The myth of American exceptionalism
Lee opens this episode of VIP with a bit of media criticism by taking a look at a typical day at the top of CNN’s news cycle. While the US is trying to add Iran to its stack of wars and prepare for a future ridden with environmental catastrophe, CNN focuses on sports, crime, and an election that’s more than a year away. He also shows a clip from an old interview with Bruce Dixon, a prolific activist and the co-founder of Black Agenda Report.
In the second half of the show, Lee interviews Daniel Haiphong, the author of ‘American Exceptionalism and Innocence.’ The ideas of American exceptionalism and meritocracy rely on rewriting US history to erase the humanity of the people who were indigenous to the land, slaves, the victims of US militarism abroad, as well as the American working poor. The belief in American exceptionalism unites the DNC and the GOP. Haiphong seeks to crack that narrative to paint an accurate picture of the US.
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