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Race Matters: America in Crisis (2020)Race Matters: America in Crisis (2020)

The day after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, protests erupted in the United States and, eventually, in 2,000 cities in over 60 countries around the world. While most of these protests were peaceful, others turned violent, and involved incidences of police brutality. This PBS NewsHour "Special" originally aired nationwide on June 5, 2020, and attempts to address the outrage over Floyd's murder and the "deep wounds of racism" that it exposed. At the onset, it observes that we all look at these issues "though the lens of race."  For example, whereas 58% of whites viewed the protests favorably, as a legitimate response, 77% of blacks did. Judy Woodruff begins the first segment by interviewing two black thought leaders — film maker Ava DuVernay and Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation.  In the second segment, Yamiche Alcindor interviews two experts about policing. In a third segment, Amna Nawaz interviews a physician, an investigative reporter for the NYT, and a Duke University professor about the radical inequities between blacks and whites in economics, education, criminal justice, housing, employment and health care. In the final segment, Charlayne Hunter Gault interviews a father and son about the impact of racism on families. We have long passed the time when "deniability was an option." What remains to be seen is how we will respond. At a bare minimum, says DuVernay, "educate yourself!" This documentary helps us to do that.

Dan Clendenin:

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