I am a John Oliver fan. His show is entertaining and consistently offers well-researched content that is undoubtedly biased, yet as close to impartial as you can find. I have seen many brilliant segments in the last 6 years from him and his crew, but this piece below is one that they knocked out of the park. Brilliant, well-delivered, carefully researched and on point.
We are all busy and there is so much news floating around that most of us don’t have either time or stomach to digest it. Yet, on important issues around us such as police brutality, we must be informed. Hence, do yourself a favor and watch this clip. It’s worth 30 minutes of your time. The last couple of minutes is both powerful and heartbreaking. You can see John almost close to tears and I am sure he isn’t the only one.
While I am against looting and destruction of properties, especially those owned by hard-working folks who haven’t done a thing wrong, I support the movement and I can see, not understand, where they are coming from. When law enforces who are supposed to protect citizens pose a threat to black people and the judicial system isn’t exactly behind the threatened, what exactly can they do? When the social contract they signed is repeatedly and mercilessly broken, what else can hold them back?
There is also one other reason why I like the mix of journalism and comedy like the clip above. While the cable news media do try to be as precise and honest in their reporting, they often use language, photos and videos to create headlines that intend to grab attention by stirring emotions. Watching a lot of cable news isn’t healthy to anyone’s mind. At least, content like John Oliver’s segments carries some humor that makes the bitter pill easier to swallow.
This movie is based on a true story. It is about Bryan Stevenson, a black Harvard-educated lawyer, who came down South to Alabama to offer legal representation to death row inmates. He got involved in multiple cases, the most notable of which was the case of Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian. Johnny D was charged and convicted of murder of a 18-year-old white woman. The charge and conviction was based entirely on a testimony of a convicted felon, who was coerced to provide false testimony. There was no hard evidence presented to tie Johnny D to the murder. There were multiple witnesses who weren’t presented in court.
In light of what is happening in the US, the movie adds to the voice that sounds increasingly louder across the country. There was, is and has been racism against minorities, or black people. It’s unfathomable to think that we are still dealing with this issue after achieving numerous technological advances. Think about it. We just sent people to the space in a spaceship built by a private entity. We can call anybody on Earth now, with video, for free through a litany of apps such as Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, Instagram, iMessage. We can order everything we need to home without even setting foot out of our apartments. Yet, the racism is still raging on.
A few days ago, I blogged about “qualified immunity” and the protection that the Supreme Court seems to grant the police all the time. A lot of cases that Bryan Stevenson helped reversed and dropped in real life were because of the judicial system and the decisions by the courts. If the Supreme Court doesn’t drop the “qualified immunity” doctrine, what hope could there be for the victims?
Anyway, the movie is free and available on all digital streaming services for the month of June. I thank all that are involved in the production and distribution of the movie for bringing an important message to the screens and letting us view it for free in June. If you have some time, please do watch and share it #BLM