Can new language reshape our understanding of the past and expand the possibilities of the future? Barrett Holmes Pitner seeks better words to reframe discussions about race and culture and to change the way we understand our diverse and rapidly evolving political climate. In his new book, he examines ethnocide in America, the systematic erasure of a people's ancestral culture, and its particular impacts on Black Americans, who have endured that erasure for generations. A compelling analysis of our nation's ethnocidal foundation, The Crime Without a Name posits that activating this concept within our discourse, as we continue to reckon with our wrongs, can help sustain the richness of our diverse cultures in perpetuity.
Holmes speaks with Lewis R. Gordon about the historical origins of ethnocide in the U.S., and examines the personal lived consequences of existing within an ongoing erasure—and how to combat it.