Stephen Colbert Responds to Pittsburgh Shooting: "Hate Is Not What America Stands for"

Stephen Colbert-Getty-H 2018
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On Monday's The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host addressed the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend that claimed 11 lives. 

"It’s tragic, it’s sickening and our thoughts are with the victims, their families and the larger Jewish community,” Colbert said during his monologue. “More than that, I want to say, hate is not what America stands for and tonight all of us are with you.”

The CBS late-night host then noted that a Muslim group that had started a crowdfunding campaign for victims of the shooting had raised over $140,000.

“I know what you're saying, ‘Yeah, it’s easy to have that kind of goodwill between historical friends like the Jewish people and Muslims,'” Colbert quipped.

He went on to praise the local Pittsburgh citizens who held a memorial service Sunday. “Yes, it is going to take a lot more than this to break the resolve of the Jewish people. They will continue to worship, to learn and to sing,” Colbert said.

He then turned his attention to President Donald Trump, saying, “Naturally, in times like these, our nation looks to our president for comfort and guidance. That’s our first mistake."

The host criticized Trump’s comments that the attack could have possibly been thwarted if an armed security detail was on-site. “Yes, it’s so simple,” Colbert said, mocking Trump’s voice. “Why didn’t they have an armed guard for the last 5,000 years? Moses could have saved a lot of time walking through the desert if Pharaoh knew he was packing.”

Over on Late Night, host Seth Meyers shared his personal connection to Pittsburgh while addressing the tragedy.

"It's the closest thing, I would say, that I have to an ancestral home," he began. Meyers shared that his father is from the city and he talks about it all the time. "My father is very proud of Pittsburgh and I think that it's true of most people from the 'Burgh."

He shared that he and his family visit the city every year. The visits tend to include his father pointing out new parts of the city, as well as reminiscing about what used to be in the area.

"It is a place that means a lot to me because of all that. My dad's from a neighborhood called East Liberty. It is spelled 'East Liberty.' In Pittsburgh it is pronounced 'Slibberdy,'" he shared. "I know this to be the case because every time someone from Pittsburgh asks me where my dad's from and I say 'East Liberty,' they look at me like I'm crazy and they say, 'You mean Slibberdy?'"

He added that the family always goes to a Steelers game during their visits. "It was, I found, great solace in watching the Steelers play this Sunday because it does feel like every day we wake up and something that we've taken for granted is gone," he said. "A norm that we thought we all agreed upon has been tossed out the window, and yet on Sunday I got to watch the Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns and I realized, you know, not everything has changed."

Meyers added that while he is not Jewish, his wife is and they are raising their children to be. "My great-grandfather was Jewish and he took a boat in 1869 to Manhattan and he went straight from there to Pittsburgh and the Meyers family has been living there — members of the Meyers family have been living there and have been thriving there — in the city that welcomed them so many years ago."

"I just want to say thank you to Pittsburgh. I want to say that we're thinking of you, Pittsburgh, and I want to thank all of you for indulging me," he concluded.

Oct. 30, 10:06 a.m.: This story was updated with Seth Meyers' comments about Pittsburgh.