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John Oliver on Sunday used the entirety of Last Week Tonight to discuss the incendiary rhetoric from President Donald Trump and others during the Republican National Convention, which the host tied to the deadly shooting during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last week.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Antioch, Illinois, resident and Trump supporter, is accused of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third last Tuesday during protests that unfolded after police shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, in the back seven times. Rittenhouse has been charged with five felonies and a misdemeanor.
“The events in Kenosha would be infuriating at any time, but it’s somehow especially infuriating that they took place in the same week that the RNC was desperate to reassure the country that America isn’t racist while simultaneously fearmongering about violent crime threatening law-abiding citizens,” Oliver said.
Specifically, Oliver highlighted the joint RNC speech given Monday night by Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who have been charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon after being captured on video pointing guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. “They want to abolish the suburbs altogether by ending single-family home zoning,” Patricia McCloskey said during the RNC. “This forced rezoning would bring crime, lawlessness and low-quality apartments into now-thriving suburban neighborhoods.”
Said Oliver of the couple’s speech: “I don’t know if [Rittenhouse] saw the McCloskeys speak the night before he drove to a city he didn’t live in to defend property he didn’t own. What I do know is he was an avid Trump supporter, even sitting front row at a rally back in January, and Trump and his media ecosystem have been delivering essentially the same message as the McCloskeys for years now.”
The HBO host highlighted how Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police, while Rittenhouse, still carrying his rifle after allegedly shooting his victims, walked right up to police and surrendered without any real alarm shown from officers.
“If you’re looking for a better visual illustration of the differences between being Black and white in America, I don’t think you’re going to find one,” Oliver said. “Except, maybe, seeing exactly who sits down and who stands up when ‘Cotton Eye Joe’ comes on at a wedding.”
In general, Oliver blasted the entire RNC for being full of lies concerning Trump’s presidency and record. “The main theme of the convention seemed to be, ‘Telling lies in front of flags,’ because it was four days of full-throated denial of objective reality,” Oliver said.
Watch Oliver’s entire segment below.
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