yes, we can play with cop gear... but can we play with ex-cops?30 Jul 2020
another beautiful visual of a future beyond police is circulating and it’s so. great. (note: it might be satire. for the purposes of this post, i’m gonna pretend it’s speaking seriously)
if you haven’t seen it, take a minute or two to check it out. How to Repurpose Cop Gear if Police Get Abolished.
i’m here for it. the art, the visuals, the mindspace things like this open up for people. yes yes yes.
i really want to talk about how we repurpose cops when we abolish police.
i saw a really powerful counter-sign to a blue lives matter sign a couple weeks ago: “blue is a job, black is a human.”
i really, really want us to be talking about what we do with the people when the uniforms and the jobs go away.
i’ve written about this once already but i’m writing about it again because it just feels so so important. i truly believe that part of (not all of) the reason we haven’t yet abolished police is because we don’t actually have a society that supports the people wearing those uniforms to have nonviolent inner lives and livelihoods. in addition to having their identities tied up in the role society has given them, i think what cannot be underestimated is that police jobs are fucking well-resourced.
yes, we are fighting a battle of ideologies, for sure. but we’re also in a battle of material conditions. and, for people with cop jobs, abolish police probably sounds like “take away the best job i’ve ever had and the only option i can really think of to support my family.”
there is patriarchy all. up. in. this.
what are the societal structures we have that make the families of people in police jobs dependent on their income? what are the economic, social, and family structures that require at least one high-income wage earner? what are the ways in which men who are police have their own imaginations of themselves limited by patriarchy?
lately, i find myself continuing to come back to this question: what would it take to prepare a current cop to be a stay-at-home dad or a daycare teacher? and i don’t mean a bad dad or teacher. what would it take, in terms of individual, interpersonal, community, and societal work, to make those transitions possible?
am i saying we should do that? no. but i am saying that as i think about that question, the mountain of things needed are pointing me towards the ways in which abolishing police is about reworking our entire society.
i love imagining community-supportive things to do with cop gear. how can we also imagine community-supportive things to do with ex-cops?
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