Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Racism; police brutality.]

"When I say, 'abolish the police,' I'm usually asked what I would have us replace them with. My answer is always full social, economic, and political equality, but that's not what's actually being asked. What people mean is 'who is going to protect us?' Who protects us now? If you're white and well-off, perhaps the police protect you. The rest of us, not so much. What use do I have for an institution that routinely kills people who look like me, and make it so I'm afraid to walk out of my home?"—Mychal Denzel Smith, in a must-read essay, "Abolish the Police. Instead, Let’s Have Full Social, Economic, and Political Equality."

Between the points Smith makes about the amount of time police actually spend responding to municipal violations (which are abused by police to exploit communities, especially poor communities), the fact that we have criminalized need, and how ineffective police actually are in meaningfully responding to violent crime, I'm not sure how much use any of us have for the police, frankly.

And that's not to say that we don't have need for some kind of intervention for violent crimes, in particular. Of course we do. But it doesn't necessarily have to be police, at least not police as policing looks now. We're all just so used to the idea and presence and mythos of police that we fail to imagine anything else.

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