Reactions to Donald Trump's victory have oscillated between ‘the world is coming to an end’ and ‘everything might be okay if we just get drunk and stay drunk for the foreseeable future’.
But John Oliver, host of HBO’s US show, Last Week Tonight, has argued that this forced optimism isn’t really okay.
I think the danger of ‘live your lives, the sun comes out tomorrow’ is that that’s true for some people, and so it’s very easy to forget that it’s very much not for others.
That’s the danger. If you are lucky enough for your life to become routine, it’s easy not to feel the pain of others whose routines are going to be shattered. Not everyone is going to be OK, so it’s incumbent on everyone to remember that.
Oliver gave the warning in a conversation with fellow TV host Stephen Colbert. The two comedians had a sombre, heartfelt conversation about the presidential election, showing that the aftermath is so serious that not even two of America's most prolific satirists could joke about it.
Stephen Colbert and John Oliver talked about their anxiety over Donald Trump's election https://t.co/TidX8M3PCL https://t.co/GErsNkShzN
— The New York Times (@The New York Times)
The comedians discussed how even they don't see the funny side. Colbert said:
Next person who says to me, 'You must be happy on a certain level' is going to get their eye carved out.
Oliver also warned against normalising Trump’s win on a recent episode of his Last Week Tonight show:
It is going to be too easy for things to start feeling normal—especially if you are someone who is not directly impacted by his actions—so keep reminding yourself: This is not normal.
Write it on a Post-It note and stick it on your refrigerator, hire a skywriter once a month, tattoo it on your ass, because a Klan-backed misogynist internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address, and that is not normal. It is fucked up.
Latest data shows that hate crime in America has reached the highest number since the aftermath of 9/11, and the spike has even prompted the creation of a special police unit to fight hate crime in New York. As a result, there have been many reports of Americans now feeling unsafe in their own neighbourhoods.