Kingpin

So I am currently reading Cop in the Hood by Peter Moskos. I’m only halfway through it, but it is really interesting in that it kind of meshes Freakonomics-like stats with a first-hand experience at policing Baltimore’s Eastern District. It’s actually set in the same neighborhood where the first season of The Wire took place. I’ve only seen the first season, and while I liked it, I watched it at a really inopportune time in my life.

I watched it over winter during my sophomore year at Macalester. I didn’t want to go home over winter break because this was right after the house had been raided. I still was uncomfortable being there, so instead I spent the 6-week break traveling to visit different friends of mine. While in Milwaukee with Devin we started watching The Wire. For those of you that haven’t seen it, it’s basically a cop drama that follows drug dealers and the investigators trying to bring them down (I’m thinking the title is from the fact that they sometimes use wire taps). Why I thought two months after I found out my own home and phone lines had been tapped would be a good time to watch a TV show like this, I will never know. Let’s just say it hit a little close to home.

This brings us back to me reading Cop in the Hood. As I was reading last night there was an overview of all the various roles people can play in the drug life. They eventually got to the top and named the orchestrator of it all: the kingpin. I had to read it over and over, and it really caught me off guard because I’ve been semi-decent in not always thinking about the way I grew up. But my mom was a kingpin. It’s funny though, because even though she wouldn’t necessarily consider herself one, I know she would feel a sense of pride (mixed with the obligatory guilt) knowing that others did.

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