When They Call You a Terrorist

by

Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele

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Paul Character Analysis

Paul is Patrisse’s oldest brother. After Alton left their family when Patrisse was six years old, Paul stepped in as the man of the house. When a friend asked Patrisse why Paul didn’t end up in prison, she said it’s because he was never allowed to be a kid. Still, the police roughed him up and searched him one day when he was 13 years old and simply hanging out in an alley with Monte and their friends. Paul was overwhelmed when Monte faced life in prison, so he didn’t help Patrisse and Cherice raise the money to cover the legal funds. Still, he supported Monte after he was released six years later.

Paul Quotes in When They Call You a Terrorist

The When They Call You a Terrorist quotes below are all either spoken by Paul or refer to Paul. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the St. Martin's Griffin edition of When They Call You a Terrorist published in 2020.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Whatever goes through their minds after being half stripped in public and having their childhoods flung to the ground and ground into the concrete, we will never speak of this incident or the ones that will follow as Van Nuys becomes ground zero in the war on drugs and the war on gangs, designations that add even more license to police already empowered to do whatever they want to us.

Related Characters: Patrisse Khan-Cullors (speaker), Monte Cullors, Paul
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:
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Paul Character Timeline in When They Call You a Terrorist

The timeline below shows where the character Paul appears in When They Call You a Terrorist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Community, Interrupted
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...California, just outside Los Angeles. Patrisse and Cherice are both short, but Patrisse’s older brothers (Paul and Monte) and younger sister (Jasmine) are all tall, a trait they get from their... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
External Forces vs. Personal Responsibility Theme Icon
Patrisse and her siblings look out for one another. Jasmine is the baby and Paul is the oldest, taking charge after Alton leaves. Monte is special to Patrisse because he... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
External Forces vs. Personal Responsibility Theme Icon
Monte and Paul never talk about what happened, likely because they expect this behavior from the police and/or... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
External Forces vs. Personal Responsibility Theme Icon
Monte and Paul get arrested so often that Cherice moves the family to a different part of Van... (full context)
Chapter 4: Magnitude and Bond
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
...Angeles.  This is why young people of color looked out for one another. Patrisse’s brother Paul didn’t get caught in the criminal justice system only because he wasn’t allowed to be... (full context)
Chapter 6: Out in the World
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...and Patrisse, Jasmine, Cherice, and Bernard sleep in sleeping bags on the living room floor (Paul has moved out, and Monte is in prison). Patrisse wants a normal life, so she... (full context)
Chapter 8: Zero Dark Thirty
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
...Monte is in the hospital, though she doesn’t know the details. Patrisse feels very afraid. Paul joins them when they visit Monte at the hospital, and Patrisse recites a prayer in... (full context)
Black Lives Matter Theme Icon
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...$10,000, but they don’t have another choice. Alton has money but doesn’t share it, and Paul and Jasmine keep distance from the case due to overwhelm, so it’s up to Patrisse... (full context)
Prisons and Policing Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...made up of their chosen family. When he is released in October of 2011, Alton, Paul, and Patrisse drive three hours to pick him up. Patrisse notices all of the prisoners... (full context)
Intersectionality of Identity Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Healing Theme Icon
...(they now live 45 minutes away in Central LA in an artist’s village) and find Paul holding a crying Monte in his arms, broken furniture and plates everywhere. Monte is calm... (full context)