Action is Required
Hasan Minhaj released this special on why this is an issue we cannot ignore.
It is not just a rant it is a call to action. Specific actions we need to focus on. Actions that all Americans can get behind. If you are not willing to address the following, you are part of the problem. Even if you were part of the problem before what matters now is that it is time to be a part of the solution.
1. Policy Immunity
The problem is when a crime is committed by police officers they are treated differently than the average citizen. This doesn’t reflect our American values. No one is above the law right? Then work on this to restore trust in the community.
Read More about why this is a problem and the real solutions you can take: Campaign Zero
2. Demilitarize police.
One of the specific steps to restoring trust in the community and make sure everyone receives the dignity they deserve is to look at how we define the function of police officers. We are pretty invested in the idea of police are here to protect and serve, but at what cost? Leah Donnella interviews Alex S. Vitale about his The End of Policing book on NPR: How Much Do We Need the Police? The issue isn’t diversity training but the role it plays in our culture.
Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights lawyer and author of the memoir Just Mercy, talks about the roots of police violence and how that lead to the protests and riots we are seeing in America today. Read the interview here: Bryan Stevenson on the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests
When the government equips police departments like they’re equipping the military, we undermine healthy relationships between the police and the community. We don’t train them to deëscalate, or deal with people suffering from mental illness or the complexities and anger and frustrations of poverty. And then we bring them in, often to places where they don’t live. We view the police as an occupying military force. That kind of culture gives rise to the violence that we see.Bryan Stevenson
He does believe that it is possible to create a police department that is focuses on being protectors of the community. To do that we need to be informed that the current measures don’t work. They force cops to prove they are doing their job and encourage them to do it aggressively. We need to change the narrative.
Vote out locally corrupt politicians.
To be honest, it’s not that hard to protest. It’s not that hard to go someplace. And it doesn’t mean that it’s not important. It doesn’t mean that it’s not critical. But that’s not the hard thing we need from people who care about these issues. We need people to vote, we need people to engage in policy reform and political reform, we need people to not tolerate the rhetoric of fear and anger that so many of our elected officials use to sustain power.Bryan Stevenson
Protests AND policy changes is how things get better. Showing up at a protest and throwing up a picture of a black square on social media is not enough. Change doesn’t happen overnight. We all need to stay engaged, pay attention and support those who are trying to make it better for all of us. We can’t do that alone.
We can do better and we can do it together.
“As the Commander of Pacific Air Forces, a senior leader in our Air Force, and an African-American, many of you may be wondering what I’m thinking about the current events surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd. Here’s what I’m thinking about…” – Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. pic.twitter.com/I2sf1067L6
— PACAF (@PACAF) June 5, 2020