Given the turmoil roiling the nation, you had to expect John Oliver to have some choice words, sprinkled with f-bombs, of course.
The host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” did not disappoint, calling for radical changes in our police system to protect African-Americans.
After showing clips of police going wild on peaceful protesters, he said, “If police are trying to convince the public they are not guilty of displaying excessive force, it’s probably not a good idea to repeatedly display excessive force on national television … ”
For those cable news anchors (hi, Fox News!) who have focused more on the looting than the peaceful protests across the nation, he noted, “If you’ve said the name Macy’s more than you’ve said the name Breonna Taylor this week, you can very much fuck off.
“Likewise if you’re asking why a spontaneous decentralized protest can’t control every one of its participants more than you are asking the same of a taxpayer-funded, heavily regimented work force, you can also … suck my dick and choke on it, fuck you.”
Oliver presented a video of a man protesting police brutality suddenly being converged on by several officers who pepper-spray him and everyone around him.
“For any viewers sitting at home shocked by the scenes of police brutality, I get it. I’m white too. But it’s worth remembering, that’s the tip of of a very large iceberg. It didn’t start this week, or with this president, and it always disproportionally falls on black communities.”
He traced how the history of policing is intertwined with white supremacy, enforcing laws designed to subjugate black people. Today’s police undergoing training to become “warriors” designed to kill their prey. And police unions are one of the biggest obstacles to police reform.
He ripped apart the phrase “defund the police” to show how the movement is about reallocating resources from punishment to reinforcing the community safety net, to better housing and mental health services so we can figure out what we really want the role of the police to be.
“… Ours is a firmly entrenched system in which the roots of white supremacy run deep, and it is critical that we all grab a fucking shovel. To do anything less would be absolutely unforgivable,” he said.
You can watch the full episode here: