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Art: MRCokeley Design

Disclaimer: A TV show is no substitute for professional mental health support. That said, my favorite cops-and-lawyers procedural has always been there for me.

“Look at this: Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard. Either we’re looking for a philosophy student, or we got one very depressed criminal.” — Detective Lennie Briscoe

When my best friend died unexpectedly on an otherwise unremarkable December day, the police showed up, they investigated, and then ruled out foul play. …


I asked 79 white people if they would give up their whiteness. Here are the results.

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Illustration: Jenn Kitagawa

Sometimes I’ll ask a white person a question I often wonder about. It’s a question only they can answer, and typically one they’ve rarely, if ever, considered:

Would you give up your whiteness?

Generally, when I ask a white person this question they look at me like I’ve just asked: Would you ever walk across the ocean? Or maybe it’s more like: Would you ever light a winning lottery ticket on fire, just to see how it feels?

How could a white person give up their whiteness? It’s not like a gym membership. But ah, in fact, it’s a lot like a gym membership — only it’s one where other people pay your annual fees. …


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(photo by author)

Randy Darling finger-punched buttons of the keypad to show his teenage son the five-number combination to his gun safe. …

About

Zaron Burnett III

writer at MEL magazine, essay & short stories at Medium, and always in the mood for donuts

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