Trapped in a Burning House: A Review of “I Am Not Your Negro”

"It's not a question of what happens to the Negro," Baldwin said in an early [episode] of "The Dick Cavett Show." Eyebrows arched, he looked at Cavett, "The real question is what's going to happen to this country." The film cuts to cops arresting Black Lives Matters activists. Peck edits Baldwin speaking in the past, alongside today's protests throughout I Am Not Your Negro. It drives the overall theme that our nation is again at a turning point. The US will rise or fall to the degree it heeds Baldwin's warning. The film commands: Look beyond the self-serving stereotypes of Black people or collapse from the weight of your hypocrisy.

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In Praise of Allies: Wherever we’re going, we’ll only get there together

Dear Allies, You deserve praise. Yes, you. I imagine you thinking, “But I’m white or male, I’m straight or able-bodied, I’m liberal or middle-class. I’m some combination of privilege, I’m part of the problem.” No, you’re not. You deserve praise. Why? Because when I need help, you’re there. You’re the white woman yelling, “Hands up! … Continue reading In Praise of Allies: Wherever we’re going, we’ll only get there together

Trump’s Rape Rhetoric Appeals to Male Anxiety

Donald Trump has made sexual assault a core motif of his campaign rhetoric, but he's not interested in women's safety. Instead, he exploits rape imagery to tap into our fear even as he promotes social policies that endanger women. The sexual anxiety he calls up in his speeches is part of the conservative tradition that … Continue reading Trump’s Rape Rhetoric Appeals to Male Anxiety

To the Racist Assholes Voting for Trump

In the decades since, everywhere you turn there’s a person of color holding a mirror. On TV, we hold up mirrors. In music, in newspapers and in college classes we hold up mirrors. In the riots of Baltimore and Ferguson and in the Black Lives Matters protests, we carry mirrors through the streets. The President, a black man at the highest office of the land, holds up a mirror. And in those many, many reflections, you and everyone can see the bloody grave upon which you built your history.