I have been a longtime reader of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s blog over at The Atlantic. Although I occasionally think Coates’s blog is too narrow in scope, there is no doubt Coates is an unusually gifted writer. (Andrew Sullivan, who wrote alongside Coates at The Atlantic for awhile, was not only able to be an uncompromising advocate for marriage equality, but was also seemingly able to cover an unbelievably wide scope of topics. I found that having a sense of how Sullivan viewed the wider world actually strengthened his arguments for justice. Anyway, this is splitting hairs and is a topic for another day. I would feel amiss if I didn’t say anything, but this is really an argument about format and outcome, and not quality of writing.) Coates has a curious mind and without a doubt is someone that is always reaching for truth. Before I found myself reading a lot about the Civil War, Coates own research and exploration of that time period was extremely fascinating. I am happy to see that his new book, Between the World and Me, is getting rave reviews. The above piece is not only about the book, but also a look at Coates as a man and writer in general. It is a well written and interesting piece worth your time. Also, if you are someone that reads several blogs a day, I would definitely add his blog to your list.
The details emerging from the Justice Department’s investigation into Ferguson are pretty ugly. There is definitely racism is our criminal justice system and this is just the latest example. If you don’t think there is, you are probably white, and you probably haven’t read enough. Again, I think one of the best one stop shop reads you can have on this subject for modern times is Matt Taibbi’s The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. But if you are somehow new to all of this just read the details in the above article, it won’t take very long. A few samples:
- Ferguson’s black drivers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to be stopped and searched, according to records over two years. Black drivers were also 26 percent less likely to be found in possession of contraband.
- According to the police department’s internal records concerning force, 88 percent of those cases involved force against blacks. All 14 canine bite incidents involved blacks.
- Blacks were 68 percent less likely than others to have their cases dismissed in municipal court. An arrest warrant was more likely to be issued for blacks.
I haven’t been falling asleep so easily these days. My schedule is a little out of wack. When I am awake late at night I like to stare at the moon and pray for things. Tonight I am praying for there to be an unbeatable gay NASCAR driver. If he were black too, it would be even better. Best yet would be if he had the hammer and sickle on his car. It would be a lot of fun. It sure would make things interesting don’t you think? I sure do…