Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Instead of a traditional joke-filled monologue, Jimmy Fallon opened his Aug. 14, 2017 show with an emotional condemnation of the weekend attack that left a woman dead in Virginia and President Donald Trump's failure to immediately denounce the white supremacist groups that organized the rally.
“What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting. I was watching the news like everyone else, and you’re seeing Nazi flags and torches and white supremacists, and I was sick to my stomach.
“My daughters are in the next room playing, and I’m thinking, ‘How can I explain to them that there is so much hatred in this world?’”
Fallon said his kids, who are 2 years old and 4 years old, “don’t know what hate is,” and need people to look up to. Not only parents and teachers, but also “leaders who appeal to the best in us.”
Fallon then went on to criticize President Trump’s response to the events, noting “the fact that it took the president two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful.”
“I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something. It’s important for everyone, especially white people, in this country, to speak out against this. Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it.”
He mentioned Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who lost her life after a car drove into a crowd of protesters, saying that she, like many others before, “died standing up for what’s right.”
“We all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists, and stand up for what is right and civil and kind, and to show the next generation that we haven't forgotten how hard people have fought for human rights,” Fallon said. “We can’t do this. We can’t go backward.”
“I think we have to own it. I think we have to admit that this is a systemic problem. I mean this country was founded on the genocide of Native Americans and on the backs of slaves and I don’t think we’ve ever really dealt with that.”
Sarandon’s full thoughts during her appearance on “The Tonight Show” can be seen in the video below.
Kelcie Willis with the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.