“This land is your land, this land is my land,” sang Woody Guthrie. This week’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, “Whose America?” approaches the question of just whose land North America is from several different viewpoints.
I found the whole show enlightening, but particularly interesting was the interview with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which is the Sisters Book Club selection for August and September.
From the interview:
“Challenging mass incarceration requires of us—demands of us—to develop care, compassion, and concern for the guilty…If we are going to build a movement that ends mass incarceration we’re going to have to inspire Americans to believe that each and every one of us—no matter who we are or what we’ve done—are deserving of basic dignity and respect and humanity. That’s the challenge. As long as we imagine that the criminals are them and not us, and that we can lock them up and throw away the key and not care much what happens to them after that, as long as we allow ourselves to live with that kind of indifference in our own hearts and our own minds, the system will continue to function well for a very, very long time.”
Take a listen to the rest and leave a note about what you think about whose land America is. Can it really be both your land and my land, regardless of who you and I are?
And if you want to read the book, you can join us anytime! We will discuss the book as we read at the Sisters Book Club Group on Goodreads.