June 14, 2016 10:11 am
Updated: June 14, 2016 10:28 am

Stephen Colbert’s emotional response to Orlando shooting: ‘Despair is a victory for hate’

WATCH ABOVE: Stephen Colbert opens show with call to action on Orlando shooting: 'Despair is a victory for hate'

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Sitting at his desk with the stage lit in the rainbow colours of the gay pride flag, Stephen Colbert, host of the “Late Show,” began with a sombre monologue on the Orlando nightclub shooting.

Colbert said he was “sickened at the news” but emphasized that the shooting at the Pulse nightclub has happened “too many times before.”

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“We each ask ourselves: What can you possibly say in the face of this horror?” Colbert said. “But then sadly, you realize you know what to say, because it’s been said too many times before.”

Colbert urged his viewers to choose love over falling into despair, which he said would be a “victory for hate.”

“It’s as if there’s a national script that we have learned, and I think by accepting the script, we tacitly accept that the script will end the same way every time, with nothing changing, except for the loved ones and the families of the victims, for whom nothing will ever be the same.”

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“Love does not despair,” he said. “Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. So love your country. Love your family. Love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando, but let’s remember that love is a verb. And to love means to do something.”

U.S. officials say the attack happened in the early hours of Sunday morning, when a gunman carrying an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded nightclub killing 49 people and wounding another 53. He died in a shootout with police.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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