Big Books & Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller

A hard look at gun violence in 'The Bodies Keep Coming'

Man poses next to book cover image
Dr. Brian H. Williams is a trauma surgeon whose new book, "The Bodies Keep Coming," offers a diagnosis and a possible cure for America's persistent problem with guns and race.
Courtesy Broadleaf Books

On July 7, 2016, a Black gunman ambushed Dallas police officers working a peaceful protest, shooting 14 and killing five.

The trauma surgeon who worked to save many of those officers — Dr. Brian H. Williams — made headlines when he spoke at a press conference after the incident. In an emotional moment, he confessed his complicated feelings as a Black man in America to the mix of race, policing and guns.

“I want the Dallas P.D. to also see me, a Black man, and understand that I support you, I will defend you, and I will care for you,” he said.

“But that doesn't mean that I do not fear you,” he added. “That doesn’t mean that if you approach me I will not immediately have a visceral reaction and start worrying for my personal safety.”

It was that moment that catapulted Dr. Williams into the national spotlight and pushed him to offer a diagnosis on a system that is failing almost everyone.

This week on Big Books and Bold Ideas, Dr. Williams talks with MPR News host Kerri Miller about that fateful day in Dallas. They also talk about what led him to medicine in the first place, the systemic racism he witnessed in the health care field and why he still believes healing is possible.

Guest:

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