John Oliver has a few suggestions for what to replace Confederate monuments with. On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, the late-night host addressed the heated topic, including those who argue against taking the monuments down by saying it's a part of a history that America just can't ignore.
"Think about that," Oliver said. "There are U.S. military bases named for Confederate officers and 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."
After providing context to what many of those Confederate statues actually mean and why they were erected, he went on to add that "monuments are not how we record history, books are. Museums are. Ken Burns' 20-part miniseries are. Statues are how we glorify people."
However, Oliver did have a few ideas on which public and historical figures should be glorified instead, including Robert Smalls, a former slave who stole a Confederate boat and sailed to freedom and who would later serve five terms in Congress, and Bessie Coleman, the first black female pilot. When it came to Charleston, South Carolina, he enlisted the help of a famous friend to make his point.
"Why have a divisive Confederate statue when instead that pedestal can be filled by your favorite son, the actual Stephen Colbert, who will stand up there all day telling you facts about your wonderful town?"
Oliver then revealed Stephen Colbert, who proceeded to drop some knowledge about his hometown. "Charleston is the sight of the first free public library in America," he said.
"See, Charleston, you can have this 24 hours a day. Seven day a week!" Oliver exclaimed.
Last Week Tonight airs Sundays at 11/10c on HBO.