I consider it a lower rating, but Younge makes the subject so engaging and people so familiar, I don’t know how he could have done it better.
WARNING: if you have lost someone to sudden violence, especially a child, then this book, and possibly my review, will be even more unsettling than it is for someone like I, who lived a rather secluded life. And he let us into the lives of these families so well, that I still fear for all of them.
Author Gary Younge is in a unique position to look at the American way of life and death, and I think he’s done an admirable job.
“I grew up black and poor (although in the UK, where race and class interact differently), and I have two black American children.”
He said when he moved to Chicago, his son’s day care center had a traffic awareness meeting. Teachers recommend that parents take the same route to school so that children can understand where they are. The teacher then explains the routes the center uses to take the children out.
“One of the parents asked if they would continue to pass through the site by metro, where there was a recent shooting. The teacher smiled. “I knew it was going to happen,” he sobbed. ‘That’s a good point and we’re really going to have to go above it. We have to talk to kids about how to handle such situations, because the big problem in those moments is that they panic. ‘
I think this is weird. Panicing at gunfire seems to be a perfectly reasonable response, whether you’re four or forty-four. For me, the problem is not the panic but the shooting.”
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