Another conversation with Glenn Loury about Black Lives Matter, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and other subjects

We covered much ground about Black Lives Matter, Glenn’s apology to Ta-Nehisi Coates, the folly of ranking public intellectuals, the moral and strategic calculus of disruptive protest, and other matters. More information here.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

One thought on “Another conversation with Glenn Loury about Black Lives Matter, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and other subjects”

  1. On good cops/bad cops, and the demand by BLM for effective policing in black communities. It's worth looking at the programme in Rio de Janeiro, led by the State Public Security Secretary José Beltrame, to pacify the favelas. These had before been totally unpoliced, as not part of the legal city, and governed by drug kingpins. Pacification is in two steps: a very mediatic recapture of the favela by the paramilitary BOPE police, with armoured cars borrowed from the Navy, announced in advance. This goes smoothly, as the drug gangs decamp rather than dying in a hail of bullets. (Beltrame is quite realistic: the drug trade will not stop, it's just moved. But it will take place in dark corners of a city governed by law, not in no-go enclaves it rules.) The second phase is setting up police stations. These are staffed by a new type of police unit, the Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPPs), staffed by new graduates of the police academies. The idea is to isolate the UPP cops from the bad habits deeply ingrained in the regular police units. The UPPs are very generously staffed: saturation policing, to secure a cultural change. They are SFIK armed with pistols, like other Brazilian cops, but not militarized. So far the general impression is that the campaign has gone very well, and achieved large reductions in violent crime. There are lessons to be learned by American big-city forces.

Comments are closed.