It reminds me very much of the Academy-award-winner of 2004, Crash. I heard this story breaking, and I thought, this sounds like that film to me. If you remember that film, the first act of really horrifying racism occurs when the white police officer puts his hand up an African American woman’s dress, a sexual assault on her. But – in a scene right after that – we see a black woman bureaucrat refusing government services to this police officer’s aging father. The idea in that film, that the movie made …and we embraced it as a country and felt good about awarding the Oscar … is that the police officer and the low-level bureaucrat are the same, all prejudice is equal, this is the thing the NAACP is moved to do, it’s to explain that it is structural racism that matters, not just momentary lapses of prejudice. Even if that tape had been true, it would not have been the equivalency of Jim Crow, to slavery, to institutional racism.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Melissa Harris-Lacewell speaking about Shirley Sherrod: