The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice– if that is where we guide it. There’s a lot of talk at the moment about a feeling of helplessness and inevitability in the way things are. However, in order to see a different future, we often need the mental creativity and flexibility to imagine a different way.
Today we have readings from people who have done just that when it comes to the subject of policing and incarceration. In Summer Heat, Mariame Kaba suggests that we end the police. She states the oft-repeated line:
“If crime increases in the summer, then more police aggression is justified.” This fails to take into account that “routine” interactions between police and young people in my community are fraught all year long.
For a soundtrack to some of these issues, listen to Malcolm London’s OPIA. London is an artist and longtime activist, but we feel it is important to note here that he was also recently accused of sexual assault. London is currently engaged in a process of restorative justice with his accuser through the BYP100, according to the wishes of all parties to seek justice without the involvement of police.
Finally, some food for thought when the line is repeated of how “activists ignore Black crime while focusing on police brutality”, read Black Activists Don’t Ignore Crime. As we try to change the discourse around racism in policing and justice, we need to remember the desire for headlines and stories in the media: those stories are often racially skewed.