John Oliver Wants to (Literally) Rewrite History Books So You Don’t Learn About Juneteenth From ‘Watchmen’ (Video)

“History, when taught well, shows us how to improve the world,” HBO host says. “But history, when taught poorly, falsely claims there is nothing to improve”

Last Updated: August 3, 2020 @ 8:10 AM

John Oliver wants the way American history is currently taught in schools to become ancient history.

On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” the HBO show took “a look at how the history of race in America is taught in schools, how we can make those teachings more accurate, and why it’s in everyone’s best interest to understand the most realistic version of the past,” according to the episode’s description.

“George Floyd’s murder has forced a hard national conversation about this country’s present, which is impossible to do effectively without reexamining its past,” Oliver said last night. “And unfortunately, that’s not a conversation that all Americans are well-equipped to have, because there are some embarrassing gaps in many people’s knowledge of U.S. history.”

For example, Oliver pointed out just how many people in America do not know about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre and the Juneteenth holiday.

In recent months, HBO’s “Watchmen” and a poorly timed Trump rally helped raise awareness levels there. But that’s what textbooks, teachers and classrooms are supposed to do, Oliver argued.

Watch the video above.

“History isn’t over yet — it’s still being written,” Oliver said. “History, when taught well, shows us how to improve the world. But history, when taught poorly, falsely claims there is nothing to improve.”

Let’s all strive to be on the right side of it.

“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” airs Sundays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.