Sense and Nonsense Of interest to???????????? Mostly stolen from other truly clever people.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
“Murder culture seems to be as permanent in African American culture as hip-hop, cookouts and the black church"
I guess no one can question the authenticity of “The Beast Side,” a new collection of essays by Baltimore’s D. Watkins. With titles such as “Cops Are the Terrorists in Our Neighborhood,” “Gunplay Is All I Know,” and “Lessons of a Former Dope Dealer,” Watkins gives us a glimpse of how some young men in urban America see the world.
“Murder culture seems to be as permanent in African American culture as hip-hop, cookouts and the black church,” he writes in the essay “Gunplay Is All I Know” as he lists the artists who give guns prominent play in their rap videos. “Real or fake, everybody is singing pistols — and being young and black makes owning one mandatory.”
‘The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America’ by D. Watkins (Hot Books)
In “Cops Are the Terrorists in Our Neighborhood,” he offers survival rules that “black people need to know when being stopped by cops.” “Police are like mice (armed mice) — they are more scared of you than you are of them, so don’t startle, or they will shoot. Things that startle them include speaking loudly, being black, moving your hands and running. If you move your hands or run, they could kill you.”
Watkins, 34, was born and raised in East Baltimore, where he dealt drugs and watched family members and street acquaintances die, one by one. Nevertheless, he did well in the poorly funded, perennially underprivileged Baltimore public school system and obtained graduate degrees in education and creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore. He’s a contributor to the op-ed page of the Baltimore Sun and the online magazine Salon. His essays and opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times and the Guardian, and his insights on race relations have been heard on NPR. He teaches writing at Coppin State University in Baltimore and won Baltimore magazine’s best writer award for 2015.