Monday, May 8, 2017


My name is Andrea and I'm a Caucasian. It's just me and my husband and son, and all of us are white. And my parents and sister too, and aunts and uncle and cousins. There are no black people in my family and never have been, as far back as I can trace. No Latinos or Asians either. And unlike Elizabeth Warren, I have no native American ancestors.

The awful truth is: I am not diverse. I never felt bad about this growing up, back when it was perfectly acceptable, but then somewhere along the way it became a liability, and now it's a full-blown shonda. (Oh well, at least I'm a Jew. That surely counts for something.)

What's got me thinking like this is the just-released documentary Oklahoma City, which I recently saw on Netflix and which blew my mind. It shows in riveting detail the events leading to the 1995 bombing and resulting death of 168 people in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, caused by a young white man named Timothy McVeigh. At the time I was busy raising my son, concentrating my efforts on making Halloween costumes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and correctly identifying each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so I missed a lot. (I admit to paying little attention to world news until September 11, 2001, after which I became addicted to it.) This film fills in all the blanks regarding the roots of today's anti-government sentiments, in case, like me, you've wondered how the heck we got where we are.

With incredible historic footage of all the events, Oklahoma City describes the path leading from McVeigh's growing fear and mistrust of the government and ending in his horrific extremist act. Beginning with the FBI's 1992 siege on Ruby Ridge, the Idaho home of Randy Weaver, an off-the-grid gun owner who caught the attention of the authorities, one can understand how the impressionable McVeigh saw the cops as the bad guys. After an 11-day standoff, Weaver's 14-year-old son, his wife and the family dog were all dead, as well as a deputy U.S. Marshal. Then came the 1993 conflagration at Waco, Texas wherein 76 people, 20 of them children, were killed by our government -- Bill Clinton was top dog at the time -- for owning lots of guns and retreating from normal society. All of the dead were white, which may or may not have added to their purported crimes, who knows.

Running 102 minutes, Oklahoma City flies by. It's one heck of a nail-biter and a great history lesson too. And hey, if you've got any guns, you might want to get rid of them. And if you're white, or weirdly religious, just stop it right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment