The purpose of law enforcement is to serve and protect, not to attack community members who are just going about their business.
Last Friday in Memphis, Tyre Nichols was on the way home when he was stopped by police. Instead of just being ticketed or taken in for questioning, he was beaten by five officers. By the time Sunday night rolled around, he was dead.
Now there is another son without a father, another mother without her child, and another town struggling to understand how and why another black man was killed by law enforcement.
After the murder of George Floyd, I would have hoped that logic would have dictated that everything would have been done to make sure that it never happened again. But I have been proved wrong too many times.
The only upshot is that the police officers who stopped him have been fired and charged with his murder. What makes it more complicated is that the men accused of his murder are also black.
I don’t know what it will take to get the message across on how to treat a potential suspect. But I do know that an innocent man is dead and there are too many unanswered questions hanging in the air.
The best narratives are often the ones that are universal. Transcending the place, time and the characters, these stories speak to all of us, regardless of who we are, where are we are from and what we believe.
In 2009, writer Tova Mirvis published her first book, The Ladies Auxiliary. In a small corner of Memphis, Tennessee, a group of Orthodox Jewish families have banded together to create a community within a community. Enter Batsheva, the widow of one of the sons of the community. Arriving with her young daughter, Ayala, Batsheva is clearly an outsider in more ways than one.
The women in the community are hesitant to embrace her, but some do. But even while she starts to integrate into the community, some of the women are still suspicious of her, especially when she maybe the catalyst for change in their growing children. Will Batsheva be accepted as one of their own or will she forever be an outsider?
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, there is a universal theme of acceptance and being open to someone or something new. The reader does not have to be Jewish or an Orthodox Jew (though it helps, especially when it comes the religious rituals and traditions) to understand the characters and the narrative. But at the same time, the writer jumps from several point of views and perhaps a bit dryly spends a little too much time explaining the religious rituals and traditions.