what will police do when their jobs are no more?06 Jun 2020
as the winning continues (and it IS continuing because the organizing is working), i am seeing so many folks imagining worlds beyond policing.
we need more of that. yes. yes. yes. i am here for it and will be supporting that dreaming & visioning directly.
what i am curious about is what will the cops do when their jobs are no more?
my worry is that police officers, generally people harshly diminished in true self-[esteem, care, responsibility, everything] by white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy, will have the veil they usually use for their aggression (“law and order”, “protecting the public”) removed completely. and they will still have guns.
my worry is the backlash. it is coming. it always comes. trump is (at least partly) the backlash to obama. we have seen this repeatedly. reconstruction, the prison industrial complex, we have seen this over and over (see michelle alexander’s the new jim crow).
my worry is that the backlash will set us back farther than the winning got us ahead.
i am here for the winning, no doubt. AND i want us to be cut off the backlash at the pass.
my dream is that the white folks who do healing work, are preparing themselves to support individual officers and their families as their lives fall apart, as their income (and pride and sense of self-worth) evaporates. as american culture shifts its understanding of police from good to bad, those folks’ sense of self will erode. and folks with little to no capacity to handle their own transformations, i fear that black and brown individuals and communities will bear the brunt.
who is doing the work of supporting police departments as they lose their funding for the upcoming fiscal years? i know resmaa menakem is. who else? if you have capacity to do that work, please. for the wellness of black folks getting free, please be ready. be ready to handle public and private outbursts, be ready to handle depression and addiction and upticks in intimate partner domestic abuse of police partners and children.
revolution requires the transformation of the whole system, all parts, including the folks who were on the wrong side before. if we are not ready to support them, the system will go deeper underground and rear it’s heads bigger, badder than before.
to be clear, i am not saying that’s MY work, but it IS work that’s needed. who’s out there?
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