ZZ Packer

Novelist ZZ Packer is the author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a collection of short stories, and a recent Guggenheim fellowship recipient.

Recent Articles

Sorry, Not Buying

Not long ago, William Bennett -- former education secretary, self-styled moralist, and gambler -- philosophized, “If you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” A few beats later Bennett reminded himself and his radio audience that such a crime-fighting method might be “morally reprehensible.” For me and other blacks, hearing Bennett uphold his racist “blacks = crime” premise was unbearable, and hearing him discuss black genocide in the language of tactical options was otherworldly -- a little like interviewing a slew of baby-sitters and having one announce, unbidden, that he would never think of throwing your infant around like a football. Thanks for the reassurance, but I'll pass. His mistake was saying what too many Republicans still believe, Bill Clinton said of Trent Lott's remarks praising segregationist Strom Thurmond and his 1948 run for the presidency. But the same...