Sunday, June 14, 2020

Let's talk about what we want

Defund the Police. Abolish Prisons. The slogans are harsh but the problems are much worse. Some try to dismiss the discussion by dismissing the slogans.The slogans are not easy or comfortable. They say what they mean. And they challenge us to confront the reality they reveal.

We can and must start now. There are tons of resources for us to self-educate and think about how community conversations can bring us to a new understanding of the issues.

In the end, if you feel you have to call the police, some part or parts of the social system have already failed.

National Public Radio recently aired an interview with Professor Alex S. Vitale about his book, The End of Policing. Drawing on first-hand research from across the globe, Alex Vitale shows how the implementation of alternatives to policing, like drug legalization, regulation, and harm reduction instead of the policing of drugs, has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice.

On the Media's latest program, It's Going Down, includes an interview with Professor Amna Akbar Why Activists Are Demanding That Cities "Defund the Police"

It's really not about the police. In the bigger picture, it's about the whole system that prioritizes punishment ove education, mentoring, health services, housing fairness, livable wages, and all the things that keep people from needing the police. 

In a recent New Yorker article, How Do We Change America?, Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor says, "We cannot insist on 'real change' in the United States by continuing to use the same methods, arguments, and failed political strategies that have brought us to this moment. We cannot allow the current momentum to be stalled by a narrow discussion about reforming the police."

This web page, Reimagining Justice: A Primer on Defunding the Police and Prison Abolition has lots of links to good articles and online conversations.

Can we talk? Yes, we can.

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