Alabama Week - Southern Pride: Civil Rights & The Civil War

Extended - April 26, 2017 - Kevin Coval 04/26/2017 Views: 14,653

Jordan Klepper examines how Alabamians honor their state's conflicting identities, from its Civil War background to its pivotal role in the civil rights movement. (5:24)

Watch Full Episode

As you may know,

this is actually Alabama Weekhere at The Daily Show,

where we've been doingour very best

to understand why,out of all 50 states,

Alabama is where The Daily Show is least popular.

And that was even afterI released my country album,

-Honky Tonk Noah. -(laughter)

I don't know why that failed.

So, we sent fourof our correspondents

down to Alabamato see the place for itself.

Tonight we hearfrom Jordan Klepper, everybody!

(cheers and applause)

Yes.

Thanks, Trevor.

So, yes, this week,

Alabama celebratedSlavery Flag Is Awesome Day,

which showed that the mixof race and history

isn't just an issue in Alabama.

It's the issue.

So, I mixed my waystraight into it.

-(men singing) -KLEPPER: Here at The Daily Show,

we know the South is a hot mess of conflicting identities.

Take, for example, Selma, Alabama, where in 1965,

African-Americans were beaten by police on

the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a turning point

in the Civil Rights movement commemorated each year.

But Alabamians also commemorate

a less-inspiring history--

preserving their slave-owning Confederate heritage

with an annual Civil War reenactment

in that very same city.

But this year,

a young, progressive, African-American mayor

took a stand against the Confederates.

When we came into office,we told people that

they had to pay for policeto be at those events.

-So, these Confederatesoldiers... -Right. They...

Did they come here this year?

We urged them to pay for thoseservices, and they said no.

So you stoppedthe Confederate soldiers?

-Uh...-(laughing): Oh, ho.

Up top! Yeah!

"The South will rise again."

(laughing):"Not without this permit.

"Screw you,Confederate soldiers.

Let's give this weekto the Selma marchers."

Well, no, it's the same standardacross the board.

You made the Selma marchers payto have the police come?

That's dicey territory.

It feels like the policeshould probably work for free

on the Selma anniversary.

Just spitballing here.

This new mayor just didn't get it.

Surely the march organizers understood which history

should be honored and which should be shut down.

I was not for themtrying to close down

-the Battle of Selma.-Really?

Yes. They absolutely havea right to speak.

-Yeah, but where's...-Let me tell you why.

There's a saying, say, when...somebody in the white community

get a cold, somebodyin the black community...

get pneumonia.

So if the rights are wiped outin any... for anybody,

then they will be wiped outeven more for black people.

Let me first say

I apologize for all of the coldsthat I've gotten...

if I've inflicted pneumoniaon anybody.

Civil rights marchers and Confederate reenactors

were natural enemies.

My giant Yankee brain couldn't understand it.

We're just as shockedas you are.

It's a weird combo.

It's like... it's likea Taco Bell/Pizza Hut.

Or weirder than that--it's like a Taco Bell...

Cracker Barrel.

It's a lot like that.

Well, I guess it's partof that-that "Beloved Community"

that Dr. King talked about,

that... when the lioncan lay down with the sheep.

What didMartin Luther King say?

Oh, he talkedabout the Beloved Community,

when the lion canlay down with the sheep.

Ugh. Why? What?

Like, (bleep)?

Ugh! Can't do that.

God doesn't want that.

I don't thinkyou can physically can.

We're talking about in regards

to the sheepnot to have to fear...

being destroyed by the lion.

You're talking specificallyabout Confederate soldiers,

-Selma marchers.-Right. Right.

Okay. And not just animalscoming together.

-No. -I'm not gonna walkout here in the street

and see a dog humpinga cat, right?

If I saw that, I'm headingright back to New York.

I had learned a lesson here:

Alabama was an upside-down place

where lions laid with sheep

and civil rights marchers supported Confederates.

I, for one, found their tolerance

completely intolerable.

See you later, Alabama.

I'm heading back to civilization.

(cheering, applause)

So, you're welcome.

No, no. Uh, Jordan,sorry, sorry, hold on.

I feel likeyou totally missed the point

-of your own report.-(chuckles): No, I didn't.

Uh, it was a storyabout animal sex.

-(laughter) -No, Jordan,it was a story about nuance,

how everything in Alabamaisn't just black and white.

Actually, uh, Alabama'salmost totally black and white.

I was down there for, like,two days, saw one Asian person.

(laughter)

Jordan, come on, dude,we sent you to Alabama

to get outside of your bubble

and greet these peoplewith empathy.

I totally did that.

Name one thingthat they take pride in.

Uh, voting againsttheir own interests.

Uh, taking advicefrom northerners.

Jordan, Jordan, come on, man,

you learned something in Alabama.

Fine. (sighs)

All right.Alabama may have these painful,

conflicting histories,but the people there

aren't choosingto sweep them under the rug.

They live with themside by side,

trying to learn from their pastrather than bury it.

In a way,it's the story of America.

-Thank you, Jordan,-And also, lions (bleep) sheep.

All right. Jordan Klepper,everybody.