Maybe it’s because I need easily digestible print reading for my train
commute. Maybe it’s my inevitable post-20s loss of hipster cred.
Whatever the reason, I seem to be reading a lot less of the humor
writing at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and a lot more of Joel Stein’s Time column.
A disturbing factor in the rash of police shootings of unarmed black people and of deaths in police custody is that many of the victims were apprehended for petty offenses. Sandra Bland was stopped for not signaling a lane change, Samuel DuBose for a missing license plate, and Walter Scott for a busted taillight. A trend among municipalities is to issue fines as a means of generating revenue, and this onerous strategy falls disproportionately on people of color, many of whom are poor themselves. Not having the means to pay the fines can land them in jail, resulting in job loss and perpetuation of poverty—and increased distrust of law enforcement (Mother Jones, September/October).