New York Magazine: White Audiences Must ‘Examine Their Racist Failings’


Relics of the past should be preserved, for the sake of history, art, and future generations. But the current frenzy to demand removal of (and in some cases actually violently destroy) Confederate monuments, and even American monuments threatens to erase large swaths of American history — noble and deplorable alike.

The arts are certainly not immune to the hysteria. In response to a theater in Tennessee cancelling a showing of Gone With the Wind, because of its “insensitivity,” New York Magazine’s Vulture published a piece calling the film, “a cinematic monument to the Confederacy.” However, Angelica Jade Bastien, the essayist, argued that the film should in fact be preserved. Why? “When watching Gone With the Windwhite audiences today who are willing to examine their racist failings must also examine how they specifically propagate the mythology that upholds white supremacy,” she reasoned.

Right, because a three-hour film about an angry white woman struggling to survive after the Civil War is really going to force people to think about racism. Bastien seemed to think so. “Better than any film, Gone With the Wind is a searing, accidental portrait about the American mythology around slavery,” in her opinion.


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