Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Citations Needed, Episode 37: Black Lives Matter, Dreamers, and the Problem of ‘The Perfect Victim’

A pillar of the community. A straight-A student who dreamed of becoming a doctor. A loving father. Here through no fault of their own. She was hysterical and out of control. He was no angel.

The press, both local and national, humanizes some victims of state or corporate violence, while demonizing others. Despite good intentions and seemingly without noticing, the media all too often create tiered systems of moral worth by trying to find “the perfect victim.”

The media’s search for the perfect victim, and its corollary desire to smear those with less than perfect pasts, makes humanity conditional, further entrenching negative stereotypes and destructive narratives about entire communities.

In this episode, we dissect the real time auditing of those who die or are deported and how we can expand our moral vocabulary to protect all vulnerable people and populations.

We are joined by both Joel Sati and Charlene Carruthers.


The Show

Episode transcript available here.


The Guests

Joel Sati is a PhD student in the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program at Berkeley Law and an immigrant rights activist.

Charlene Carruthers is founding national director of the Black Youth Project 100. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC and has written for, Colorlines and the Boston Review. Charlene’s forthcoming book, Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, will be published in the Fall of 2018.


Citations Needed is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and LibSyn (here’s the RSS feed). You can also check us out on Twitter and Facebook.


Want More?

For further reading, show notes, a periodic newsletter, and more exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page and sign up to support the show!


Citations Needed is a media criticism podcast, hosted by Adam Johnson and Nima Shirazi, political commentators and media analysts working to call bullshit on (usually corporate) media’s ubiquitous reliance on and regurgitation of false and destructive narratives, tropes and stereotypes.

Citations Needed is produced by Florence Barrau-Adams. Our Production Consultant is Josh Kross. Our research assistant is Sophia Steinert-Evoy. Transcription by Morgan McAslan. The theme is ‘Nonphenomenal Lineage’ by Grandaddy.


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