On the latest episode of his web-series “The Trews,” comedian Russell Brand tackled the question of immigration reform by offering commentary on a segment from The Bill O’Reilly Show in which the Fox New host spoke to Karl Rove.
“If you built a border fence like they did in East Germany,” O’Reilly said before Brand interrupted him. “I’m going to stop you there, Bill, because that wasn’t actually a triumph of social engineering, or even architecture. That wall became a symbol for all that was wrong with the world — a country riven in two, the epitome of the Cold War, a symbol of conflict, dishonor, and disdain. Surely, Bill will say, ‘Let’s never again repeat these horrors.'”
Brand then cuts back to O’Reilly, who said, “I was there, when that wall came down — and nobody could get through that fence. It was a formidable obstacle. Israelis have done the same thing to keep out terrorism there. So, we haven’t done that on the southern [U.S.] border.”
“Bill, he’s really learning the wrong lessons from life,” Brand interjected. “Bill fails to absorb the most obvious lessons of history — the Berlin Wall was bad, what’s happening between Israel and Palestine is bad. These aren’t tidbits of knowledge that you should pick up and apply to America.”
“Mistake #2,” O’Reilly continued, “in this current flashpoint situation with the Rio Grande Valley — you could put the National Guard in there to stop the madness, just like you put them in there to stop the Rodney King riots, Hurricane Katrina, all those other things.”
“No, Bill,” Brand said, “you’re getting the wrong message again!” After noting the differences between “the Rodney King riots,” which were the result of social unrest, and Hurricane Katrina, which was literally a force of nature, Brand connected immigrants to corporations that are “inverting” their profits overseas.
He said that General Electric made $108 billion in profit last year, but “decided, ‘Hey, we don’t really want to pay tax on that, let’s put it over the sea!’ Imagine if immigrants were stealing $108 billion and they had it, you’d want that back, wouldn’t you?”
“Immigrants aren’t living in the lap of luxury,” Brand continued. “They’re not exploiting the planet — these are people that are suffering, they’re refugees, people looking for a better life.”
“So, what I’m suggesting Bill,” he said, “is that instead of trying to study some of the worst atrocities in history — both world, and American — look at the excessive corporate world and why don’t you advocate against them not paying taxes? Is it because you work for Fox, a massive corporation, and you’re a conditioned citizen, conveying only a message of corporate hegemony and disempowerment of the people?”
Watch the entire August 7, 2014 episode of “The Trews” below via YouTube.