U.S. History: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
John Oliver takes 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.
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  • rogers mbogo
    rogers mbogo

    The main problem with america is lack of acceptance to there mistakes . mistakes is how we learn

  • rogers mbogo
    rogers mbogo

    Slavery in africa excited but it didn't aim to demin them rather than to assimilation to society like the results of kikuyu and maasai relationship after war like wayaki wa hinga who is a kikuyu heroe in the fight for independence yet his grandma was of maasai origin

  • Karen Moore
    Karen Moore


  • Fr. Badger
    Fr. Badger


  • Frank Maitland
    Frank Maitland

    Your splitting hairs on Washington. His prenuptial agreement said "he could not free the slaves his wife owned when they were married.

  • Andrew Wareing
    Andrew Wareing

    Laura Ingraham: Nazi Barbie

  • Tiye McLymont
    Tiye McLymont

    Sometimes I hate being black, and this is why. Everywhere in the world, being dark is bastardized and abused. Ignored. Forgotten. I hate it. I fucking hate it.

  • Some Weeb
    Some Weeb

    Do you think that the populations of Saudi Arabia and Iraq know about the Arab slave trade, which was 4 times larger than the european one.

  • Nick Wertz
    Nick Wertz

    He all out attacked Shane Dawson and I love it

  • Naomi Rivin
    Naomi Rivin

    Okay but the subtle call out of Shane Dawson when he mentioned a JPflowr who did blackface for years and is only now realizing it was and still is wrong.

  • some Czech guy
    some Czech guy

    13:55 yes actually i am sensing a theme, a theme of bullshit.

  • Giovanni Rivera
    Giovanni Rivera

    I would love to hear from the people that don’t want Confederate Statues being taken down because it would erase history.

  • Aditya Kumar
    Aditya Kumar

    The only coup to take place on American soil . . . So Far . . .

  • Superslowmojoe

    Lauren Ingram is right for all the wrong reasons about racism lol Edit: I meant about her saying that capitalism and the Constitution are racist btw

  • fgc nomad
    fgc nomad

    White culture and history is non existent without racism. I mean in a way America was responsible for inspiring HITLERs beliefs and tactics via eugenics lol

  • Michael Manion
    Michael Manion

    I felt horrible when I first learned about Juneteenth because I couldn't believe it was the first time I had heard it. It makes me feel a little better that an African American man from Tulsa didn't learn about it till college. Knowledge is the start before meaningful change can happen. We can't hide our past because it will only hinder our future.

  • Ron Rogers
    Ron Rogers

    I found out about this when I was 70

  • sr420det

    What a good piece

  • Joeridge Ross
    Joeridge Ross

    Aged terribly. Oliver got duped by Chinese stealth propaganda.

  • Connor Tobin
    Connor Tobin

    Oh past John Oliver, if only you had remained correct about that being the only coupè de ta on American soil. If only the election riots didn’t happen

  • EnMaMu14

    At first I thought "whats bad in mentioning the history of slaves in the US by playing role plays" but then again im German and we would never make a role play where one of us plays a nazi. These tasks they give children in america is horrendous xD

  • Hazy Heel
    Hazy Heel

    So I’m a history major, longtime fan of the show and a liberal, but I do have a tiny bit of a problem with saying that the states was not the cause of the civil war. TECHNICALLY, it was, because states were pissed that the federal government had been making laws regulating slavery, so they seceded. So it when right wing people say that states rights were a cause of the civil war, they are correct, however the specific rights that those states wanted to have is over slavery. So both are correct, and I do think schools should make that clear

  • Aaron Alvarado
    Aaron Alvarado

    Part of the issue is that they are hearing it from the race there oppressing they need to hear it from someone who they listen to which is another thing to deal with but the point is that they will not listen to those they believe are not equal to them and that is pretty messed up

  • marcus stokes
    marcus stokes

    I was taught that racist folks were uneducated so I used to feel pity for them because to know was something great and they didn't have the knowledge which was sad to me as a kid.

  • pop5678eye

    Pretending a problem doesn't exist will not solve it. Pretending a disease does not plague you will not cure it. Pretending racism does not exist will not end it.

  • pop5678eye

    'Unjust to Stalin:' every historical account factually reporting the horrors of the Holodomor...

  • Callsign Starbuck Viper Dragon
    Callsign Starbuck Viper Dragon

    Wow lookee there! One of the Dr. Suess books that got canceled for.... being racist. Go figure, John Oliver always doing it before it’s cool

  • Grand Dragon
    Grand Dragon

    At 17:52 when John talks about the foundation of the Klan he used a photo from the 1920’s not the 1860’s. The Original Reconstruction era Klan did not wear white robes they wore all kinds of disguises.

  • Katherine Strothman
    Katherine Strothman

    Growing up in the south and being raised by leftists, my parents taught me to challenge the “states rights” claim by asking the rhetorical question : “ a states right to what? Own people?”

  • hedgehog3180

    I find it bizarre that I have a better understanding of the civil war than most Americans from my Danish history class. That's not to say that Denmark gets this stuff right our history books tend to skip over Greenland and how we participated in the slave trade but it definitely shows that this is very much a political issue.

  • MyNameIs Ritzo
    MyNameIs Ritzo

    As an American that is finally seeing whats happened/happening in my country I'm just ashamed.

  • DryBones271

    I'm Canadian, and my History class was not about Canadian History, we mainly learned European History.

  • dan mc
    dan mc

    John, is it possible to speak about British history? Especially in Ireland as I don't think it gets taught in British schools. Sad times.

  • seamus maguidhir
    seamus maguidhir

    The victors don't write the history they write self congratulatory fiction that justified all their bad acts.

  • Dave Wraptastic
    Dave Wraptastic

    Lee Atwater is exactly right: we stopped calling you nigger, but we still try to fuck you over with legislation that doesn't SOUND racist, but actually is racist.

  • Flavius Aetius
    Flavius Aetius

    The city in North Carolina was the only government control of the populist party. They were actually really powerful in North Carolina. This is the party Teddy Roosevelt ended up creating into the Bull-Moose party. And the one that had a farmer revolt but sadly lost. And the one that kinda still exists in Minnesota. It all started in Kansas actually

  • Peter Serrano
    Peter Serrano

    I love my country.

  • Bernardo Santos
    Bernardo Santos

    Fortunately Portugal doesn’t have a problem like this, that I can think of at least. I think we handle the colonies, slavery and the fascism part, at least differently

  • AlexJamesGTV

    18:20 "The only coup on american soil"... NOT ANYMORE!!!

  • awesomecat42

    I never realized just how lucky l was to learn about all this stuff in school.

  • Daniel Cao
    Daniel Cao

    Bruh how come that Texas guy didn't have a neck? XD @25:25

  • TimStamper

    Some Americans need to face the uncomfortable truth about their country and states tole in slavery. Others need to face the uncomfortable truth that as horrible as it was it wasnt unique and was not as simple as "bad white man turned up and stole peaceful black people". Slavery was already very much part of the economy in Africa with natives selling one another to arabs and then portugese as well as eachother. Let's then go back to the fact that the deniers need to look back and realise that much of what they are taught is so heavily skewed towards trying to make them feel disassociated and disconnected, in order to make them feel ok about it or atleast a bit less terrible, with the horrendous truth of what people faced just because they dont want to understand their ancestors and country did something pretty fucking awful.

  • TimStamper

    Is history, in 28 minutes Seems a bit of an excessive amount of time to sum it all up

  • Mark Ironside
    Mark Ironside

    I love the pretending at the start of all this great research when it’s clear that John has seen that one Vox video we’ve all seen

  • Mark Ironside
    Mark Ironside

    Hey John speaking of uncomfortable things people don’t wanna come out right and say, when she says “ you don’t wanna deal with the fucked up things you’re ancestors did , what’s she’s actually saying is “you don’t own up things that you should be held accountable for.

  • insidious the fox
    insidious the fox

    First coup*

  • Michael Everson
    Michael Everson

    This didn't age well

  • Colin Mor
    Colin Mor

    It seems so unassuming, but if anyone thing will be our downfall it will be this. We are going to pay for this dearly. I can only hope that those high-quality online courses continue to grow in popularity and generation Z educate themselves on history, especially US history

    • Colin Mor
      Colin Mor


    • Colin Mor
      Colin Mor

      on the other hand, I really do not like that professor that was talking about the underground railroad saying what he said. You are effectively telling me that you know that I would be a slave owner. You just know it. This is happened to me in my community college as well people told me that I am responsible for chattel slavery, which is some of the worst torture ever done to human beings in history, it is not some small passing accusation to make. Yes I Understand that I am not exactly the victim here but again it is not just some fun little historical trivia, to tell somebody that you know that they would be a slave owner is a very big deal.

  • idfk can I be arsed
    idfk can I be arsed

    "the only coût d'état" *laughs in 2021*

  • William Harvey
    William Harvey

    I remember being in an elementary school play about America and playing Thomas Jefferson. I had to say the "all men are created equal" quote. Wow, that's an uncomfortable retrospective.

  • Zach Morgan
    Zach Morgan

    As always John well done

  • Zach Morgan
    Zach Morgan

    Wtf is this crazy shit

  • Allison Womble
    Allison Womble

    John describing the dinosaurs is exactly how I felt in my first college history class. Good old’ southern education

  • Dragon Shivers
    Dragon Shivers

    Only coop on American soil? Woo, this didn't age well x.x

    • Kadan Seward
      Kadan Seward

      Well, there’ve been a bunch of failed coups

  • Lh Her
    Lh Her

    It makes me sick to my stomach at how I idolized these historic men who I was taught to view as heroic, and that proves how racially charged the education system is. Always protecting and covering up white supremacy. When I was in high school I loved history, loved the founding fathers, willingly let my mom take me to a republican convention(almost ten years ago). I was taught to view anyone who was on the opposite side of the political scale were evil. Looking back so much of my view point seems like I was brainwashed, which to an extent I really was. I am so grateful that I moved from my home town and grew and learned and evolved. I will always be out spoken now with how I feel, no matter how many people from my small town get pissed on facebook. (I was actually told that my problem is that I am too open minded, and that is the trouble with the youth today)

  • Zack Clark
    Zack Clark

    Fact is the moment Martin Luther king started the public conversation about financial equity for the black community experience ,he was killed. Before he could put the next dream in the minds of the black community

  • Dr Garima Singh
    Dr Garima Singh

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  • Darth Gorthaur
    Darth Gorthaur

    In under a minute you have managed to completely mislead people and jump to wild conclusion...wtf...

    • Oliver Avery
      Oliver Avery

      I... under a minute? This video is almost a half hour long! Did you literally just watch the first minute of the video and immediately assume you knew what he was going to say? What misinformation??

  • George Soros
    George Soros

    A Brit teaching US history? give me a break

  • Tiny Snips
    Tiny Snips

    I don't know what my ancestors were doing when slavery was legal but i know half my family didn't own them. They were not in america at the time and they were too poor to own any slaves anyway. The other half of my family.... Well its so many branches we don't know what may have gone on in there.

  • Alex Cox
    Alex Cox

    18.13 .....Well......

  • Tyler Smith
    Tyler Smith

    It is almost criminal that this isn't John's highest viewed video from 2020, because although I learned about the Tulsa Massacre (finally, in college), I NEVER ONCE heard a mention of the only coup on American soil (at that time) in Wilmington throughout my entire NC public school career or private college experience. That. Is. Absolutely. Insane.

  • nanucit

    John Oliver failed us here boys... *I want that sad mummy orgasm for my phone ringtone!!!!!!!*

  • david liu
    david liu

    States right to what ....? States right to own slaves look at the fucking Confederate constitution

  • Frenchie88

    imagine The View talking about George Washington lmao. Yeah, I'll not get my history lessons from Whoopi Goldberg thank you very much.

  • Wierd Wisdoms
    Wierd Wisdoms

    Yeah why is it that Tarantino gets an n word pass? Super cringe also when you factor in he changes the way he speaks when he talks to black people....sketchy

  • Gwen Page
    Gwen Page

    My best history teacher never even looked at the textbooks, my worst used them all the time. All of my education about how f-ed up our ancestors were comes from news like this and historical fiction.

  • Eddie Gordon
    Eddie Gordon

    Britain's Royal Family, from Queen Elizabeth 1, endorsed and profited from the Slave trade for over 300 hundred years. Especially in the trading of Slaves from Africa to British America. In 1890 Rhodesia, in South Africa (now Zimbabwe) was named after a Brit resident, Cecil Rhodes, who owned Diamond mines in the region. His payment for the country being named after him, by the authority of Queen Victoria, was the biggest diamonds mined from Cecil Rhodes mines going to QV. The local people "working" at the mine were effectively Slave labour, in their own country !!!! "The slave-trading initiatives endorsed by the English monarchy began with Queen Elizabeth I’s enthusiastic support of John Hawkins’ slaving expeditions in the 1560s. In three separate voyages backed by government officials, London merchants, and the queen, Hawkins raided African settlements on the West African coast and seized hundreds of enslaved captives from Portuguese ships. In defiance of Portugal’s dominance over the European slave trade in Africans, Hawkins sold his cargo of African captives in the Spanish Caribbean. After his profitable second voyage, Queen Elizabeth 1st honored Hawkins with a coat of arms and crest featuring a nude African bound with rope." slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/07/british-royal-family-slavery-reparations.html The looting, physical and artefacts. www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/31/queen-artefacts-royal-family-looted-law-cultural-heritage

  • Adam Klaiber
    Adam Klaiber

    When your 9th grade teacher holds field trips going to Harvard to learn history. :)

  • CNCcamon1

    18:06 "The only coup d'etat ever to take place on American soil." That aged poorly.

    • Kadan Seward
      Kadan Seward

      There have actually been a bunch of failed ones

  • John White
    John White

    the worst day in America is worse than the worst day in most other developed countries - unfortunately, So naive and it's everywhere in the US

  • Asgard17815

    Tulsa Race Massacres, Slavery as the reason for the civil war, The Triangle Trade. I was taught about a lot of it.

  • vonsuthoff


  • vonsuthoff

    *Texas still has FAR too much influence...* in regard to which text books are used all over the nation... And they haven't been exactly striving to make sure our kids get accurate history books.

  • Fredrik Dunge
    Fredrik Dunge

    Kind of sucks us chattel slavery didn't keep more from Saturnalia. One of the celebrations that would go on to create Christmas. Because during Saturnalia the master served the slaves. I'm guessing that slavery would have lasted a lot shorter if once a year the roles very reversed. Then again Rome treated its slaves with a lot more dignity than America did.

  • david desk
    david desk

    All americans should be forced to watch this show

  • Matthew Moser
    Matthew Moser

    That bit about unlearning something hits home. We were ABSOLUTELY taught in Elementary school that everyone believed the world was flat and that Christopher Columbus wanted to prove them wrong. We weren't taught about the Ottomans raising taxes on the Silk Road, Europeans looking for a way to bypass them, or Columbus making calculations on the size of the globe. We need to di better.

  • Jacob Janek
    Jacob Janek

    I’m 18, and went to elementary school in Illinois. I remember a class activity where we had to list the simple pros and cons of slavery, as if there was arguments on both sides to be made.

  • Janus Jones
    Janus Jones

    Wish japan could be as half as aware of the way they’ve erased historical atrocities they’ve committed against other nations. Most Japanese actually believe they were the victims in WW2.

  • julio Cubillas
    julio Cubillas

    79% teachers are white??!!!!! That would be a supprise if 70% of the population wasnt white.

    • julio Cubillas
      julio Cubillas

      @Oliver Avery No, I get the point, I just disagree they way he goes around making it.

    • Oliver Avery
      Oliver Avery

      @julio Cubillas i really just think you're misunderstanding his point

    • julio Cubillas
      julio Cubillas

      @Oliver Avery yes, but the way he demonstrates that by using race statistics implies that The system is inherently racist because the majority of teachers are white where in reality is pretty representative of the population. I love John Oliver, but I dont like how he often misrepresents data some times by not showing the whole story.

    • Oliver Avery
      Oliver Avery

      @julio Cubillas right and I'm saying the point you just made is the same point he made with the white teachers statistic

    • julio Cubillas
      julio Cubillas

      @Oliver Avery I agree that we should be teaching history even if it uncomfortable to us. But the way he is cherry piciking statistics leaves a bad taste.

  • fourdegreeswarmer

    “R Kelly of his time” lmao

  • Bobby Goetz
    Bobby Goetz

    It's not even funny the way you distort history. Half the things you said were lies, extreme exaggerations, or intentionally misleading. You're a horrible person.

    • Oliver Avery
      Oliver Avery

      Damn fighting words! Alright, name one lie in this video.

  • isosthenie

    Lee Atwater made music with black musicians a lot. I dont really believe him to be unconscious about what he is saying and that is why the citation seems to need a little more context.

    • jlrinc

      Lee Atwater apologised for a lot of his actions on his deathbed. Writing letters to political opponents like Dukakkis and Turnipseed

  • Solidarity Time
    Solidarity Time

    Literally everything Laura ingram mentioned is actually racist tho

  • Don Hill
    Don Hill

    I’m only six percent African, but I celebrate Juneteenth for the love of my black ancestors.

  • Ethan Pollak
    Ethan Pollak

    What a load of political propaganda this guys become, 2021 and your still a hack.

  • TheBizzle1984

    The weird thing is, as a Canadian grade 10 student, I wrote an essay on the mistreatment of minorities by democratic governments, including the Indigenous genocide in Canada and the US, and I researched the Tulsa massacre in order to write that essay. I learned more accurate US history as a Canadian student than most US students.

  • RAKESH Desai
    RAKESH Desai

    We need journalists like you in India. Lots of love from India ! 😍

  • The Garage
    The Garage

    Its kind of cool that I have correspondence from my Great Great Grandfather with some of those African American Congressmen from the 1860s and 1870s. He was a Congressman during that time as well.

    • The Garage
      The Garage

      @jlrinc Yeah they have reproductions of them at our local historical society.

    • jlrinc

      Wow that's pretty cool. Have you shown them to historians who might be interested in the period? Authentic letters from that period would be great to further our understanding of reconstruction. That whole period is heavily distorted by the narrative that is usually taught that black people couldnt handle self government causing reconstruction to fail.

  • The Garage
    The Garage

    I'm all for the whole truth and nothing but the truth however I'm sure that will never happen as it might be a tad painful for both sides on that one. All societies that have been successful have a history of racial inequality and / or slavery. Does not make it right, but it merely a fact. Teach kids the unfiltered truth and guide them through not making the same mistakes our forefathers have.

  • keener gaming
    keener gaming

    I tend to think its racist to say that an aversion to low income housing is racist Its not racist its classist And since low income housing tends to be high crime as well ide say its understandable to have that aversion

  • Hoban Carney
    Hoban Carney

    "The only coup on American soil" Yeah.... Not anymore...

  • John Darnold
    John Darnold

    Damn now it's just the oldest coup

  • 00000b1 00000b1
    00000b1 00000b1

    Germany never owned up to perfecting their "baking" skills in Africa btw, Namibia to be exact. Y'all are the same

    • jlrinc

      Belgium gets a pass too. So many of the cultural luxuries in the country were financed by one of the cruelest man in Europe till Hitler. Belgium has never answered for the Congo.

  • Navod Wickramaratne
    Navod Wickramaratne

    There are a lot of weapons in Royal Armouries which state either gifted or presented, we all know what really happened though :D

  • Mike D
    Mike D

    I want my kids to be taught a fairy tale version of history so they can later find out it was all bs and never trust authority again because they've constantly been lied to by it. What a wonderful thing. And is it really any wonder why when people grow up they don't trust any thing or any one. We should be honest with our children because they are going to find out anyway and at least they will trust that we will be truthful and honest with them about everything in life.

    • jlrinc

      That is a really good point. Once kids re realize they taught bullshit in their history courses they have to wonder what else they were lied to about.

  • Jan Verboven
    Jan Verboven

    Spot on. The USA started on the wrong foot - no King will be better - really ? Read the Somerset case - of course the 'founding fathers' - some even illiterate - found a way to keep importing and selling people as slaves - History was never taught objectively in the USA - even in the 1960's and beyond. Why? They colonies wanted to be 'independent', so slavery import and holding could go on until the bloody war of 1860-1865 - and thereafter black people would be still be 'pseudo slaves' until …. now ? I have some US-American friends and it baffles me how little they know about their own history. (or world history)

  • Han Koehle
    Han Koehle

    The "only coup on US soil" part of this got outdated fast, didn't it?

  • Eric Thompson
    Eric Thompson

    Shame on you, Jon. The Constitution did not institutionalize slavery. The 3/5 Compromise was anit-slavery specifically. With?

    • Kadan Seward
      Kadan Seward

      But it still codified slavery. You don’t get to compromise on owning people

  • Nerobyrne

    A year later and it turns out that Trump's choice to hold the rally in Tulsa wasn't tonedeaf, but very much deliberate.