I Got Maced at Summer Jam 2015

Back in New York the next day, still addled, I called Kamau Rashid, a sociologist whose work focusses on race. During our interview, he recalled his student days at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the discrepancy between on-campus events for black students, who were forced to wait in line to go through metal detectors, and fraternity events off-campus, where he saw white students setting things on fire and jumping out of windows. Rashid described what we have seen over and over again in recent months: historically, blacks in the U.S. were seen as objects of “coercive control.” After slavery ended, coercion became coupled with policies of containment and segregation. He said that, for police at traditionally black events like hip-hop concerts, “there’s a perception coming in that they’re not just dealing with revelers; they’re dealing with objects that, absent a measure of coercive control, would become violent.” He said that this mirrors the anxieties that inform policing strategies in traditionally black areas. “There’s a sense that African-American culture is there to be enjoyed, but African-American bodies are there to be contained.”

via I Got Maced at Summer Jam 2015 – The New Yorker.

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