Feel-good social analysis fails to show how real change happens

the wire hbo image
HBO’s The Wire (Photo courtesy of HBO)
Through analyzing what’s wrong with The Wire, Dave Zirin takes a hard look at what is missing altogether from supposedly progressive TV shows that supposedly delve into the social injustices that are screaming for attention all across the US recently. Interesting read. Dave says:

I always shoved it to the back of my mind when my friends in Baltimore – I live about 45 minutes from the city – almost uniformly would tell me they either did not like or would not watch the show. People were hostile toward The Wire for a multiplicity of reasons. Some felt it was like gangster rap for a more sophisticated audience, glorifying black-on-black hyper-masculine street violence while selling itself as somehow more literate and ennobling to consume. My friend Mark once pissed me off fiercely when he told me that my favorite show was “NWA for people who read The New Yorker.” read more

Film: American Violet

Film: American Violet
African Violet Movie
American Violet is a film that shows us the criminal justice system being used as a tool to disenfranchise target communities from housing, jobs and social services – with no regard for whether detainees have ever committed a crime, or how the arrest of one member will impact the stability of an entire family.

People who are falsely detained and have children or parents at home who rely on them for support, are likely to succumb to coercion and plead guilty to crimes they did not commit in order to get released from jail and back to their families. But afterwards, they will face the consequences of being branded as convicts and the immediate loss of social support services their families rely on, including their family’s home if they live in public – or publicly supported – housing. read more