Through the "Dread Locks" freewrite of The Posture of Innocence, we again get a view into the mind of Commissioner Scott ... a man with his own deep racist beliefs, forced to come to terms with those beliefs at 60 years of age ... and finding them as repulsive as the things he fears ...
To get totally caught up on The Posture of Innocence, here are the prologue, day 1, day 2, day 3, day 3.5, day 4, day 4.5, day 5, day 5.5, day 6, day 7, and day 7.5, day 8, day 9, day 9.5, day 10, day 10.5, day 11, day 11.5, day 12, day 12.5, day 13, day 13.5, day 14, and day 15!
As Commissioner Scott watched the scene, a younger reporter for the Lofton County Free Voice came up to talk with Nathan Turner – and the commissioner realized the extent to which he was not reconstructed. Maryland was not so far from the South in its attitudes that the whole idea of young, dark men with dread locks determining public discourse and therefore wielding real power was comfortable for Maryland's White sons.
And then it occurred to the commissioner: such men among Africa's sons were now making decisions for him and his, a White man of fully 60 years of age, running an organization of White men in the awesome authority of law enforcement.
Commissioner Scott saw red. This was not what freedom was supposed to mean for men like him, who had founded a country precisely to be free, to do as they pleased and live as they wish –.
– And answer to no one. This was the thought that brought the commissioner back to earth. If anyone could live without being acted upon by others – if any man aspired to answer to no one – he really was wishing to be God Himself. For the first time in his life, the commissioner understood his own culture – and he recoiled from it, recoiled from it just as hard as he had recoiled from the meaning of the dread-locked reporter from the Free Voice.
And thus, for the first time in his life, Commissioner Scott was separated from the stream of common thought in his own world. He arrived at this separation shocked, but not surprised … it felt as though he had been on his way to this for a long time … at least since Della his wife had become a Christian. Was this a portion of the journey to a different kind of life?