John Oliver: US Prisons Are Full Because ‘Our Drug Laws Are a Little Draconian, and a Lot Racist’
In a segment on his show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver slammed America’s prison system for its “draconian” drug laws, rape, and privatization.
“We have over 2 million behind bars right now,” Oliver exclaimed. “We have more prisoners at the moment than China. Than China. We don’t have more anything than China other than, of course, debt to China.”
Oliver pointed out that the prison population is now eight times larger than it was in 1970.
“The only other thing that has grown at that rate, since the seventies, is varieties of Cheerios,” Oliver quipped. “F*** you, Fruity Cheerios, you’re trumped up Froot Loops and you know it!”
With more than 50 percent of the prison population being convicted on drug charges, Oliver stated that “Our drug laws are a little draconian, and a lot racist.”
“While white people and African-Americans use drugs at about the same amount, a study has shown that African-Americans have been sent to prison for drug offenses up to ten times the rate for some utterly known reason.”
“It reminds me of a joke. Black people who commit drug offenses, they go to jail like this,” Oliver quipped, miming handcuffs. “Whereas white people… don’t go to jail at all.”
Oliver noted that prison has become such a perverse part of American culture that even Sesame Street has segments explaining prison to children.
“Just think about that,” he said. “We now need adorable singing puppets to explain prison to children in the same way they explain the number seven or what the moon is.”