Decrying the lack of moral leadership from the White House during the national unrest over the police killing of George Floyd, The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert said “America is now officially B.Y.O.P. – Be Your Own President.”
“It’s time to ask ourselves, as it is always time to ask ourselves, what kind of nation do we want to live in,” Colbert said near the end of his opening monologue last night. “That answer requires moral leadership, so take it upon yourself to be a leader….You’re not going to get it from the White House.”
Returning from a brief hiatus, Colbert said, “I never imagined that after 10 days a global pandemic would not be our lead story.” Instead, he said, the top story was “,America’s pre-existing condition: Racism.”
The CBS talk show host got in plenty of jabs at the president (“Those who refuse to learn from history are Donald Trump,” “If history taught us anything it’s that things always work out well for strong men who retreat to underground bunkers”), and even the 911-calling leashless dog walker Amy Cooper, who called the police on an African-American birdwatcher in Central Park: “She should win the White Lady Oscar, also known as the Oscar.”
Colbert turned more solemn as the monologue continued, saying at one point, “If you deny the human rights and dignity of any people, you will ultimately destroy the society and civilization that you claim to protect.” He added, “Contents under pressure will eventually explode. That’s not a threat, that’s a law of nature.”
Watch the video above.