Authored by pastor Wayne Gordon and civil rights activist John M. Perkins, Do All Lives Matter? The Issues We Can No Longer Ignore and the Solutions We All Long For (Baker, 2017) delves into the raging topic of racism towards black Americans as well as police brutality. A very short read, the authors note the need for action to be taken in communities in order to improve police-civilian relations, in order for officers and individuals in their community to understand one another better.
The authors throughout note that not all police-shootings of black men are race-related, and at a few points in the book police are honored, especially those killed as a reaction to police shootings of black men, making it clear that the authors do not stand for violence done to police. While the authors are outraged towards racism of today they remain resilient that though action is needed, it is to always be nonviolent.
A high point of the book for me was when the authors spoke against homogeneity, speaking into the need for us to emerge from our bubbles, cultural or otherwise, to experience life in different perspectives. I was overjoyed at them speaking into the need for democrat and republican individuals to seek out relationships with those in the other party so as to avoid only hearing one perspective. To cultivate friendships and regularly discuss their differences as well as accept each other, unrealistic (unfortunately for many) as this may seem.
A critique I have would be that the “solutions” offered towards the end of the book feel to inadequately respond to a complex issue. A big issue for me was also the size of the book; it’s so small that it really felt more like a pamphlet in my hands than an actual book. I just checked Amazon where the book is listed at $7.64. As cheap as that is for a new book, the word and page count is extremely low. I don’t think that’s the best idea for a subject as controversial and multi-faceted as this one.
If I were to recommend a book on this topic I would recommend John M. Perkin’s Dream With Me (Baker, 2017; see here for my review) which I feel bests ‘Do All Lives Matter’ in quality of style as well as in solutions proposed.
*I received my copy from Baker in exchange for an honest assessment.