From the mind the brought us Get Out, is the new film scaring audiences across the states. In Jordan Peele’s latest film, Us, doppelgängers menace a family trying to enjoy their summer vacation. But … as in Get Out, everything isn’t quite that simple. Warning: Spoilers!
What mirror is Peele holding up for us now?
USC Price Dean Jack H. Knott was joined by Bedrosian Faculty Affiliates Lisa Schweitzer and Erroll Southers (director of the Safe Communities Institute), in a discussion of the policy implications and responses to racism and extremism after the violence triggered by a white-nationalist rally in the Charlottesville, Virginia last month.
“White supremacy is not a historical construct we get to walk away from. We have to really interrogate how white supremacy informs public policies within the structures of our cities, within education and politics,” said Lisa Schweitzer. Erroll Southers indicated that he considered Charlottesville a pivotal moment for extremism in the country.
You may think politics isn’t for you. It’s for the elites. It’s for the rich and powerful. It isn’t for people who look like you or talk like you or live like you. Well, that may be the world we’ve constructed, but it’s not inevitable. You deserve better.
Still not convinced? Good! This episode is for you! Learn how you can become a part of the solution.
In this episode, inspirational speaker and social work professor Melissa Bird knocks down the misconceptions that marginalize us and replaces them with the attitude we need to take on the injustices in our nation today.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
The narrator of Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist may be unreliable as he tells his American experience before and after 9/11 with an unknown American dinner guest, but we wonder if he is any more unreliable than the voice inside all of us. We discuss the East/West conflict, the relationship between fundamentalism and nostalgia, the narrator’s reluctance and fundamentalism, the narrator’s love of America and Erica, as well as puzzle over the ending as we delve into this deep and short novel.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Reluctant Fundamentalist click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play
In Colson Whitehead’s award winning novel The Underground Railroad, Cora, daughter and granddaughter of slaves, flees her plantation after a horrific punishment. She heads out with a fellow slave Caesar, who takes her to the underground railroad – in this novel, a real RR. She is passionately pursued by Ridgeway, a slave catcher while she experiences the horrors of American racism and the courage of the RR personnel. The book compares a mythological Southern narrative of slavery with Cora’s truths and Ridgeway’s version of the “American imperative.” Beautifully written, full of horrific incidents, the book reminds us of the power of racism, the government’s complicity in its implementation and persistence, and reminds us freed African Americans carried with them the legacy of violence, oppression, suppression, and more violence whether from the police, physicians, or any other institution.
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Underground Railroad click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player here – or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play
Get Out follows a young African-American photographer on a visit to his white girlfriend’s parents’ home. The tag line sums up the deep horror of the film, “Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you’re welcome.” The film is funny, scary, and has sparked conversations (and even a viral challenge) throughout the country.
Find out what we think …
To listen to the Price Projection Room discussion of Get Out click the arrow in the player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
The novel is a fascinating exploration of the meaning of ethnicity, modernism, memory, and community in which we are reminded of the many ethnicities that make up America, but also their amalgamation into a secular American society with few gods. As multiple characters remind us, America is a hard place to be a god. This is a quintessential American novel from a quintessential British storyteller – it’s a sprawling road trip into the vast highways and byways of the American landscape, it’s a horror novel, a mystery, a romance, a western, a fantasy, and ultimately a look into the heart of America.
This podcast features Caroline Bhalla, Raphael Bostic, Lisa Schweitzer, and David Sloane
Jody Armour of the USC Gould School participated in a panel discussion following the performance of the one-man play, “The Bitter Game,” which explores the black experience in America, at the Skirball Cultural Center, held January 27-28, 2017. More information about the play and the writer (Keith A. Wallace) here.