Jon Stewart: The Confederate Flag Is Only The Tip of the Iceberg

June 23rd 2015

Alex Mierjeski

On Monday, South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announced her support for removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina's statehouse grounds in the wake of last week's shooting and the uncomfortable message the flag's presence sent to observers nationwide.

Others have come out in support of removing the flag, like Mitt Romney, who wrote on Twitter Monday that it was, for many, "a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor #Charleston victims."

Jeb Bush also tweeted his support for removing the flag before Haley's announcement, and yesterday, Walmart, the nation's largest retailer said they would stop selling all Confederate–branded merchandise. Lawmakers in Mississippi, where the Confederate flag is part and parcel to the actual state flag, were not far behind in announcing a push to remove it.

But comedian Jon Stewart thinks that removing the confederate flag from South Carolina's statehouse grounds is just the first step to tackling a larger problem of Confederate idolatry in the southern state. On last night's Daily Show, after a broadside against Fox News' complaints surrounding the politicizing of the attack, Stewart tackled what he called a pervasive problem of Confederate street names––the Emanuel AME church that was attacked last Wednesday sits on Calhoun St., named for former Vice President John C. Calhoun, whom Stewart calls "19th century America's foremost defender of slavery"––and even Confederate museums, one of which is located a few blocks away from the church.

"You can't spit your tobaccy in Charleston without hitting a public monument to the glorious days of slavery because, in the context of Charleston's extensive Confederate porn industry, the flag is just the money shot," Stewart joked.

"The truth is," he said of removing the flag, "it's the absolute least that can be done."