Helpful resources on racism & police reform from Jason Kottke
The reason that black people are in the streets has to do with the lives they’re forced to lead in this country. And they’re forced to lead these lives by the indifference and the apathy and a certain kind of ignorance — a very willful ignorance — on the part of their co-citizens.
That's James Baldwin, excerpted by Jason, who prefaces it by saying:
Hi. I wanted to take today to compile a sampling of what Black people (along with a few immigrant and other PoC voices) are saying. [...] I am trying to listen. Is America finally ready to listen? Are you ready?
In recent weeks, kottke.org has helped me focus on people, words, and images that both deserve and demand my attention and support. I am extremely grateful when Jason steers his resource-gathering and social analysis efforts & skills toward current events in the service of people who are disadvantaged and/or suffering.
For starters, listen. Please, today, set a timer for 10 minutes and try to absorb some of this:
Consider these as a set, and think about how this compounds hardship over generations:
- “Increasingly Rightwing” Police Unions Have Made Policing More Dangerous In America — Violent policing is systematically protected from accountability & consequence.
- Nixon Started the War on Drugs to Target Black People & the Antiwar Left — That system of protection has racist roots by design.
- “The Game Is Fixed” Against Black People in America — And this is how it makes people feel. Kottke: "I’ve never heard the long, shameful, and deadly history of white supremacy in America summed up any better or more succinctly than Jones does here."
And so much more:
- A Short History of Housing Segregation in America — Devastating.
- Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop — Kottke: "This essay corroborates what activists have been saying about the police for decades."
- Police Abolition: The Growing Movement to Defund the Police — Kottke: "What would a system oriented around public safety look like if it was designed from scratch rather than just piling more responsibility onto and funding into increasingly militarized and unaccountable police departments?"
Jason has also highlighted stunning art, rich literature, and arresting performances by Black creators. A goldmine of things to follow up on, support, and share further.