The police handled the aftermath of the Ferguson violence horribly. When St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar was asked how many times Michael Brown was shot, he responded “It was more than just a couple, but I don’t think it was, uh, uh, many more than that”. The downplaying of the violence that took place is absolutely dismaying, and disrespectful. I think that John Oliver does a great job at educating his audience in a humorous manner. Unlike many other forms of media that is available to watch online, shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver are all very honest and straightforward, while at the same time make situations humorous and enjoyable to tune in to.
Later on in this episode, the show plays a clip of a different show asking Ferguson mayor, James Knowles III, what the racial makeup of the Ferguson police force is. Knowles responded “they keep saying three are African American but actually I believe it’s five. There was six, but one left, uh, uh, uh fairly recently. Um, we also have a Hispanic, and two Asian/Pacific Islanders”. In a town where nearly two thirds of citizens are African American, the lack of diversity in the police force is unrepresentative, and the majority of the other officers are presumably white. What is even more disgusting, is that the police force as a whole is absolutely racist and disrespectful to innocent citizens who often are doing nothing wrong.
I find Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to be a very educational, yet entertaining program. Each week Oliver tackles a different issue in the news that is either underrepresented or presented in a boring banner, and makes it interesting. Unfortunately since he is on HBO, the show is only available to a select group of society, but with much of the show being put on YouTube in clips, it is now accessible to anyone with internet access.
To watch the clip, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUdHIatS36A