Policing in the United States is akin to "third world" law enforcement which has led to "state-sanctioned violence" against minorities, according to one writer and college professor.
Marlon James, author of the novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings," was speaking at a literary festival in France Sunday when he compared police, who he suggests often believe they are above the law, to the death squads in Argentina's Dirty War, which was run by the country's military leaders in the 1970s.
"What people like me find alarming is there is almost state-sanctioned violence in America, particularly with the police," James said, according to Yahoo! News. "America has developed a weird kind of third world police, which horrifies people like me and my friends from Kenya or Nigeria."
James, a 45-year-old immigrant from Jamaica who has lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years, said seeing police officers who feel they are above the law is "something that we who migrated to America thought we had got away from." He said, though, many Americans have a hard time recognizing the validity of his point "because it is mostly a minority that is victimized by it."
"This sort of unquestioned authority, straight up killing people is why Black Lives Matter happened," James told the audience. "The way that kind of violence is protected ... means it is state-sanctioned violence and that is no different to Argentina during the Dirty War."
In addition to writing, James is a professor of literature at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for "A Brief History of Seven Killings," which chronicles the experiences of a group of people involved in the attempted assassination of singer Bob Marley in Kingston, Jamaica, shortly before he appeared at a political event.
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