What to do about Charleston? A never-ending inquiry…

From the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization:

In memory of the nine beautiful souls lost to the violence of a man propelled by racist philosophies and a culture of violence that our society as a whole is accountable for, each of us must recommit to ending these evils at their root. Acknowledging the effects of generations of racism and violence on our current condition is a first step. Taking concrete actions to transform our society, institutions, and relationships to end racism and violence is the next.

While the beloved community where all are treated justly feels far off today, we must press forward now more than ever toward that necessary goal.

There is a fascinating literature out there about “white privilege,” by white people for white people. It offers a more productive vehicle for self-examination than “liberal (white) guilt,” that denigrating straw man dating from the 1960s. As a playwright, I feel an obligation to illuminate our inner lives— our subconscious go-to thought processes— as a path to promoting social justice. I want to hold up a mirror and have the viewer say, “Really, is that me?

A very partial list of memorable dramas (and comedies) about racial attitudes that have had an impact on me:

  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
  • Trading Places
  • Six Degrees of Separation
  • All in the Family

What films, plays or television shows have most affected your own way of thinking about racism and you?