In early June 2020, Phil Vischer, creator of “VeggieTales” and voice of Bob the Tomato, posted a video called “Race in America” that attempts to answer the question: “Why are people so angry?” In the video he asks viewers to do one thing.
The Effects of Policy on Race
Visher’s 17-minute tutorial garnered more than 5 million views by June 28th. If you haven’t seen it yet I attached a video below. As a Canadian, I’ve always loved American history. Believing I was well versed in details you can understand my surprise when I heard facts applied in ways I had not imagined. One event can have two interpretations and both be true or each have elements of truth. Case in point:
The average Black household has one-tenth the wealth of the average white household. This didn’t happen by accident. It happened by policy.
Beginning with the end of the Civil War, Vischer enumerates in the video the damage segregation, discrimination and law enforcement have done to Black lives and Black wealth in the United States, intentionally and collaterally.
After his seemingly breathless run through policy matters that condemn North and South, Republicans and Democrats, Vischer concludes, “I’m just here to ask you to do one thing. It is the thing that begins every journey to a solution for every problem. … Care.”
Canadians have much to care about of our own. I’m interested to see someone produce a history of Canada along the lines of Visher’s production.
Vischer relied heavily on “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” a 2010 book by civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander.
“The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein
Erin Blakemore and “Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment,” an episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, “Revisionist History.”
APPLICATION: Have you watched the “Race in America” video? What did you learn? Please join the conversation and leave a comment at the end of this post. (You have to go right to the end to see the comment section.)
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What I learned: Phil’s video offers clarity to the description “systemic” when applied to racism in America. I was aware of American policy such as “Law and Order,” and the GI Bill but did not associate those with racist outcomes. I had heard of “redlining” but not applied in the way it is described in this video.
Thanks for sharing that video that Phil Visher made Bob. It was certainly eye-opening & very informative. Although, I know a little of The States history, I don’t know the fine details.