history. Referencing an 1861 speech from Confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens, Wilmore reminded regular viewers and baseless critics alike that the Confederate is actually based on “the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man."
Watch the full clip above.