The ruthless killing of Black men and others by police is being challenged, as it should. Thinking people and those who suffered the consequences of force run amuck are working towards creating new systems. Phrases like “defund the police”, “disarm the police”, and “abolish the police” are being discussed as we come to this fork in the road.
Some are willing to explore the possibility of life without policing, as we have known it. They are championing funding for mental health care and community support. They’re educating us on the historical roots of policing that was created to maintain the wealth and property of the upper class. And they’re upending the myth “to serve and protect.”
In truth we should all welcome this evolutionary moment. But some do not believe in evolution. And it shows. We were all handed a system and some are determined to stick with it – for good or for bad. Their resistance to change shows in “Back the Blue” signs. It shows in comments of how people should obey the police. “If you are innocent, no need to run, right?” Wrong.
As an institution the police force is beyond repair. Doubt it? When a twenty-six year veteran, instructor and past union president of the police force can’t tell the difference between a Taser and a gun…they’re either lying or living proof that the system is beyond repair. Some police are driven by fear of other, some by hatred and some are all too clear what betrayal to their comrades will mean.
Make no mistake; we have arrived. The conversation has begun and we will either go kicking and screaming into that good night or we will embrace what should have happened long ago.
Disarm the police. Demilitarize our lives.
We’re better than this.