AmRen - Sinclair Jenkins: From Wide-Eyed Liberal to Race Realist
With a pause as a conservative.
The professor stopped the conversation. A young Korean-American originally from Los Angeles, she specialized in race, race theory, and fiction. The class was called “Race & Detective Fiction.” At the time, I read any detective novel I could get my hands on. I still do. I wrote my Master’s thesis on the subject.
But before I could leave my very liberal school with a degree signed by two professors who doubled as officers in the International Socialist Organization, I decided to take this elective. The class probably met some university-wide “diversity” requirement; I took it because of my love for cop stories.
The class focused solely on identity politics. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murder in the Rue Morgue” became a story about the plight of black barbers in 1830s Philadelphia. Charlie Chan novels became the foundations for American neocolonial apologetics. Even the most progressive students had to admit that such theorizing drained all the fun out of the books and that “diversity” detective novels are not worth the cover price. Walter Mosley is just not as good as Raymond Chandler. Sandra Cisneros cannot hold a candle to Dashiell Hammett. If the teacher wanted to inculcate a deep appreciation for post-1965, “diverse” detective literature, she mostly failed. ...