While other books offer sociological and political explanations, Colin Flaherty’s big picture is not composed of theory, but of reality. “White Girl Bleed a Lot” lives not in the elevated arcane heights of the ivory tower, but in the hard truth of the concrete curb speckled with dark red drops of blood from last night’s assault. This is not a book for theorists; it is a book for realists who want a map of the violence, rather than a plan for making it go away.
“White Girl Bleed a Lot” breaks down the violence by region, focusing in on cities such as Chicago and New York where the violence and the cover-ups have both become endemic, and by niche victim groups, including black-on-Asian violence and black-on-gay violence. Defenders of diversity may blacklist any mention of black violence in the name of diversity, but Colin Flaherty shows that while the attackers are not particularly diverse, their victims are.
The locations that “White Girl Bleed a Lot” takes us to are as diverse as the victims. From the inner cities to Rehoboth Beach and Peoria, variations on the same story repeat themselves with flash mobs, bloody fists and prone victims showing up in even the most unexpected places. And when the ambulances pull away, then the media and politicians do their part to clean up the scene and pretend that nothing has ever happened. The responses of both politicians and victims, inside and outside the black community, form a large part of Colin Flaherty’s narrative.
“White Girl Bleed a Lot” is an important entry into the debate over whether black racial violence exists and whether it should be reported on. While the debate continues, the book breaks through the barriers of censorship and transcends the anecdotal for a raw snapshot of cities under siege and a nation in denial. That denial is the true target of the book and the closest that it comes to a call to action is its campaign against that culture of denial.
Juneteenth, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day; as the summer months pass so do the holidays of violence. The explosions don’t end with the summer when the thunder from the last of the fireworks has died away and the beaches are cold and empty, but they do intensify when the summer comes to the city, the temperatures climb and the thermometers turn red. “White Girl Bleed a Lot” is not a beach read, but for many it may be a matter of personal safety. It may be the book to read for those who want to make it home from their next trip to the beach.
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