After seeing Chris Hayes discuss his new book, A Colony In A Nation, on The Daily Show, I had to read it. The book opens with an interesting internal dialogue by the author. He recalls the last time he called the cops. A couple was arguing outside and was ‘disrupting the order in the neighborhood’ He reflects on his reasons for calling the authorities. Was it because he wanted to protect the woman in question? Or did he want the disorder to go away?
This introduction is an interesting prelude to Hayes’ thesis later in the book. He takes on a journey through history in terms of the formation of the justice system in America. Even now, a part of the population lives in the nation and the rest lives in the remnants of the colony. The system still hinders people of color. They have the right to fear the police since they don’t function to serve and protect them. We can listen to anecdotal stories of people who have been stopped by the police for trivial reasons, we know that their skin color and the neighborhood they’re from probably heavily influence their reasons for being stopped. However, if this isn’t enough evidence for you, Hayes makes use of statistics to back up his claims.
Hayes discusses all the issues related to the present justice system, police brutality, dysfunctional policies, using fines to get funding, neighborhood segregation, and much more. It’s an interesting read, as many claim: ‘before the law, we’re all equal’. But in reality, this is not the case, as old colonial workings are still at play.