Book 27 of 2020 was When they call you a terrorist. This will be my last black lives matter or social activist or race relations book for a while. I’m afraid I can’t afford to lose any more brain cells. This author at least admitted that the book is a memoir, and is meant to tell her story, not to make broad claims about society based on anecdote.
What I found interesting is the way she addressed crime, or didn’t. She did mention how common it was for the men in her family to be convicted and put in prison. But she either actively minimized the crimes, or didn’t address them at all. Instead, she focused on placing blame on anyone other than the person who committed the crime. From reading this book, it became clear to me why the Black Lives Matter movement is able to protest with a straight face and come to the defense of criminals: a founding member of the movement has the idea in her head that nothing is the fault of the criminal. It’s the environment he grew up in, it’s society not giving him opportunities, it’s cops patrolling his neighborhood too much, it’s the justice system being too tough on him, it’s juries not having enough people of his race. It’s everything other than his own choices.
One bizarre thing about her rhetoric was her description of the events surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death. She kept emphasizing the Skittles and the iced tea, and the friend he was having a phone conversation with. Even more specifically, she mentioned the snacks were for his brother, and the friend was someone he had protected from bullies. You know how SJWs complain that the media paints black shooting victims as criminals and thugs, and brings up irrelevant details about their past? I disagree with that assessment, because a person’s proven willingness to commit past crime gives me an idea of how likely they are to be guilty this time, and how likely they are to be doing something that cops are trained to respond with force to. However, details like who he was buying snacks for are completely irrelevant. Was anyone arguing that George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin for buying snacks or chatting on the phone? It would be fine to have included these non-sequiturs if she was uniformly thorough, but she wasn’t. She conveniently neglected to mention that there was physical evidence (abrasions photographed that night by the police) that Travon Martin was bashing George Zimmerman’s head into the concrete when the latter decided to defend himself with deadly force. Slightly more relevant than Skittles, no?
The author has an engaging writing style, but I found it awkward to read her descriptions of her love affairs and wondered what relevance it had to her involvement with BLM. Sure, her partners were doing the work as well, but their relations didn’t add anything necessary to the book.
And with that, folks, I am done. I can’t be accused of not having done the required reading. So, if anyone wants to call me a racist, please blame Kendi, Coates, Khan-Cullors, DiAngelo, and everyone else who I have diligently and attentively read for not making their cases. I found them to be lacking either in hard data, relevance, intellectual honesty, or all of the above.