Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Baltimore Uprisings

Our newest training group spent some time on Sunday discussing the ongoing events in Baltimore. The Atlantic has just published a transcript of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s speech in Baltimore this week. Here is a brief excerpt:

There’s a phrase I’ve been thinking about a lot recently by the great Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Solzhenitsyn has this great, great quote that I think about all the time: He says in his book The Gulag Archipelago,  “Wherever the law is, crime can be found.” And I love this quote—it’s a beautifully written sentence—because it hints at, though it does not say, the human agency in law and what we call people. And so, certain things are violence, and certain things are not. Certain things are the acts committed by thugs, and certain things are the acts committed by the law. And in terms of rendering black people illegitimate, in terms of putting black people in certain boxes where things can be done to them, the vocabulary is very, very important—the law is very, very important—in terms of where we draw the line.

You can find the full transcript here. I highly recommend it.

Till next week! – Kristin

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