To understand issues like mass incarceration and racist policing, you have to go back in history—farther back than Reagan’s war on drugs or even Johnson’s proposed war on crime. That’s the argument of Simon Balto, our guest today and the author of Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power. He spends the hour in the studio with Carousel to discuss this complex history in Chicago and how it relates to violent policing practices throughout the country.
Simon Balto is assistant professor of history at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power (UNC Press, 2019). His writing has also appeared in TIME magazine, the Washington Post, The Progressive, the Journal of African American History, Labor, and numerous other popular and scholarly outlets.