Sunday, April 24, 2005

Internal Consistency?

I recall a few months ago, reading Nicholas Kristof insist that Blue America had to refrain from condescending to Red America. This article summarizes his stance:
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof argued in favour of an implicit split in America, saying that the Democrats had "lost touch" with blue-collar voters who were once the backbone of the party.

"One-third of Americans are evangelical Christians and many of them perceive Democrats as often contemptuous of their faith," Kristof wrote. "Frankly, they're often right."
Today, in arguing for more depictions of interracial couples on TV, Kristof argues:
Popular entertainment shapes our culture as well as reflects it, and one breakthrough might come late next year with the possible release of "Emma's War." That's a movie that 20th Century Fox is considering, in which a white woman - Nicole Kidman is being discussed - marries an African. It's great that Hollywood is close to catching up to Shakespeare's "Othello."

Let's hope that Hollywood will finally dare to be as iconoclastic as its audiences. It's been half a century since Brown v. Board of Education led to the integration of American schools, but the breakdown of the barriers of love will be a far more consequential and transformative kind of integration - not least because it's spontaneous and hormonal rather than imposed and legal.
Now, it's not that Kristof doesn't have a point that interracial relationships make TV and movie producers nervous. But isn't this an argument for Hollywood to finish a process of social transformation, and implicit within that argument that it is blue-collar America and the Bob Jones-type evangelicals who need to be brought into the 21st century? Does he really think those segments of society which still get hung up on interracial dating and marriage are going to have an epiphany after seeing a Nicole Kidman movie?

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