A Colony in a Nation

Photo: Marshall Troy

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A Colony in a Nation
256 pages; W. W. Norton & Company
When did stop-and-frisk become a thing? In A Colony in a Nation, MSNBC's Chris Hayes connects the discriminatory practice associated with the NYPD all the way back to the time of King George III, when English customs officials in the Colonies conducted arbitrary searches of trading ships they suspected of smuggling black market goods. In its current iteration, Hayes says, stop-and-frisk is but one product of an occupation mentality rooted in fear that infects white police in communities of color—and leads to tragedies like the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. There is a yawning gap between the "nation" and the "colony"—between white America, where "citizens call the police to protect them," and black and brown America, where people "flee the police, who offer the opposite of protection."

In an era when the debate over whose lives matter rages on, Hayes doesn't shy away from exposing bias where he finds it, which makes this passionate and well-researched account a compelling entry in the growing literature of social injustice. 
— Geoff McKenzie