Stephen Colbert on Tuesday mocked the conservative backlash over the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign, which seeks to draw attention to almost 300 girls kidnapped from a school Nigeria.
“Folks, it’s refreshing to see a hashtag campaign that has nothing to do with firing me,” he said on “The Colbert Report,” referencing the #CancelColbert campaign started after Colbert’s Twitter account posted an out-of-context joke about Asian stereotypes.
“But I cannot get behind this Twitter campaign because none of my friends are into it,” Colbert continued before playing clips of conservatives bashing those who used the hashtag on Twitter, including First Lady Michelle Obama.
In the clip, conservative columnist George Will ridiculed Twitter activism and called the campaign “an exercise in self-esteem.”
“Are these barbarians in the wilds of Nigeria supposed to check their Twitter accounts and say, ‘Oh, Michelle Obama’s very cross with us, we better change our behavior?'” Will asked.
“Yes terrorists in the wild aren’t on Twitter,” Colbert responds. “They’re up to some nasty business. Obviously they’re using Snapchat.”
Colbert went on to interview Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a humanitarian activist who runs a shelter for women in Uganda and who has become active in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign.
Nyirumbe said hashtag activism is helpful because it’s important for people to be present and to not pretend to not be listening.
“What if we really just don’t listen?” Colbert asked in response. “Because it makes me sad, OK? And it’s happening in Africa, which is a long way away. How does that affect my life? Why should I be sad for something that’s happening thousands of miles away when there are things at home to be sad about?”
Nyirumbe responded that if Colbert felt that way, “I would feel like jabbing you.”
Watch the clips via Comedy Central: