Thank you so much Michelle. I am deeply appreciative of you taking the time to dive into anti-racism efforts. There is no way we can do this without White people helping. All the things you noted are so easy, and while they may be a little uncomfortable in the beginning, the more they explore Black spaces and Black people the more White people will see how harmless we are.
My only concern is about defunding police. I’m not sure where this came from but it’s not a part of what BLM is asking for. While we do want police reform, I ask that allies please detail what defunding police means for us to White people. I want to be careful not to imply that we are asking for no community policing. Cities, counties, and municipalities defunding police for most of us means we would like to demilitarize the police, have resources redirected to other areas such as social workers, advocates, parks and other community efforts which can build trust while building people instead of tearing them down.
Some police departments with a history of problems, deaths, etc., should probably be disbanded AND replaced at the same time with something new. Historically, when White leaders take stuff away from our communities, they usually don’t replace them, leaving us unprotected and in more danger. When we lose parks, we don’t get them back.
Defund means different things to different communities based on the histories with police in our areas. Defunding police in Minneapolis may look different than it does in Miami, FL or Greenwood, South Carolina. We want police reform. Things like creating a national database so bad cops won’t be hired. Remove police union power. Hire people to conduct social media surveillance on current people in law enforcement, create civilian task forces and review panels to review cases and policies. Suspend police without pay. Cops don’t pay any penalities for bad deeds. If they lose some $$$ then they’d likely think twice before behaving badly. Give every cop the same type of polygraph tests the FBI, DEA, and the U.S. Marshalls take for employment. Cheaters don’t get jobs. Do intensive background research. Don’t hire cops affiliated with right wing extremist groups and white supremacy groups. Remove punishment for cops that report bad cops. Make telling a good thing. Test for implicit biases. Reshape how police are trained. The data used today that influence community policing is racist. There are more White people, yet Black communities are policed more. Why is this?
No one ever asks how 13% of the American population can commit the most crimes. Of we do if you never look at White people and White communities. Policing in America is unfair. Fix that.
There are so many things that we want. We want police, just not bad ones and racist ones. We respect the law like the next person. We just want cops to respect us, all of them.
Thanks so much for taking the time to engage with White readers. This is overwhelming I’m sure, but we can’t do it all, we need help. So I thank you.