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U.S. President Joe Biden said in his official response to Tyre Nichols’ death: “It is yet another painful reminder of the profound fear and trauma, the pain, and the exhaustion that Black and Brown Americans experience every single day… Real and lasting change will only come if we take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again…”
Few people will argue with that. But, clearly, the protests which follow such atrocities have not been sufficient enough to change a culture in which police and would-be vigilantes so often, so quickly, dismiss the validity of a Black person’s life. Neither has the U.S. Congress’ tepid response to them.
In an interview with Lawrence O’Donnell for MSNBC, Isabel Wilkerson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cast, the Origins of Our Discontents, offered this comment:
“…The Tyre Nichols situation, tragedy, allows us to see that we have all been exposed to, we all have been programmed to see who is held at the very top of a hierarchy going back to the time of colonial America. And then who has been assigned at the very bottom…”
Like Wilkerson, a growing number of people consider “the idea of race” as nothing more than “an arbitrary construction.” Therefore: observable physical characteristics, cultural markers such as regional languages and dialects, and histories of nations and communities where the American experience is concerned: should be considered less relevant, or consequential, than many until now have believed.
A Different Kind of Black on Black Crime
Contemporary award-winning American author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.