This week community control of police, rage in protests, and the black political class were on your minds. We share your letters for “Community Control of the Police – and a Whole Lot More,” “‘Zero Degree Rage’ Focuses Black Minds,” and “Ooh La La: Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha and Civil Rights Myths in the Black ‘Mecca.’”
In “Community Control of the Police – and a Whole Lot More” Glen Ford argues for total community control of the police as the first step to abolition.
Victor Hainsworth writes:
“The City Police Department can change its name to City Law Review. A paradigm shift is necessary for policing as the status quo continuing is the very definition of insanity. Change the name from Police Officer to Peace Officer as well. Never again will we agree to disagree. Only peace officers with the rank of LT and above, having certified situational awareness, should carry a weapon: There is only one right and that is the peace. It is clear that lower ranks do not have the rank experience to take a life with a weapon. Less officers with weapons, less chance of life taken without cause. Tactical officers should be called when the situation calls for weapons. Many countries have police officers that do not carry weapons, and are very effective to protect the public. American gun culture is a red herring. The ATF is tasked with getting illegal guns off the street. According to the 2nd Amendment legal guns should not be a problem.”
Bryan Cambrice writes:
“No, community members need to police themselves and even take on the responsibilities of the police.”
Peter Malatesta writes:
“Defund and abolish the police. Let's talk about the real problem. The problem is the distribution of power and the absence of community. Thus, to achieve community control over the police, we need something called a community and that thing must have political and economic control over the despotic municipalities. Where I live, we don't have communities and we thus cannot control anything. The most effective strategy to end police violence quickly is to defund the bastards.”
Todd Smith writes:
“Precinct judges could partner with elected sheriffs to create neighborhood policing based in neighborhood community centers, schools, and churches. Turn the police stations into museums / homeless shelters.”
Bob Burgess writes:
“Attention to police should be expanded to include District Attorneys/prosecutors. The law makes these people even more immune to investigation and prosecution than police. They have buried exculpatory evidence in more than one case to get convictions (and win law and order elections). They ought to go to jail for the same sentence they got convictions for the innocent.”
In the radio segment “‘Zero Degree Rage’ Focuses Black Minds” academic Nicholas Brady discusses the ways mass popular emotion, in the context of recent protests, can be a liberatory weapon.
Wallace Nixon writes:
“This can be very true. In fact Fanon knew that exploding against oppression and the oppressors had a cathartic effect on those participating and unleashed mental blocks and any feelings of inferiority or inadequacy which had kept them passive or suffering from defeatist attitudes. Personally I remember the temporary change in attitude within the black community immediately after the Rodney King rebellion. Although this didn't last long it did show the cathartic effect of striking back. Too bad we aren't taught that.”
“Ooh La La: Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha and Civil Rights Myths in the Black ‘Mecca’” by K. Scott argues that the ruling black neoliberal class in Atlanta form a “black totalitarianism” meant to control the militancy of the black working class.
“‘Kill your masters’
:Written on Killer Mike’s t-shirt and also is the title of one of Run The Jewels songs. Killer Mike is a Landlord and Employer. *Killer Mike is a Master”
“During an ATL public announcement Killer Mike speaks to the citizens and repeatedly tells them to stay home and to not go out and protest against systemic racism and oppression. As this article implies: Killer Mike cares more about the conditions of his investment property than he does social justice and systemic change. Sadly this isn’t uncommon for black capitalists, who have made their wealth from within this system.
“‘We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism. We fight capitalism with socialism.’ -Fred Hampton.”
Jupiter Hammon writes:
“Killer Mike must stop saying Atlanta is Wakanda STAT! Then if he and T.I. are serious about activism, both need to sit down and be schooled by veteran Black Activists and not these co-opted perpetrators.”
The challenge to the black misleadership class will be based on strong ideas about the future of the black working class. We must continue to develop this vision.
Jahan Choudhry is Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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