Blurring Black and White

Too much talk makes Spinning Into Butter lose its focus on racism.

Jamie Horton and Annette Helde star in the DCTC's Spinning Into Butter.
Jamie Horton and Annette Helde star in the DCTC's Spinning Into Butter.

Perhaps paradoxically, the more Daniels castigates herself, the more self-centered the play seems. Something terrible involving a black kid has happened, but it's the distress of white adults that's center stage. Racism may be personal and psychological, but it's also structural. True, if every racist in America underwent a change of heart, the lives of black people would greatly improve. And if humankind could perfect itself, there wouldn't be any wars. But in an imperfect world, the solution for whites may lie less in examining our own psyches and more in searching out legal, institutional and economic solutions. The most painstaking act of navel-gazing won't put food on anyone's table or get the kids to the doctor. And loathing Toni Morrison is really no more a sin than loathing John Updike.

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