Wednesday, July 29, 2020

On Richard Russo, the Flitcraft parable, White Americans, and the George Floyd protests

Richard Russo's "Will White People Forget About George Floyd?" recounts a story from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon: having almost been killed by a construction accident, a man named Flitcraft abandons his life, only to be found elsewhere five years later, with a similar job and family. Russo wonders whether, with time, White Americans might also return to their old lives after George Floyd's murder. But Flitcraft's story is individualist and masculinist: he could have changed his life by spending more time with his family, working with homeless people, or even investigating construction-site safety. Russo's Flitcraft parable suppresses the social and inclusive elements of protest that change the lives of participants. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 29 July)


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