cold cases in media

On April 3rd, I attended a talk by Professor Smith about the cultural representation of "cold cases" from the Civil Rights movement in media. What I found interesting from her lecture is the persistent power of the movement on our society from the "Eighties" until today. The popular mainstream view of the movement is that it led to equality for all and forced integration in the deep South. What we need to remember is that there was no such thing as a "monolithic South." It was in fact very diverse in how classes dealt with racial issues. White Supremacy manifested itself in many aspects of society.

"Post-Civil Rights" era, the media is preoccupied with "cold cases" from that time period. The television show "Cold Case" has many episodes that involve hate crimes that the main characters usually identify with in some way. At the conclusion of each episode, the detective solves the "cold case" and gains something meaningful from the investigation. Professor Smith brought up a valid point that even though injustice is inescapable, it is possible to rectify it on individual terms. I think that our fascination with "cold cases" has basis in this belief. It is also the purpose of reopening "cold cases." We attempt to come to terms with past mistakes by solving these previously unsolved crimes because it is the closest we will get to returning to the past and undoing the injustice committed. The media plays off this sense of complacency to tug at viewers' emotions. Recent television shows and films remind viewers that as long as social, racial, economic disparities exist, we cannot be content with closure of any sort.