Strange Fruit #76: Who is an American? Jose Antonio Vargas on the Undocumented Experience

Strange Fruit #76: Who is an American? Jose Antonio Vargas on the Undocumented Experience

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On this week’s show, we talked to journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas about his latest film, Documented, his organization, Define American, and his experience as an undocumented person living in the United States. Vargas described how his intersecting identities have required him to come out of two closets - one of which was easier than the other: “For me, being vocal and open about being gay, knowing where I grew up in California, was much easier than outing myself as undocumented.”We also explored the idea that our equality is tied to everyone else’s equality - and that we have a long way to go. ” This country invented white like it invented black. And now you have all these Latinos and Asian people - everybody’s just confused,” he explained. “I actually think that’s why we’re at this very seminal moment in american history. People like to think that we live in some kind of post racial colorblind Obama era thing. And you and I both know that that doesn’t exist.”In our Juicy Fruit segment, we talked about UMass basketball star Derrick Gordon’s relationship with CSI actor Gerald McCullouch. Gordon is 22, McCullouch is 47, and while we don’t know anything about this particular relationship, Jaison points out that it’s part of a larger phenomenon of middle aged white men who only date very young black or Latino men. We discussed how in some cases this attraction is based on fetishization, and can even be predatory.And we announced an event we’re looking forward to: On Thursday, May 29th, we’ll host a screening of

The New Black, a film by Yoruba Richen that chronicles the efforts of black LGBT activists to pass marriage equality legislation in Maryland. Our own Jaison Gardner and Dr. Kaila Story will hold a discussion and Q&A after the film.

Click here for details and here to reserve your free ticket.