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Bone To Pick

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Bone To Pick

Ellis Cose

Journalist Ellis Cose' newest book is a compendium of eloquent editorial; disturbing facts and a searing analysis of just how forgiving we as a people-people of color really are when it comes to some things. The book, aptly entitled, Bone to Pick-Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation and Revenge is the outspoken journalists ninth book and is strikingly similar to many of his previous books, but also deviates on some points slightly.

For Cose, who started out his scribe career years ago at the Chicago Sun-Times, writing about topics that causes readers to think and examine an issue from a multitude of various perspectives is by far his strongest attribute as a writer. While most of his previous books tend to have an underlying main theme about racial issues-his latest book takes a psychological approach to the subject. Cose talks about the significance of revenge and how getting back at someone is often a psychological boost for the victim. For example, in Bone to Pick, Cose tells the story about a friend of his who was enraged at neighbor for some assumingly minor and annoying infraction. He writes:

"...during the evening she worked herself into such a state that simply seething submissively was no longer an option. After we pulled into her driveway, my friend leapt from the car and headed to her neighbor's lawn, which was decorated with some elaborate arrangement of small statues, stones, and plants."

Cose goes on to tell how his friend systematically began to disassemble the display-vandalizing and perhaps even destroying some of the items. Cose justifies the ditzy woman's actions and his own by encouraging her when he writes: "Demented though her actions may have been, I found it impossible not to share her giddy delight-her catharsis through revenge." As I read the passage, I couldn't help but wonder in some nagging way if the woman was African-American? If this alleged terrible neighbor was African-American and if anyone else was watching the actions of these two grown adults partake in such a childish and just plain stupid activity from afar? While the authors' description and sharing of that example is embarrassing and does little to support his overall view about getting revenge on someone is indeed cathartic, Bone to Pick, does eventually rectify itself with thought-provoking text and much better commentary.

In an outstanding chapter entitled; Discharging a Debt, Cose resurrects a time in



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