Stargazing

Whoopi Goldberg compares Confederate flag to swastika; John Oliver says it identifies ‘worst people in world’

Protesters close their eyes in silent prayer as they stand on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting.
Protesters close their eyes in silent prayer as they stand on the South Carolina Statehouse steps during a rally to take down the Confederate flag, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Rep. Doug Brannon, R-Landrum, said it's past time for the Confederate flag to be removed from South Carolina's Statehouse grounds after nine people were killed at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting. Associated Press

Whoopi Goldberg and John Oliver are just two of the celebrities who joined the growing public clamor to have the Confederate flag removed from South Carolina’s state capitol grounds.

Monday morning things got a little heated on “The View,” which Goldberg co-hosts, when the panelists started talking about the massacre of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

A lot of people, including “The View” panelists, were angered by images of the Confederate flag flying high at the state capitol while the American flag and South Carolina state flag flew at half-staff after the shootings.

On Monday, South Carolina’s governor, Nikki Haley, called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the capitol grounds.

Haley said that people have the right to display the flag on their own private property, but “the state house is different, and the events of this past week call upon us to look at this in a different way.”

On “The View,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg went even further.

“We have been having this conversation a long time. It should not be flying anywhere… The only argument you can make against having this flag be as spectacularly shown as it is around the South is the Nazis,” said Goldberg. “It would be like having the swastika flag flying on your next-door neighbor.

“If it continues to fly, the statement that’s being made… is that we missed this really crappy part of history, and that is where the conversation has to begin.”

Goldberg’s fellow panelist actress Rosie Perez said she did not understand the pride some people have in the flag.

“It was a response to slavery,” said Perez. “They wanted to separate themselves from the United States because they didn’t want to lose their cotton pickers. They didn’t want to lose their slaves. Period.”

On Sunday night, Oliver delivered what Rolling Stone dubbed an “epic takedown” of the flag, calling it a gaudy symbol that the South refuses to let go of.

“The Confederate battle flag was flying at full staff in front of the state capitol, although perhaps the bigger question is, 'Why it was flying at any staff at all,’” Oliver asked.

“The Confederate flag is one of those symbols that should really only be seen on T-shirts, belt buckles and bumper stickers to help the rest of us identify the worst people in the world.”

Listen to all of what he had to say below.

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