John Oliver - Race Relations

  • Season 2 , Ep 3
  • 04/07/2011
  • Views: 17,208

Two of John Oliver's friends happen to be African American, and he is entirely supportive of that choice. (3:19)

RACE.

(laughter)NOW, WHERE--

WHERE ARE WE IN TERMSOF RACE RELATIONS?

THAT'S A DIFFICULT QUESTIONTO ANSWER, ISN'T IT?

EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN IDEA.

YET SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ME,RECENTLY,

WHICH I THINK PINPOINTSEXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.

I WAS IN D.C.,AND I WAS WALKING BACK

TO MY HOTELWITH TWO OF MY FRIENDS

WHO BOTH HAPPEN TO BEAFRICAN-AMERICAN,

AND I AM ENTIRELY SUPPORTIVEOF THAT CHOICE.

I THINK IT'S GREAT.I'VE TOLD THEM THAT.

I THINK IT'S GREAT.I THINK HE'S VERY BRAVE.

AND THEY SHOULD JUST KEEP--KEEP ON KEEPING ON.

THAT'S WHAT I--PERSONALLY, I THINK.

AND THEN THE FRONT OF THE HOTEL,THERE WAS TWO GLASS DOORS,

AND THEY WERE BOTH SLIGHTLYAHEAD OF ME AS WE GOT THERE,

AND THEY BOTH REACHED OUTAND TOOK A DOOR AND OPENED IT,

AND JUST INSTINCTIVELY,I JUST WALKED STRAIGHT THROUGH.

(laughter)

AND I SAID TO THEM, "WOW,THAT FELT (bleep) AMAZING."

AND THEY LAUGHED AND SAID,"YEAH, I BET IT DID.

"I BET IT DID.

UNFORTUNATELY, YOU WERE BORN100 YEARS TOO LATE."

AND I SAID, "WELL, NOT EVEN 100IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT,

"COME ON, I MEAN, 50 YEARSWOULD HAVE STILL COMFORTABLY

PUT ME ON THE SWEET SPOT."

AND WE WERE HAVINGTHIS TERRIBLE CONVERSATION.

THREE FRIENDS LAUGHING,HAVING THIS APPALLING DISCUSSION

AS WE WERE WALKING DOWNTHE STAIRS INTO THE HOTEL LOBBY.

AND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE STAIRSSTANDING ON HIS OWN,

HAVING HEARDEVERY SINGLE WORD WAS--

I PROMISE YOU THIS IS TRUE--THE REVEREND JESSIE JACKSON.

(laughter)

(applause)

IT WAS LIKE WATCHINGTHE ENTIRETY OF BLACK HISTORY

CROSS OVER ONE MAN'S FACEIN A SECOND.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO A MANWHO WAS STANDING

NEXT TO MARTIN LUTHER KINGWHEN HE WAS SHOT?

WHAT DO YOU SAY?

"DOES THIS NOT IN A WAY SHOWHOW FAR WE'VE COME, REVEREND?

"DOES THIS NOT REALLY SHOWTHAT ALL YOUR WORK PAID OFF?

"THIS RELATIONSHIP HERE?

"SHOULD YOU NOT BE HAPPYABOUT THIS, REVEREND?

"AND IF YOU ARE HAPPY,DO YOU MIND TELLING YOUR FACE?

'CAUSE YOU LOOK VERY ANGRY."

ANOTHER INCIDENT HAPPENED,I WAS JUST--

THIS WAS JUST A FEW WEEKS AGOHERE IN NEW YORK.

I HAPPENED TO RUN INTO ANOTHERFRIEND OF MINE

WHO AGAIN HAPPENS TO BEAFRICAN-AMERICAN.

WE STARTED SHAKING HANDSAND HE WANTED TO MOVE

THE HANDSHAKEINTO ONE OF THOSE HANDSHAKES,

BUT I DON'T--I DON'T PERSONALLYLIKE TO DO THAT, THOSE.

I DON'T THINKI CAN CARRY THEM OFF.

AND SO I STARTED FIGHTING HIMBACK DOWN INTO THIS

AND HE STARTED FIGHTINGEVEN HARDER TO BEND IT UP

AND WE STARTED GETTING INVOLVEDIN THIS IMPROMPTU ARM WRESTLE

ON THE SIDE OF THE STREET.

AND I REALIZED IT WAS LIKE WEWERE PHYSICALLY EMBODYING

THE STRUGGLE OF THE 1950s.

IT WAS JUST, "PLEASE, PLEASE,I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS!"

"NO, THE WORLD IS CHANGING.YOU HAVE TO CHANGE WITH IT."

"I KNOW,BUT NOT AT THIS PACE!

PLEASE, LET ME DO ITAT MY OWN SPEED!"

"NO, YOU ALWAYS SAY THAT,AND THEN NOTHING CHANGES!"

"BUT IT'LL GO TOO FAR.

"YOU'LL DO THE SLAPPY THINGWITH SOME FLICKS

AND IT WON'T RESEMBLETHE HANDSHAKE I GREW UP WITH!"

(laughter and applause)

I'VE ALWAYS--

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