Belated Book Recs: MLK 2019

I’ve been wrestling with the notion of weighing in on what I am sarcastically calling the “Covington Catholic clusterfuck,” but I really don’t have any hot take on it that isn’t actively plagiarizing other people’s intellectual labor and insights. Here’s a few links and random thoughts:

  • On why that unedited video doesn’t actually exonerate these teenage racists: WokeSloth and Twitter.
  • On the general foolishness of chanting “build that wall” at someone whose ancestors were here LONG before yours.*
  • And here’s an extra thought (freely lifted from a friend FB page): would this whole sorry confrontation have been de-escalated earlier if there had been been more NPS Rangers on hand, rather than them being so short-staffed on account of the shut-down?

And that’s all I care to say about that tonight.

So, in lieu of socio-cultural commentary, what focus am I going to use for an MLK Day post?

Books, of course.

Continue reading “Belated Book Recs: MLK 2019”

Broken Windows

So, in the words of Morris W. O’Kelley, it is “That Time in America” again.

Freddy Gray died in Baltimore on April 19th, one week after an arrest and police transport experience that somehow left him comatose, brain swollen, with three broken vertebrae and an 80% spinal cord severance. Involved officers were suspended. The Justice Department opened an investigation.

Peaceful protests took place for several days without much media attention. Then a small percentage of the protesters turned to violence and property destruction–with, by the way, the active collusion of baseball fans and poor police planning.

And then the finger-wagging commenced. Which brings me back to O’Kelley:

This is that time in America when we stand around and ask “why would ‘they’ burn down ‘their’ community?” This is that time in America when we simultaneously act as if the precipitating event or parallel history are neither relevant nor worthy of addressing. . . . This is that time in America when once again, African-Americans are expected to play by rules not followed by others while also having the original issues ignored.

Yup. It’s that time again. Not that “that time” ever really went away in the first place.

Continue reading “Broken Windows”