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Posted March 19, 2012
While I was studying for the bar exam in Alabama my copy of Ms.
While I was studying for the bar exam in Alabama my copy of Ms. Rice's book sat on my night stand. I had heard her interview on NPR and I knew if I began to read I would not stop. So when I got home from bar exam and while the house was quiet I began to read. I could not stop. From the opening pages of her life experiences with "What is You?" to the kill zones of L.A. gangs, I laughed, sighed and identified with her journey; although my life and hers are very different. She humanized all parties, which is not easy to do when exploring the difficult relationship between law enforcement and the urban underclass that the law is enforced upon, too often with legally brutal efficiency. Her words and deeds are provocative because she practiced what she believed EVERY day. How else do you win over the L.A. police department from the top brass down to the beat cops. The mayor and the police chief. The lieutenants and the sergeants. You'll know what I mean when you read this book. It's fascinating how one molecule at a time she muddles through with unconditional love for justice utter intolerance for injustice. UNCONDITIONAL. She accepts no excuses and gives none.. Methodically, turning one opponent or obstacle after another into an ally. And then comes a critical momentum of change. Not satisfied with policy change. Ms. Rice knows it must be within the hearts and minds every police officer to protect and to serve all communities. Not one from the other.
I found my calling against injustice after moving to Alabama from Texas. Now I'm a middle aged white women living in rural Alabama. But the call to battle against the bullies of the establishment is a clarion call. Ms. Rice's book makes you feel at home in her world. You get her impatience with a culture that is silent and living in make believe that these tragedies DON'T involve us or that we can separate ourselves from them. Only if you are delusional can you believe that these are not our children.
My wish is that young people will discover her words and follow with a career as thoughtful, effective and durable as hers. Connie has diligently dedicated her life so that others may grow and she continues to give and inspire.
Over 75 books on law, gangs, youth and community justice have passed over my night stand. This is one of my favorites along with "Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned", by Richard Jaffee and "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness", by Michelle Alexander. Prepare for an experience that will haunt you in the best way. This is a great book. And did I mention that it made me laugh. :-)
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Posted April 6, 2012
Posted March 21, 2012
This is a must read together with Father Boyle's " Tattoos
This is a must read together with Father Boyle's " Tattoos on the Heart" if you want to understand the gang scene in Los Angeles. After being luck enough to hear Connie discuss her book with Joe Fox at the Milken Institute, I purchased a copy and had Connie autograph it for me. The next day i could not put it down until I finished reading it. Connie is amazing, she has an iron backbone and a mind as sharp as steel. This book is definitely a must read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 21, 2012
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