I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say All American Boys is not the most well-written book you’ll ever find. However, it might be one of the most important and I encourage any parent of a middle-grader to
I generally try to keep my non-book opinions off of Goodreads, but . . . .
I’m telling you right now, if you are a
Rashad is absent . . . . again today after being mistaken for a shoplifter and suffering from broken ribs, a broken nose and internal bleeding inflicted upon him by his arresting police officer. Quinn didn’t witness what happened inside the corner store, but was outside when Rashad was taken down by a cop who just so happens to be his neighbor and mentor after Quinn’s father died. This is their story of how they each deal with the aftermath of this altercation over several days.
I started reading this book on the day an unarmed black man with his arms in the air was filmed by a police chopper being executed in the middle of the street. The explanation by the police department? He was reaching into his car window and they thought it was for a weapon. Reaching into a car window THAT WAS CLOSED. Now they say they think maybe he had PCP inside the vehicle . . . but the tests haven’t come back yet. *eye roll* And, per usual, the country is up-in-arms and making excuses for this murder because the guy should have got on the ground like he was told and nothing would have happened. Right. Just like “nothing happened” to Charles Kinsey. Instead of making excuses for why deadly force was necessary in order to subdue a man surrounded by police WITH HIS GODDAMN ARMS UP, why aren’t people asking why in the fuck WASN’T deadly force used on a suspected terrorist who was actively engaging in a shoot ‘em up with police but somehow was only shot in the shoulder. Seriously people WAKE.UP. And don’t even think to try and say I’m a police hater. My view on this entire issue is very simple . . . .
But no. Instead of talking about cops who are obviously not cut out to be cops and why it’s immediately okay to blame the victim in every one of these instances and how the hell we fix the glaring problem of race relations in this country we instead get up-in-arms and rage out for weeks about a potentially washed-up quarterback deciding to take a knee . . . .
I live in a city that defiles the National Anthem every Sunday by screaming “home of the CHIEFS” rather than “Brave,” but those same dumbshit rednecks are ready to “punch someone in the head” if they don’t stand up for a fucking song. (Word to the wise – don’t pull a Kanye and say this to someone in a wheelchair accidentally.) As this book puts it so well . . . .
Nobody says the words anymore, but somehow the violence still remains.
It also reminds us that . . . .
History can only teach its lesson if it is remembered.
It’s time to ask yourselves . . .
Where was I the year all these black American boys were lying in the streets?
And understand that . . .
IF YOU ARE NEUTRAL IN SITUATIONS OF INJUSTICE, YOU HAVE CHOSEN THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSOR.
There’s an old saying if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. It’s time to stand up . . . . or sit down . . . . or take a knee. Whatever you see fit . . . .
“This is a roll call! SEAN BELL! Then she followed with “Absent again today! OSCAR GRANT! Absent again today! REKIA BOYD! Absent again today! RAMARLEY GRAHAM!” She paused, and at that point the rest of us knew exactly what to do. “Absent again today!” “AIYANA JONES!” “Absent again today!” “FREDDIE GRAY!” “Absent again today!” “MICHAEL BROWN!” “Absent again today!” “TAMIR RICE!” “Absent again today!” “ERIC GARNER!” “Absent again today!” “TARIKA WILSON!” “Absent again today!” And Spoony kept feeding Berry the papers, one after another, as she continued to read down the list of unarmed black people killed by the police.
Endless thanks to Eilonwy for putting such an important story on my radar.