Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. Opportunities to support the crucial work of the Black Lives Matter movement; 2. Pride month and rebellion; 3. Cops joining protests; 4. Defunding the police; 5. Minneapolis’s decision to disband the police; 6. An interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates; and 7. Blackness perceived as threatening.
Pride Is and Always Was About Rebellion, This Year More Than Ever (them.)
George M. Johnson writes about Pride, Black liberation, and rebellion: “Unfortunately, for Black people, racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy take no days off, nor does the oppressive police system. With last week’s police killing of George Floyd, thousands across the country have taken to the streets to fight against injustice—a harrowing reminder this Pride month of a time in history when Black and brown trans and queer folks led a violent revolt against policing.” Read more.
(Eva Marie Uzcategui:AFP via Getty Images)
Don’t Let Cops Join Our Protests (The Appeal)
Derecka Purnell argues why protests should not allow cops to join: “NYPD officers took a page from Colin Kaepernick’s playbook: They kneeled. One hour later, they stood up and attacked the crowd that surrounded them. For many, acts of police solidarity are wins. Some people believe that ‘good cops’ lead by example for ‘bad apple’ cops who bring shame to the profession. Police reformers hope that relationship building, diversity, and dialogue will make policing less violent. It cannot. And we must never invite or encourage police to march with us in protest against their own violence.” Read more.
(Scott Olson:Getty Images)
There’s No Way Around It: Spending on Police in the US Is out of Control (Jacobin)
David Sirota urges the U.S. to defund the police: “‘Defund the police’ has become a nationwide mantra, and for good reason: budget data from across the country show that spending on police has far outpaced population growth and drained resources from other public priorities. [...] Nationally, the numbers are stark: between 1977 and 2017, America’s population grew by about 50 percent, while state and local spending on police grew by a whopping 173 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to data from the Urban Institute. In other words, the rate of police-spending growth was triple the rate of population growth.” Read more.For guidance on how to defund the police in your community, click here.
(Jerry Holt:Star Tribune)
Most of Minneapolis City Council pledges to ‘begin the process of ending’ Police Department (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Liz Navratil discusses the Minneapolis City Council’s historic decision to begin to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department: “‘Decades of police reform efforts have proved that the Minneapolis Police Department cannot be reformed and will never be accountable for its actions,” [the council members] said. ‘We are here today to begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department and creating a new, transformative model for cultivating safety in Minneapolis.’ While some council members have provided hints of what the changes might mean—sending mental health professionals or social workers to respond to certain emergencies, for example—the group did not present a single, unified vision for how they would replace policing in Minneapolis.” Read more.
(Olivier Douliery:AFP:Getty Images)
Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is hopeful (Vox)
Ezra Klein interviews Ta-Nehisi Coates on the recent uprisings and abolition. Coates says: “Josie Duffy Rice had a Twitter thread where she was arguing that many people who think police abolition is crazy actually live in a world where the police have effectively been abolished already. If they want to know what a world looks like without police, all they have to do is look around them. Just ask white folks who are of some privilege: Do you generally have encounters with the police? How often do you see the police? The answer is very little. Well, what would we do about crime? [...] Well, do police in particularly violent neighborhoods have a sterling record of solving and closing murder cases? Turns out they don’t. So if we’re not talking about solving crimes, what is it about these worlds where police basically don’t exist that allows for that? [...] Well, the world that we’re trying to build already exists. It just doesn’t exist for us.” Read more.For resource lists on abolition, clickhere and here.
It Does Not Matter If You Are Good (Elle)
R. Eric Thomas, a Black man, shares his thoughts on being perceived as a threat: “You learn to perform harmlessness, not as a way of selling yourself out—though it often feels like that—but as an attempt at heading off a conflict that seems to always be brewing. You learn—or, at least I, a black, cisgender man, learned—that there will be moments, random and unbidden, where to save your life you must convince a stranger that you are in some amorphous way good. And at the same time you learn that it probably will not make a difference.” Read more.