John Oliver’s “This Is Not Normal” Video Inspired Us

John Oliver was not the first media figure to point out that the situation in which we find ourselves in “Not Normal”. But, as is so often the case with Mr. Oliver, it’s the WAY that he said it that is so memorable and so instructive. In fact his rant on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, broadcast on HBO November 13, was the inspiration for the creation of NOTNORMAL.INFO and our sticker campaign. 

The entire video is super and should be viewed if you have not done so already. The segment that gave us the “aha!” moment starts at marker 22:20 (22 minutes, 20 seconds into the video). We recognized how easy it will be, as time passes, to become anesthetized by what we expect to be a constant onslaught of sound bytes from Trump, echoed and amplified incessantly by popular mass media. It will be so easy to allow our sense of right and wrong – of decency, of justice – dulled so that we cease to be outraged; so that we cease to speak out.  

Oliver’s plea that we paste on our refrigerators a Post-It Note inscribed with the words “This Is Not Normal!” led to our decision to do what we can to turn that reminder into a meme and to help it go viral. We reasoned that we should do what others might not – to go offline with the meme in the way that Post-It Notes are “offline”, and to enlist as many Americans as possible to do the same. Thus was born the Not Normal Sticker Campaign.  We hope you will join the campaign.

Will a New A&E TV Series Humanize the KKK?

Some argue that Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency was good for America because, in it, he “said some things that needed to be said”. He set aside political correctness and, in doing so, said what was on the minds of many Americans, they argue. That’s worrisome for many who did not vote for Trump.  Are there that many racists in America? The majority of Trump voters would not lay claim to that moniker. At least not currently. But what if being racist came to be acceptable in widening circles of society. What if it provided a sense of belonging to some who currently have no sense of affiliation – no “tribe” with which to identify?

A new series to be shown on the A&E Network, entitled “Generation KKK” might be just the ticket. By going inside a home in which individual family members struggle either to identify with or to reject their KKK legacy, A&E may well serve to “humanize” a segment of society that is currently very small and viewed by most with suspicion and revulsion.

In the linked article in Salon, Melanie McFarland asks:

At some point we’ll have to ask ourselves whether a show like this is fighting white supremacy or normalizing it.

Although the show’s producer states that the show has been in the works for a year and a half, McFarland points out that’s when Trump’s campaign began in earnest and capitalized on the bigotry and racial tension that has punctuated our national news. 

Read the full article at Salon

(photo credit: A&E)