Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Snippet: The Reapers by John Connolly

Whilst I had some issues with The Reapers, the story within the story of Louis' recruitment was superb and below is a short extract about the nature of racism in small-town, Southern US in the 1950s and 60s. It seems to hit the nail on the head to me.

But no one on either side ever forgot that the law was white. Justice might be blind, but the law wasn’t. Justice was aspirational, but the law was actual. The law was real. It had uniforms, and weapons. It smelled of sweat and tobacco. It drove a big car with a star on the door. White people had justice. Black folks had the law.

The boy understood all of this instinctively. Nobody had been forced to explain it to him. His mama hadn’t sat him down before she died and gone through the subtleties of law versus justice with him as it applied to the black community. As far as anyone was concerned, there wasn’t a black community. There were just blacks. A community implied organization, and there were a great many people who associated organization with threat. Unions organized. Communists organized. Black people did not organize, not here. Maybe elsewhere, and there were those who said that the tide was changing, but not in this town. Here, everything worked fine just the way it was.

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