Marlon James on racism in Minnesota

It’s been a long week. After nearly five days of deliberation the jury acquitted Jeronimo Yanez of the accusation of manslaughter against Philando Castile. I’m still trying to wrap my head about that one.

Marlon James, the Booker Award winning novelist who teaches at Macalester College put it this way:

10 years of living in Minnesota as a “big, black guy” has led me to a gradual though futile “reduction” of myself to get closer. I have a big global voice, but a small local one, because I don’t want to be a target, and resent that in 2017, that’s still the only choice I get to have.

His whole essay is a clear, succinct, grounded and deeply indicting description of Minnesota. I wish I could say he was wrong, but I’m certain he is right.