Tuesday, May 15, 2018
A RESPONSE TO JERRY FRESIA
I suppose, Jerry, that I could say it was April 17, 1961 when I stopped feeling that this is my country. [The Bay of Pigs invasion, for those too young to remember.] I went to bed on the 16th thinking of myself as a progressive Democrat, and woke up the next day to wonder who I was and what I stood for. I am thoroughly American, despite my Paris apartment, but I do not think of myself as a loyal American. It was not until I wrote Autobiography of an Ex-White Man that I was able to tell a story of this country that was a substitute for the familiar story of a City Upon a Hill and American Exceptionalism, and I learned that new story from my Black colleagues in Afro-American Studies. But I have never been a rootless citizen of the world, and that is the source of my despair.