Ta-Nehisi Coates on Why We Haven’t Made Any Strides in Police Brutality in America

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the bestselling writer of Between the World and Me, has become known as one of the most articulate writers when it comes to issues of race and social justice.

While recently being honored with the Marlon Brando Award, Ta-Nehisi spoke about why we haven’t made any progress when it comes to police brutality, especially within black community, according to Vox.

“In a situation like Ferguson, you get bogged down into this place: What happened with the officer and Mike Brown? And all of the analysis happens right there. None of the analysis goes into, what is the relationship between the police department, historically, and this community? Why are the cops there in the first place? Why are folks so hostile to the police in the first place?

We have to get past the place of, ‘How do we get these officers convicted in a court of law?’ and get to a place of, ‘How did this happen in the first place?’ At the point you’re dependent on the courts, at the point you’re dependent on the very system that sent those police officers there in the first place, you’re in trouble. You’ve got to get to the level of policy first.”

Related: You Have to Read Piper Kerman’s Essay About the Horrors of the Privatization of Prisons

So wise (as always). And while Ta-Nehisi said that it will be a lot of hard work, we have to commit to the struggle.

With such a strong voice, and now a strong following, Ta-Nehisi is certainly in a position to advocate for these policy changes he speaks of. We all know the pen is mightier than the sword, but at what point will he take these issues to congress himself? We sincerely hope Ta-Nehisi will head his own words and lead the way.

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