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Oprah, called To Kill a Mockingbird “our national novel”, but now its predecessor Go Set a Watchman may turn out to be our national nightmare: Bogey men, it turns out, can invade even the soul of an Atticus Finch when twenty years of national NAACP lobbying threatens small town Southern life. We knew such invasions were going on around us but chose to believe in a fantasy white father, the Atticus of Mockingbird, a male ideal—and a white one at that --- Oprah’s idealized hope for the world.
In reality however, isn’t racism in everyone’s heart, maybe even Oprah’s? Even Abraham Lincoln contemplated sending slaves to another country rather than emancipating them. And we want to think Thomas Jefferson had affection for his slave Sally Hemmings in the 18th century, with whom he fathered several children after his wife died; but when a boss initiates an affair with an employee in 2015, we call that sexual harassment, especially if the boss is a
It is the female, Scout (Jean Louise) Finch, Atticus’s daughter, age 26 in Watchman but only 6 in Mockingbird, who raises the same question about her beloved white father which society asks of Bill Cosby, creator of the
|Rowan A. Greer III|
|Mr. Greer and devoted companion.|