Jimmy Fallon wasn’t trying to make anyone laugh with his monologue on Monday night.
The late-night host, at times appearing to fight back tears, spoke about the events that took place on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Instead of a traditional joke-filled monologue, Fallon opened his show with an emotional condemnation of the attack that left a woman dead and U.S. President Donald Trump’s failure to immediately denounce the white supremacist groups that organized the rally.
Fallon said his Tonight Show isn’t political, but it’s his “responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being.”
“What happened over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, was just disgusting,” Fallon said. “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.”
Fallon went on to say that his daughters, who are 2 and 4, were in the next room playing and he was thinking “how can I explain to them that there’s so much hatred in this world.”
“They don’t know what hate is. They go to the playground and they have friends of all races and backgrounds, and they just play, and they laugh, and they have fun,” he added.
Fallon said that “as kids grow up, they need people to look up to — to show them what’s right, and good. They need parents and teachers, and they need leaders who appeal to the best in us.”
“The fact that it took the president two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful. And 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.”
Fallon’s monologue noted Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who lost her life when a car drove into a crowd of protesters on Saturday night, saying that she “died standing up for what’s right.”
“I can’t look at my beautiful, growing, curious daughters and say nothing when this kind of thing is happening,” he said.
In closing his monologue, Fallon said “we all need to stand against what is wrong, acknowledge that racism exists, and stand up for all that is right, and civil, and kind. And to show the next generation that we haven’t forgot how hard people have fought for human rights. We cannot do this. We can’t go back.”
Watch the clip from The Tonight Show in the video above.
—With a file from the Associated Press