Ta-Nehisi Coates has been releasing transcripts of his interview with President Barack Obama from October—before Trump won. The most recent transcript is depressing.
Ghettoside is fundamentally a book about segregation. Previous posts (Part I and II) have examined how Jill Leovy builds a case for the vigorous policing and prosecution of violent crime, especially murder, as a critical means to suppress historically high black homicide rates. By the end of the book, perhaps as the reader’s expectation for concrete “solutions” bears down, Leovy shifts gears to discuss more explicitly the costs and ramifications of hyper-segregation—the walled city of the racial ghetto.
Jill Leovy has written an astonishing book in ways that I don’t think many have appreciated. Reviewers commonly noted that Leovy brought to light an under-recognized aspect of law enforcement. She emphasizes the importance of under-enforcement in poor segregated neighborhoods, low homicide solve rates in particular, when so much public attention—and anger—has been directed at over-enforcement of low-level drug and property crimes and public-order offenses. Yet, what Leovy is really doing in Ghettoside is building a moral case for incarceration.