What images come up for you when you think about The South? This region of the United States can offer many stories, some hopeful, some tragic and some, well, just normal. My guest on Episode 9 Part I is Jay Tucker, a science teacher at private school Georgetown Day in Washington, D.C. He provides us with some insight and some of the paradoxes of growing up in the South.
Jay grew up in a small, tight-knight Jewish community in South Carolina with shared experiences, albeit segregated from African-Americans. When he reflects, he has vague memories of seeing the confederate flag, but never really felt the sting of prejudice toward him. While Jay continues to defend the South, he doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the troubled racial history that, in some ways, still exists. In fact, his mother worked at the same school Dylan Roof attended. As you recall, he was the shooter at the Charleston Church massacre in South Carolina. The inner dialogue he has with himself about his Jewish identity doesn’t discount, in his own words, the enormous responsibility of being white and the privileges that accompany that. So much so, Jay was able to forge a conversation about race and privilege with his parents using an article about the case for reparations by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.