There need to be more books like this.
I am going to cover one point in this book and one point only. Most of you already know that this is about a policeman shooting what he thought was a threat from a black teenager and the aftermath of a teenage girl who witness the death of her best friend. You know that this is something high in the media and it absolutely is something that needs to be known and dealt with. So I am not going to get into that for the fact that I don’t want to fight with people in my comments and I don’t want to see people fighting in the comments. Good? Great. Let’s get moving.
This book covers an important topic: there are two sides to every story.
A nice guy with the career as a cop pulls over what he believes to be a suspicious person even though he knows he is not in the ‘good part of town’. He hears what he believes to be a threat and he sees what he believes is a gun and does what any person of any color would do to protect himself.
A teenage boy and a teenage girl get pulled over by a cop. Both teens have been taught to fear police because of prejudicial beliefs on their region and race. Always show your hands. Only speak when spoken to. Don’t move. Do whatever they want. Boy bends down into the car to make sure girl is okay and the unthinkable happens: he looses his life.
THE HATE U GIVE has a strong message. We are branded from birth to think a certain way. As humans, we judge without meaning to judge. You have gauges? druggy. You sag your pants? gang. You have a starbucks cup? basic. You have a book? smart and stuck up. You dress flamboyantly? gay.
But what if you have gauges from a stupid childhood rebellion stage against your parents? Or maybe your pants sag because you can’t afford anything by hand-me downs? Or you literally just are drinking starbucks because it was the only coffee around? Or you are just reading a book because you have horrible social anxiety in public and that’s how you deal? Or maybe you just have style and still like the opposite sex?
But at first glance at someone, you can’t deny that like-minded stereotypical thoughts pop into your head, right? You may brush it off and go in for the love and learning of the person, but when you first meet someone you are Judge Judy just like everyone else. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that they thought I was going to be the meanest little white girl they ever met because of my “resting” face and how I like to huddle in a corner and read more than socialize. But then they actually meet me and realize I have social anxiety and find comfort with books.
What I am getting at here, is that this book covers all the bases. It covers the fact that whatever region you live in, whether it be the poor part of town or the rich part of town, you are automatically labeled in such a way. And that in itself is the real problem. That in itself is the reason why people are up in arms on both sides of the arguments.
Should a policeman be punished for shooting an unarmed black man? 100%. Even if it was “self defense?” I could really care less what his reason was, he should still be punished in a sort of way for shooting an unarmed human being. There is no doubt about that. But that’s not where the problem lies, that’s just where it ends up. The world needs to change the way it categories people. The world needs to get rid of it’s categories.
Okay, to lighten this review, I’m going to say how much I love the fact that our main girl was a checkerboard chick (excuse my reference to Hairspray). It showed a whole new side of relationships and the struggles that they have. I absolutely loved their relationship though. It was young, sure, but it was pure.
I believe that anybody and everybody should read this book. It helps open the doors to the struggles people are dealing with and helps point out what you can do in order to help prevent it. Police Brutality and Police Beatings are real things that are happening. It’s very serious and very horrendous. It may not be happening in your area, but when will you decide to take a stand for your fellow countrymen? When it’s at your back door? When it’s too late?
Start with this book. Adjust your heart. Pour love. Spread the word.