Speed Reads

Blast from the past

Watch young Don Cheadle and Golden Girls' Blanche grapple with racism, Confederate flags in 1992

Before the Avengers movies, Hotel Rwanda, and Oceans Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen, Don Cheadle was a cast member in the short-lived Golden Girls spinoff The Golden Palace. And decades before Black Lives Matter and the police killings of Michael Brown, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd (among others), Bill Clinton-era America had a "national conversation on race." Racism wasn't solved in the 1990s, obviously, but in one marker of how far we've come (and haven't), freelance journalist Seb Starcevic dug up this Golden Palace clip from 1992.

The plot of The Golden Palace involves three of the four Golden Girls (Bea Arthur moved on) investing in a hotel with only two remaining staff members, manager Roland Wilson (Cheadle) and a chef played by Cheech Marin. In this scene, Cheadle tries to explain to Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) why the Confederate flag is bad. Starcevic guides us through the rest.

Earlier Tuesday, Mississippi became the final state to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its flag, retiring the stars and bars from official American symbology. Two weeks ago, NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from its races. So, change happens.