John Oliver did a very good job summarizing the debate around taking down Confederate monuments in a very tidy 20 minutes on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. Oliver took the time to patiently go through all the various talking points people use to defend keeping monuments to racists, slavers, and traitors, and debunked each and every one—even the guy who is in the White House who keeps complaining that "they're trying to take away our history."
"So that argument is, taking these statues down obliterate history, which is clearly ridiculous. First, monuments are not how we record history. Books are, miniseries are, twelve-part Ken Burns series are. Statues are how we glorify people," Oliver said, before unveiling The Hitler-Hanks Spectrum. "If we really want to learn from and honor our history, perhaps the first step would be to put most of these statues somewhere more appropriate, surrounded by ample historical context, like in a museum, where people go to proactively learn about history, and also to punish their children." And then he showed off a series of replacement statues that are deserving of honor... including Charleston's favorite son, "the Actual Stephen Colbert, who will stand there all day and tell you fun facts about your wonderful town."
At the start of the show, Oliver also addressed the ongoing Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations. "His response was infuriating because he and his attorneys admitted he needs help while also denying the charges and threatening to sue the Times," Oliver said. He then took apart Weinstein's statement in which he blamed his behavior on the fact that he "came of age in the '60s and '70s."
"Your excuse isn't an excuse," said Oliver. "In fact it isn't even an excuse for that behavior in the '60s: 'Well back then we had no idea that women didn't want to be forced to look at dicks. That wasn't discovered by scientists until 1998. It was a different time!'"