Saturday, March 10, 2018

America's Original Sin

For reasons I can trace back to my childhood experiences of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, my parents participation as trainers in the Freedom Rides, being called "Kike" on school playgrounds in Vermont, having black foster brothers and sisters, and simply being exposed to what was in the cultural air in the late 1960s-mid 1970s, race in America matters a lot to me. Perhaps more than any other social ill I think of racism as America's original sin, a sin which I see neither the Right nor the Left in America addressing, nor do I see it effectively addressed by identity politics, which too easily loses a universalist spirit I intuitively believe we mustn't leave behind, even as we rightfully embrace the particularity of racial and ethnic experience. (I am firmly of the belief that 'race' is a made-up category without empirical justification; I roll my eyes every time someone is 'shocked, shocked' to discover their DNA makes them 'part' black, or Jewish, or whatever.)

I hope to find a place in tv/film in which I get to help explore stories of America's original sin in ways that find our common humanity.

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