I tried to narrow this down to one problem. But I couldn’t. I simply couldn’t. Our society has one too many issues. And these books do a good job of sparking a discussion.

RACE RELATIONS
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said before? This is an incredibly powerful book. My top read this year. No doubt about it. The hype is legit with this one.

Starr is an African-American teen from “the ghetto” attending a predominantly white private school. One night, her best friend is murdered by a cop right before her eyes. What ensues, is heartbreakingly real and poignant.

This book is real. Cannot stress that enough. I cried, I laughed, I was angered, I reminisced and I cried again. Look, I grew up in the hood. And I felt this novel perfectly encapsulated that part of my life.

All I know, is that if I were to fall victim to a crime today, my name and reputation would probably be dragged through the mud because I lived in the projects and may therefore have “possible gang affiliations”. Despite the fact that I live in the suburbs, graduated from a decent university and have a steady job. But in today’s America, those details get lost as soon as someone’s skin color is seen.  

My review of The Autobiography of Malcolm X


SEXUAL ASSAULT

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer


A look at the prevalent number of alleged campus rapes/sexual assaults in Missoula, Montana by college athletes. The book presents interviews with the victims and the accused and their parents, friends, etc. It is an in-depth look at certain cases, some that made headlines. 

Wow wow wow. A myriad of emotions. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Mozhan Marno and every morning I was upset. I’ve always been on the “believe the victim” side (I’ve known people who were roofied, sexually assaulted and raped). So to listen to these young women in the book go through what they did in detail. It was a lot. My blood boiled. And it scared the shit out of me. At the end of the day though, it didn’t really surprise me. That’s the heartbreaking part. That I knew justice wouldn’t be served in these cases. In one instance, it actually is. It shocked me and I cheered and cried. Why? This shouldn’t be something out of the norm. But, it is. 

The way the prosecutors and detectives went out of their way to help the accused football players makes me see red. Seriously Kirsten Pabst?! She was in charge of one of the cases but refused to file charges. She then resigned, her boss decided to file charges, so she joined the guy’s defense team! I mean, what kind of bullshit is that?! 

And the trials themselves! Good Lord! You confess to rape and still deserve a lenient sentence because you’re a good person? The fuck?! NO! Raping “your little sister” proves otherwise! “I have suffered enough and have a bright future”. Excuse me?! You’re the one that raped someone and have caused years of emotional damage. Do not play victim when YOU have committed a crime. 

Reason #37293629 why I don’t trust the justice system. I am a woman and if I were the victim of sexual assault I wouldn’t get Oliva Benson or Eliot Stabler. I’d get some asshole that would blame me for falling asleep in a friend’s house in the first place. How dare I expect people to act like decent human beings? Haha, silly me. 



SCHOOL VIOLENCE

Columbine by Dave Cullen

An in-depth look at the school shooting that rocked the United States. This book is written by one of the many journalists that initially covered the massacre. My one pet peeve: the writing format. Bounced back between something that happened pre-massacre to one of the survivors. It seemed a bit unstructured to me.

I remember life before Columbine. After? Big changes. My sister was in high school and my mom worried about her constantly. I went from having regular earthquake/fire drills in school to active shooter/lockdown drills. Although to be completely transparent, my elementary school was in a rough neighborhood and we had drive-by drills. Um, yeah. 

Look, I don’t know what the root of these incidents is. Gun control? Mental health? Bullying? I honestly, have no clue. One of the Columbine killers was a psychopath, the other was severely depressed. So again, I don’t know. I do know that whatever is driving this phenomenon has gone on too long. 

I thought after Sandy Hook some kind of change would occur. Those babies were slaughtered. Yet, nothing happened. Sending your kids to school shouldn’t be a daunting task. 

Here’s a loose list of mass shootings that have happened in the last 20 years. Full disclosure: my alma mater is on the list. (Sort of). IV ❤ 

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Prompt: a book about a problem facing society today

Challenge Update: 44/50

9 thoughts on “A Book About a Problem Facing Society Today

  1. I love how you’ve tied Malcolm X’s quote when Starr’s father considers him his icon, cleverly done. And the quote is so fitting. I think for those of us who live in the West, we can see these issues more clearly because we are racially profiled on a frequent basis. You grow up in the hood, you talk hood … your skin isn’t white … and now nothing about the fact that you’re human and your life matters is no longer important. It’s an entitled narcissists game when the police unjustifiably murder black people and then play the victim. Police are not the victims here. They haven’t lost their lives over their skin colour. I cannot even believe that I even have to say that last sentence. But, nah, go off about how they took/sold drugs to make themselves feel better. It’s a cruel mindset.

    And I had no idea you grew up in the hood, but something should have clicked in me when you responded back to my girrrrrrrrrl’s lol.

    I believe Kirsten Pabst’s must have some internalised misogyny there. But it’s upsetting to read that a female lawyer refused to file charges and then went over to defend the rapist instead. In India, finally the metoo movement has reach there, and the defendant hired 98 lawyer (around that number) to fight against the 90+ women who brought charges against him. And yep, you hit the nail on the head, he confessed and they thought he was the victim? He will not suffers years/decades of emotional damage. I would never really be able to see men the same way, can you imagine the vetting process? Constantly having to be alert when you’re out in public? But the worst is when it’s a family member who’s done this… if you can’t trust your brother or your father, who can you trust?

    I really don’t understand when the media excuse a shooter because he was depressed? Your mental health doesn’t give you the excuse to be a murderer, end of. Typical let’s make the white man a victim when he goes off on a killing spree. I think what makes them believe they have the right to do this is because school shootings have become a norm… they’re now spreading to Russia as well. And why wouldn’t they think a norm when congress do not ban guns? I understand that there are some who use guns safely but why should be guns allowed at all? Consider what guns are used for after all. Guns are legal when they have a clear purpose to kill? Nonsensical. I think I remember Obama trying to do more about it, but I don’t know what more happened there. We don’t permit guns in the U.K., but we do sadly have a lot of knife crime here, especially in London. It’s a major problem. Just recently right on my street, my brain is muddling up here, there was a threat to use knives/actual use of it and the police came and arrested them. So, perhaps even without guns people will resort to other measures… but to have to send young kids to school and expected to be killed at any time, that’s not a peaceful practise, that is a war zone.

    I need to read these other two books, great reviews always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Malcolm X always gets a bad rep. But once I read his book I got him. And I completely understood why Starr’s dad looks up to him. It’s awful how a victim’s reputation is dragged through the mud. It’s frustrating that this is happening in a “progressive” country.

      Girl, I have hood stories for days. When I was growing up there was a lot of gang warefare. Hence the drive-by drills at my elementary school. It was located next to a drug dealing gangbanger’s house that was continually shot at. Fun times. Anyway, I sound like a valley girl now lmao. It’s weird.

      Oh the book angered me. Because it’s something that continually happens. How hard is it to understand that women are people?? We gave you life! Ugh. And then Pabst to go out of her way to defend the guy?!?! She quit her job to do it. Like, what kind of shit is that?!?!

      From what I’ve noticed, it’s predominantly white, straight guys that commit massacres. Yet, their crimes are usually deemed a result of their mental instability. Ugh. This is all so maddening!!

      Omg don’t get me started on guns! I don’t see why an automatic rifle is necessary. Those were designed for warfare. The streets are wild. And these weapons aren’t helping the situation. But *certain people* are really enamored with the second amendment. Funny enough, their usually the same ones that disregard the first amendment. Now, ain’t that some shit. Smh.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Damn, that’s terrifying… America is a scary place. It’s strange how much far-reaching impact drugs can have, it’s sad that it becomes one of the few ways that people in the hood can provide for their family.

        A woman carried them in her womb for 9 months, brought them up, raised them, fed them, loved them and they’re out here acting like women aren’t shit and violating them. It is really disgusting how a rapists and how some men’s minds work. In Islam, heaven lies under your mother’s feet and my Prophet (SAWS) said that men must be good to women, but you’ll see a lot of Muslim men sympathising with rapists and blaming women. There was a incident when a man was looking at a beautiful woman who wasn’t wearing hijab or dressed the way we are told to & even then the Prophet (SAWS) didn’t tell her off, but said to the man to not look. 👏

        Such garbage, they massacred school kids because they’re cunts, depression doesn’t give anyone an excuse to be a dick.

        I’ve noticed those who say that they understand gun law, are vetted, and know the appropriate measures are usually people who want to keep guns so that they can hunt. Some aren’t racist, vindictive, but they want to hunt. It all boils down to the fact that scaling this on a national level is difficult, it’s not realistic to allow everyone the right to bear arms and ensure proper vetting. It’s neither scalable or realistic, there will always be someone who can dupe people into believing they have good intentions and even if their community can support individuals, it’s not impossible for them to lie and use it to harm people. Is it really that hard for congress to understand this? It’s just not workable even if you tried to make it work, it has far too many flaws.

        Like

      2. Gun laws are ridiculous here. Mainly because the NRA has bought the souls of some congress members. Everyone knows it. And those that try to fight to change this are continually thwarted. It’s one big, evil mess.

        Women are people. How hard is it to understand that? What is so wrong with treating us as equals?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think a combination of the NRA and voters maintain the existence of guns in the US. I really need to read a book on gun laws in the US!

        Because some men like to be in power… it really comes down to that sadly because then they get to have their way and get away with it.

        Liked by 1 person

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