Critical Race Theory: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Published 2022-02-20
John Oliver explains what critical race theory is, what it isn’t, and why we can expect to hear more about it in the coming months.

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All Comments (21)
  • @jullit31
    As a German, not feeling discomfort during history lessons sounds like an utterly alien concept... Sometimes feeling discomfort is important.
  • @AstralPhnx
    "absolute trombone slide of a sentence" will live rent free in my head for the rest of my life
  • @user-fp2mn6if2s
    I remember my sophomore and junior year history teachers being real about history. If you aren't made uncomfortable you're doing it wrong. History is cool, but it's also icky
  • @fexbio
    As I saw a teacher tweeting another day: "If I was able to indoctrinate my students, they would be using deodorant and turning off their cell phones in class".
  • @juliusheise
    I asked my parents to visit a former nazi concentration camp for my 14th birthday party, since we had lessons about it in history and I wanted to see for myself (other kids were mostly from the same class). Cake and GoKart afterwards - great day in many ways. In Germany we live with that past, and we learn to differentiate between guilt and responsibility, no biggie.
  • @Cwistoph2000
    dude at 25:00 said it perfectly. that was me in my history class lol. only black kid learning about slavery had all the kids cracking jokes about how i wouldve been their slave back in the day. so personally, its extremely hilarious seeing these parents/news anchors/politicians get in a tizzy. never crossed my mind to cry about how the lessons were hurting my wittle feelings.
  • @protectedlands2869
    Thank you for showing MLK in a color video. The constant use of black and white imagery of the Civil Rights Movement really seems like an attempt to make that time feel like the distant past when, in reality, a lot of our parents were around to witness it and feel it’s effects.
  • @bridgetofold5645
    I am a Veteran and I have always believed that knowing and recognizing the darkest part of history and still be willing to put your life on the line for the idea of better is actually the most patriotic you can be.
  • @k.k.2157
    As an Italian, history is a tough and discomfortable subject, but discomfort is a necessary aspect of the learning process and it's only by embracing it that we get to know our past, our history with all its sad and unpleasant truths. After all, history is not about celebrating ourselves, it's about learning about ourselves.
  • @stevenkaz28
    I've never felt uncomfortable learning history out of guilt. I've felt uncomfortable because it's just uncomfortable to hear the horrific things people to do to others. I get uncomfortable hearing about the sick things going in Ukraine today. Kids should never feel "guilty."
  • In my property maintenance business i employed many guys, but did not like to leave a person of colour working on their own because citizens would report them to the police for suspicious behaviour, even though they wore high vis vests and carried tradesman tools. One customer i remember called one of my employees “here boy” and i told her off. Needless to say i lost the contract, but i was really angry at her racism.
  • Being a Cree-Ojibwa Native, I welcome learning about World history, the good, the bad, and yes even the ugly.
    If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.
  • @KielFisher
    "Kids have questions ... and they deserve good answers" is a lesson a lot more adults could stand to learn...
  • @jfederico88
    My class had the eye color exercise as well. Me and one other dude had blue eyes so we were the privileged class. We were the only two allowed to sit in seats for the day, the others had to sit on the floor and do our schoolwork for us. They even had to bring us snacks and shit. Anything we needed, they had to get. Legit made the class our slaves. It was beyond awkward and uncomfortable.
  • I am from Memphis TN, infamously where MLK jr was assassinated, so racial justice has always been a massively important part of my upbringing and schooling. Teachers in elementary school showed us videos of black children being hosed down in the streets, student protestors being attacked by police, testimony from participates in sit ins and marches, and it was truly mortifying and terrible to comprehend, and that was before our teachers told us about how THEY lived through it. The past is not the past, it is around us and in us everyday all the time everywhere, that’s what I was taught. We didn’t call it CRT although in a way it was, but for us it was simply reality. To call it anything else would be a lie, and as educators it is there job to show us the truth. Thank god they did.
  • @daveprice5911
    I'm german.... The idea of students not being uncomfortable in class is insane to me, like, I didn't finish school but I still had a total of 5 different lesson units talking about ww2 and germanys part in it, starting in 4th grade and being repeated every year or 2 after that
  • @ryanmclean2000
    we did the same exercise when i was in first grade it was just me and all of my black classmates in the brown eye group and it was fucked up indeed
  • I’ve taught high school before, and I got to say that many teens love the chance to discuss controversial or political issues when given the chance. They’re forming their own identifies and beliefs, and are starting to notice that the simple narratives they learned as a child may not be entirely true. However, most teens don’t have the opportunity or environment to discuss those things, especially if those topics don’t fit their parent’s worldview. So a classroom that provides context and information on subjects, and a civil discussion moderated by a teacher is exactly the place to discuss things such as racism.
  • @unknownmovements
    I majored in history and attended a university in the South where I live. I was taking a class about Antebellum Southern history and one day after class a student asked our professor, who had also lived in the South his entire life, what led him to choose his career. His response was "well, I actually wanted to teach at the high school level but couldn't because I wouldn't have been allowed to teach the true historical facts concerning events like slavery." That was 20 years ago. The simple truth is this... actual learning only begins after you graduate high school and attend university.

    Edit: I want to clarify something for layman which came up in the discussions below. Any statement, written or verbally communicated, from a person directly involved in some event is a primary source and is always acceptable to cite regardless of the format. This also includes reporting from news organizations. If information comes from an unknown source, such as some random webpage or Youtube channel, that is not a primary source and it is not acceptable to quote it because you have no clue whether the information provided is correct or not. Anybody can create a webpage or upload videos to Youtube... that does not mean they are experts in the fields they are discussing. This principle applies to all fields of study. If a politician uploads a video to their personal Youtube channel in which they express some view... that is a primary source and is an acceptable source for documentation. If some random Youtube channel posts a video about that same politician's video... that is not a primary source and it is not an acceptable source for documentation.