It's been a rough week, filled with lots of anger and vitriol. As an alternative, today the reader advisor offers a thoughtful poem and some thought-provoking links. Enjoy. – Artblog editor

An Installation view of Glenn Ligon's A Small Band during the 2015 Venice Biennale via Regen Projects
An Installation view of Glenn Ligon’s “A Small Band” during the 2015 Venice Biennale via Regen Projects

This week’s Reader Advisor reflects on the state of law enforcement in our country. As I write this on Friday afternoon I am having a hard time finding any value, context, or urgency in my perspective as a white American. Instead I am going to step aside and let the links speak for themselves. To start, a poem by June Jordan via The Poetry Foundation.

“A Letter to the Local Police”

Dear Sirs:


I have been enjoying the law and order of our
community throughout the past three months since
my wife and I, our two cats, and miscellaneous
photographs of the six grandchildren belonging to
our previous neighbors (with whom we were very
close) arrived in Saratoga Springs which is clearly
prospering under your custody

Indeed, until yesterday afternoon and despite my
vigilant casting about, I have been unable to discover
a single instance of reasons for public-spirited concern,
much less complaint

You may easily appreciate, then, how it is that
I write to your office, at this date, with utmost
regret for the lamentable circumstances that force
my hand


Speaking directly to the issue of the moment:

I have encountered a regular profusion of certain
unidentified roses, growing to no discernible purpose,
and according to no perceptible control, approximately
one quarter mile west of the Northway, on the southern

To be specific, there are practically thousands of
the aforementioned abiding in perpetual near riot
of wild behavior, indiscriminate coloring, and only
the Good Lord Himself can say what diverse soliciting
of promiscuous cross-fertilization


As I say, these roses, no matter what the apparent
background, training, tropistic tendencies, age,
or color, do not demonstrate the least inclination
toward categorization, specified allegiance, resolute
preference, consideration of the needs of others, or
any other minimal traits of decency

May I point out that I did not assiduously seek out
this colony, as it were, and that these certain
unidentified roses remain open to viewing even by
children, with or without suitable supervision

(My wife asks me to append a note as regards the
seasonal but nevertheless seriously licentious
phenomenon of honeysuckle under the moon that one may
apprehend at the corner of Nelson and Main

However, I have recommended that she undertake direct
correspondence with you, as regards this: yet
another civic disturbance in our midst)

I am confident that you will devise and pursue
appropriate legal response to the roses in question
If I may aid your efforts in this respect, please
do not hesitate to call me into consultation

Respectfully yours,

A black ex-cop relates five concepts on race and policing in America: [via Vox]

Policiteering–cops as revenue generators: [via]

Do we even need cops? [via Rolling Stone]

An aesthetic, political, and historical consideration of policing: [via N+1]