John Oliver devoted a segment to Black hair on “Last Week Tonight” to tell white people a few things: Stop discriminating against it, don’t friggin’ touch it and stop imitating it. (Watch the video below.)
The host promoted CROWN Act proposals ― Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair ― to prevent prejudice based on Black hairstyles. He offered several examples of Black people facing racism at work and elsewhere over their hair.
“All Black people should clearly be able to make choices about their based on what they feel like doing with it rather than, will this get me harassed or fired,” Oliver said. “The point is Black hair shouldn’t be viewed ... or judged by white people’s comfort, because it doesn’t belong to white people, it doesn’t affect white people, and white people don’t need to have an opinion on it, and our laws should reflect that.”
Oliver enlisted Leslie Jones, Craig Robinson and Uzo Aduba to strongly encourage white people to Google their questions about Black hair. Otherwise, in the words of “Saturday Night Live” alum Jones, they have the option to “fuck off.”
“You figured out sourdough last year. I think you can Google the word ‘weave,’” cracked Aduba, the former “Orange is the New Black” star.
Robinson, of “The Office” fame, offered another tip: “Don’t spray my hair with water and pat my head. I’m not a cat.”
As for why Black people get upset when white people adopt their hairstyles, Oliver summed it up:
“When you consider all the obstacles that get placed in the way of Black people, it’s understandably pretty hard to take when white people wear the exact same hairstyles that they get judgment for.”