While Jimmy Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” and “Celebrity Mean Tweets” segments never fail to make us laugh, his newest segment gives us serious reason to be concerned for our nation’s future. Inspired by President Trump’s recent trip to Europe, Kimmel sent his film crew to the streets of Los Angeles to find out how much Americans really know about geography. America’s responsibility to understand people in other lands doesn’t just apply to the president, Kimmel said as he introduced the segment, but to all of us.
As it turns out, many Americans might be shirking that responsibility. Each interviewee was given a pointer and a map of the world and asked to name a country. Any country at all. Even the United States. And yet, almost everybody failed to do so.
From confusing Africa with South America to thinking either of them is a country instead of a continent, the segment is truly cringeworthy. Obviously, speaking to a few people on the street isn’t representative of the entire American population, and editing will always make interviewees appear dumber than they actually are, but it’s still pretty disheartening to think that even 1% of Americans could be so deficient in their geography knowledge.
While the performance of adults certainly wasn’t encouraging, the video ends with a young child being able to identify plenty of countries, including hard-to-guess ones like Papua New Guinea. So at least there’s hope that children are, in fact, our future.