John Oliver on what connects the RNC and the Kenosha shootings

John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
John Oliver (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) /

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver recapped the Republican National Convention and violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Despite the show’s title, it is not often that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver actually discusses what happened during the prior week. John Oliver admitted as much last night on his show. But the Republican National Convention, the events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the themes that connect them couldn’t be ignored.

If late-night television fans wanted coverage of the RNC and Kenosha, there were two places they could go: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Stephen Colbert delivered live monologues each night after the RNC while Trevor Noah continued to be an important voice on topics related to race, social justice, and police violence.

Sunday night it was John Oliver’s chance to share his thoughts. Last Week Tonight‘s main story recapped the RNC moments worth mocking and the ones worth being warned about. Oliver then moved on to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, the subsequent protests, and the shooting of protestors.

Overall, it was one of Last Week Tonight‘s heavier segments. It’s why Oliver didn’t waste any time getting into the story and making sure last week’s events were in the spotlight on Sunday night.

John Oliver says the RNC and Kenosha violence are both stories about race

John Oliver doesn’t spend much time ridiculing the speeches by Kimberly Guilfoyle or Donald Trump, Jr. He knows that’s been done all week with not much he can add. But the Last Week Tonight host still can’t help but point out the collection of lies he says were shared during the Republican National Convention.

The biggest one, and the topic that was the central theme of Oliver’s segment, was about race. Oliver pushes back against the RNC’s message that America is not a racist country. It was only a few weeks ago that Oliver explained how the U.S. can confront its racist past and it starts in the classroom.

Oliver points to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha as the counterargument to the RNC message of racial harmony. Oliver then connects the RNC warnings about violent criminals and radicals taking over cities to the shooting of protestors by a 17-year-old. It’s part of Oliver’s larger effort to expose the double standard inherent in American society and why there was such a jarring disconnect between the RNC’s message and reality.

The segment concluded with Oliver delivering a call to action. Yes, he wants his viewers to vote but the Last Week Tonight host argues that won’t be enough. More than just who is in the White House needs to change, says Oliver. He ended the segment angry, supporting the idea that its the only emotion that can bring about real action.

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What did you think of this segment? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Keep checking Last Night On for more from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and the rest of late-night television.