Video content warning: strong language
Comedy Central’s satirical news show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah aired a segment about the controversial Shinnecock monument erected earlier this summer. The clip, which stars Daily Show correspondent Michael Kosta, explores the Sunrise Highway billboard’s impact on the Hamptons from the perspectives of both the Shinnecock Nation and Hamptonites who oppose it, but definitely has an opinion—albeit one with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
During the video, filmed in August, Kosta roams the streets of Southampton asking passersby how they feel about the billboard. The prevailing thought from the people he interviews is that the billboard shouldn’t be there. “It’s kind of an eyesore,” says one, while another notes, “It’s distracting and potentially dangerous for drivers. I believe it doesn’t allow you to maintain the purity of an enclave here.”
Kosta, acknowledging the irony of a white person in the Hamptons talking about the spiritual connection to the land, meets with Shinnecock Chairman Bryan Polite, who laughs at the notion. Polite then explains the rationale and thinking behind the billboard. “We’re the forgotten people of the Hamptons,” he says. “Now we have our marker on the gateway to the Hamptons, reminding people that they’re all visitors on our land.”
Other Shinnecock residents agree. “There are some restitutions and reparations that have to be made,” says Margo Thunderbird, “and this sign is pointing to it. The time is now.” Adds Rebecca Genia, “It’s horrible, the way we’ve been treated since 1640.”
After Kosta reflects on all he’s heard and learns, the video ends with his own “ad” actually appearing on the billboard on August 8: “Relax, and enjoy your stolen land.”
Watch the hilarious, thought provoking video above.