“See, in my community violence is a form of currency,” he continued. “It’s not about if you are violent, it’s about if people buy into the idea that you may be violent. They’ll treat you a certain way.
“In middle-class communities, intelligence is the same thing,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you are intelligent, if people think you’re intelligent you’ll be treated with certain reverence because of it. Once I started to pick that up, I was like, ‘Right. O.K. I can see how I would navigate over here.’ ”
Too often, he said, people are reluctant to admit they are wrong, to save face. “It’s much easier to see the holes in another person’s story than it is to get honest about the yarns you’ve been spinning.”
When it comes to politics and activism, “we think that if we condemn someone hard enough, maybe they’ll just humble themselves and admit that they’re wrong,” he said.
“I don’t think anybody works like that, do they?”