Friday, August 18, 2017

The Hate U Give

My daughter Kerry's take on the magnificent new novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

See Kerry's blog 

The Hate U Give I was up all last night reading "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas, recommended to me by my father. All I can say is, I am impressed by her writing. This book is told through the eyes of a young black girl who witnesses the fatal shooting of her best friend, a young black man, by a cop on their way home from a party. This leads to outrage from her poor black "ghetto" community and demands for justice. The neighborhood quickly turns into a war zone and riots break out and the militarized police are sent in. Excuses are made for the officer who pulled the trigger, who insisted that the boy was a drug dealer and a gangbanger, and that he was only attempting to protect himself. Chaos ensues when the officer is dropped of all charges, repeating that he was simply fearing for his own safety. I don't want to give too much away, all I want to say is that this book is highly recommended. And it's sad, but true, and shows how much farther we still have to go. Had it been a white kid that the officer had shot, he most certainly would have done time. I can hardly understand the feeling. I am a young woman with pale white skin of Celtic and Nordic descent. No, I don't know what it's like to fear for my life every time I walk out of my house. I can walk, run, or drive down the street without fear of getting shot by a cop. However, I most certainly have heard black men as being quoted as saying that "they fear for their lives every time they walk outside." Literally. And it wasn't that long ago that black men were actually hung simply for sport. There is a sickening picture in my Homeland Security textbook taken not too long before my parents were born...of a crowd laughing and cheering at the hanging of two black men. Like at a basketball game today. There are couples on dates in that picture. Our professor-who is white as well as military, law enforcement, and government, mind you-said that it made him sick and we still have such a long way to go. I also wanted to point out that, as a Criminal Justice major, I still of course believe that "Blue Lives Matter." It's corrupted officers like this who give all police a bad name. I believe that at police academies, more in-depth training should be done to weed out the ones who are more likely to "shoot first, ask questions later." It may take some thinking to figure out how to do it, but something should be done.


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