John Oliver Uses School Segregation To Remind Us Racism Is Still Flourishing! — VIDEO
In what is becoming his typical way of pointing out and commenting on America's biggest problems, John Oliver's segment on school segregation took aim at one of the most fundamental problems facing our country: racism. School segregation has long been thought of as a thing of the past — but Oliver reminded his audience that segregation in schools and the racism that goes along with it are both still alive and well, even with a black president in office.
For someone who remembers their civil rights history classes, the whole segment might seem like kind of a blast from the past. However, the problems that Oliver addresses are real now, and they have concrete, real world effects. Black and Latino children educated in segregated schools don't have the same opportunities for higher education as students in mixed or all-white schools do, which is bad enough in itself. Segregation also hurts the self-esteem of these children, as they can see that the system doesn't invest as much into them. On the flip side, it also contributes to institutionalized racism in white children, because white children who go to all- or mostly white schools are more likely to gain negative racial biases towards people of color that they will likely then carry with them for their whole lives.
The South, Oliver explains, is actually home to more diverse schools than the North, namely because the laws drafted during the civil rights period targeted the explicitly segregated southern schools. Places like New York, Oliver says, just "never really bothered integrating in the first place." Some people believe that the United States is essentially "post-racial" and that Barack Obama's election to the presidency signaled the end of racism in the country — but this goes right in the face of those beliefs. The fact that school segregation is still so widespread across the country is proof that the problem of racism is no closer to being solved now than it was in the early 1960s.
This will be a cautionary tale to keep in mind in case Hillary Clinton wins the election on Nov. 8. If a woman finally ascends to the presidency, there will surely be a proliferation of voices asserting the belief that sexism is dead and that feminism is no longer necessary. But racism is not dead, a fact shown not only by segregated schools, but also by studies on inherent racial bias, the difficulties that black men face on the job market, and the necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement — among countless other things.
If Hillary Clinton wins, sexism will also definitely not be dead. Hopefully, the U.S. won't need John Oliver to remind it of that towards the end of her second term in office.