Super timely, given that, as Oliver taped his show, here in Washington D.C. the Unite The Right 2 was winding down – or, as Oliver described it, “a massive dozens of white nationalists gathered in D.C., where they were met by hundreds of counter-protesters calling them all assholes.”
Some observers on Sunday afternoon had tweeted there were more Lime scooters than white supremacists in Lafayette Square during the event.
While that numerical discrepancy is heartening, Oliver warns us not to get too assured, because the week also brought us a “visceral reminder” of the race issues this country faces.
Roll CNN clip of John King revealing a poll taken in late June found that 49% of Americans thinks President Donald Trump is a racist, which surprised King.
Unclear, Oliver noted, whether it’s shocking that virtually half of Americans think their POTUS is racist, or shocking that ONLY half of Americans think he’s racist. “Because it’s not like he’s been hiding it,” Oliver pointed out. “It has been [Trump’s] brand for decades now.”
“It’s like only 49% of people thinking that Kermit is a frog. It’s in his name! Whether you like or hate that about him, you have to admit he’s a fucking frog,” the HBO late-night show host quipped.
Today’s D.C. demonstration came at the end of a week in which America’s “regular dog-whistle racism” became uncomfortably loud, on Fox News Channel, Oliver remarked.
He’s referencing primetime star Laura Ingraham, who caused an uproar when she said this on air:
In some part of the country it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist any more. Massive demographic changes have been foisted up on the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like. Much of this is related to both illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that – of course – progressives love.
“She just came right out and said it, in a scripted commentary…knowing her mic was on,” Oliver marveled. “No ‘economic anxiety’, no ‘some of them are good people’. Just ‘I don’t want people who don’t look like [her]’.”
“You almost want to give her credit for honesty there,” Oliver said, but argued you’d have to deduct twice as much credit, because she’s only being honest about how racist she is.
Ingraham later said her remarks had nothing to do with race. But, Oliver pointed out, no less of an authority than David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK, called her remarks “one of the most important [truthful] monologues in the history of MSM.”
And when the former head of the Klan likes what you’re doing “that should give you real pause,” Oliver advised Ingraham. He then put it to her more succinctly:
“If, immediately after this taping, Dr. Larry Nassar caught me in the hallway and said, ‘Hey man, loved the show!’ I’d think long and hard about what the f*ck I just said.”