Emmy Award–winning MSNBC news anchor Chris Hayes, author of the New York Times bestselling book Twilight of the Elites, came to Boston for a panel discussion on inequality in America. He was joined at the Old South Church by Emerson College's Jabari Asim and Suffolk University Law School's Frank Rudy Cooper. Anthony Brooks moderated the conversation.
In his latest book, A Colony in a Nation, Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a colony and a nation. America likes to tell itself that it inhabits a postracial world, yet nearly every empirical measure—wealth, unemployment, incarceration, school segregation—reveals that racial inequality has barely improved since 1968, when Richard Nixon became our first “law and order” president.
Hayes contends our country has fractured in two: the Colony and the Nation. In the Nation, we venerate the law. In the Colony, we obsess over order, fear trumps civil rights, and aggressive policing resembles occupation. A Colony in a Nation explains how a country founded on justice now looks like something uncomfortably close to a police state. How and why did Americans build a system where conditions in Ferguson and West Baltimore mirror those that sparked the American Revolution?
Photo: By California Department of Corrections
BIO: Jabari Asim
Jabari Asim, the former deputy editor of Washington Post's Book World. He is now the editor of the NAACP's magazine, The Crisis. He authored, The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't and Why, in 2007, and was interviewed on Book TV on 5 May 2007. He is also the author of a book on erotica, Brown Sugar, as well as numerous books for children, among them, Daddy Goes to Work.
BIO: Chris Hayes
Chris Hayes is the Emmy Award–winning host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, the New York Times best-selling author of Twilight of the Elites, and an editor-at-large at The Nation. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, daughter, and son.
BIO: Frank Rudy Cooper
Frank Rudy Cooper is a Visiting Professor of Law at Boston College. He is a tenured Professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He was previously an Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law. Professor Cooper’s scholarly interests lie at the intersection of Criminal Procedure, Cultural Studies, and Masculinities Studies, especially as applied to policing of men of color. He has published more than 25 scholarly works, including the co-edited book, Masculinities and the Law: A Multidimensional Approach. He is currently drafting a book on policing of men of color.
BIO: Anthony Brooks
Anthony Brooks brings more than 30 years of experience in public radio, working as a producer, editor, reporter, and host for WBUR and NPR. Before becoming WBUR’s senior political reporter, Brooks was co-host of Radio Boston, WBUR’s local news and talk show. For many years, Brooks worked as a Boston-based reporter for NPR, covering regional issues across New England, including politics, the economy, education, criminal justice, and urban affairs. Brooks also has been a frequent fill-in host for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now, produced by WBUR.