Over two months after the siege of the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, injuring 100 officers and killing one, the House voted on Wednesday to award congressional gold medals to Capitol police who defended the building and the lawmakers inside. “It was a rare bipartisan vote to honor the men and women who protected our democracy,” explained Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. “Nobody could ever oppose that – except for the 12 Republicans who opposed that.”
Colbert referred to the oppositional group – 11 white men and QAnon follower Marjorie Taylor Greene of Florida – who objected to the use of the term “insurrectionists” to describe the rioters as the “legion of dumb”.
“Ok, you don’t like insurrectionist — how about ‘neck-beard fascist neo-Confederate tiny penis treason-humpers?’ he fumed. “These congressmen are a bunch of cowards. The mob came to kill them, and now they’re worried that calling them insurrectionists might hurt their feelings?”
“This horrifying act of senseless violence has once again shocked the nation,” Colbert said, although it’s not surprising given the rise of hate crimes against Asian-Americans, which climbed by 150% in America’s biggest cities climbed last year; the spikes in March and April, when the coronavirus first locked down the country, coincided with Donald Trump calling the virus “kung flu” and blaming China for the pandemic.
“He’s clearly just using hate as a tool to blame his own failings on a foreign country,” Colbert said. “All Americans, myself included, have an obligation to treat each other with respect and do a better job treating marginalized communities with the dignity they deserve. Our former president bears a particular responsibility for amplifying this form of hatred, just as surely as he bears responsibility for the series of events he incited on January 6th. But this January 6th that’s happening every day for Asian American people in our country because he was desperate to pass the buck.”
“This will always be part of his legacy,” Colbert concluded. “He will be remembered as a hateful man who left a stain not just on the White House pillows but on our whole society by inviting his Maga minions to an all-you-can-hate racist buffet.”
On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah discussed a surge of detained children at the US border. “Even though Biden ended some of Trump’s cruel immigration policies and is trying to return children who Trump separated from their families, that has not been enough to end the suffering,” he explained, as there are now a record number of children in border control custody.
Pressed by ABC news about the situation, Biden urged migrants to hold on crossing the border. “Don’t come,” he said. “Don’t leave your town or city or community.”
“Ok, that’s worth a shot, I guess?” Noah responded. “But the phrase ‘Don’t come’ isn’t going to prevent immigration any more than it prevents a pregnancy on Bridgerton. Because Biden is still being way more welcoming than people are used to. ‘Don’t come’ is basically an engraved invitation compared to ‘You shithole countries, rapists need to pay for our wall.’”
While the Trump administration forced migrant families and children to return to dangerous conditions in Mexico, the Biden administration intends to allow migrant children to stay through the asylum process. But the system is so overwhelmed that many are languishing in detention on American soil. “Please, let’s not forget to have empathy for these migrants, because who can blame parents for wanting to give their children a better life?” Noah said. “I mean, there’s just so many more opportunities for them in America,” he said. “Blue Ivy just won a Grammy – who wouldn’t want that for their child?”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel celebrated Biden’s goal to get 100m Americans vaccinated by the end of his first 100 days in office, a deadline he beat by six weeks. “Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you don’t put Jared in charge?” he joked.
“It’s a little weird to have a president who actually does what he says he’s gonna do. I don’t like it. It makes me uncomfortable,” Kimmel joked. “I feel like Biden’s doing that thing hustlers do when they pretend they’ve never played basketball before, and then as soon as the money comes out they start dunking on everyone.”
“The big challenge now will be: can they find another 100m Americans who want it?”
Kimmel also touched on Biden’s comments to ABC news that Russian president Vladimir Putin was a “killer.”
On Thursday, Putin responded with a “very Putin-esque” rejoinder: “I wish you health, I wish you health,” he said, delivered without warmth. “In other words, if you know what’s good for you, don’t drink the chamomile tea,” Kimmel joked.