The Police and Prison system Reform or utter Abolition

Paying a visit to Colin Kaepernick's explanation of the broken discriminatory law Enforcement System in America

Originally published by Illumination Curated on Medium

Photo by Sean Lee on Unsplash

Racism, discrimination, ethnocentrism, and fascism, in general, have existed for centuries since the advent of significant civilizations. Regrettably, as long as people live under some form of collective rapport, it will continue to exist. Prejudice, in a variety of shapes and forms, lives in many societies around the world. The United States is perhaps at the top of the list regarding racism, as history demonstrates. The sense of apartheid still lives in many people, and it could even happen if it were allowed by the constitution, but it does not! A long time ago, racism used to be considered a white thing, but today, it has taken many colors. Some may label it as ethnic preference and others discriminatory based on the reaction to the opposing race, etc. But the reality; everyone is unconsciously striving to promote its kind and protect it. And since we, the members of the society, have been programmed to live collectively as groups, communities, or human herds, therefore programmed to think based on shared profiles and traits, alienating our individuality. That is when the Sh..t hits the fan!

It wasn't too long ago when I came across a publication endorsed by the Ex-49er American football Quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The medium publication is meant to be part of "the Abolition for the People." It is about the lives of Black and Brown men in America, which concludes that policing and prisons are not solutions for black citizens' issues. Instead, it blames the prevailing and flawed social intricacies that necessitate abolishing police and defunding the prison system prioritizing justice and the communities' needs. Although the concept of police brutality, as he states in his introduction, is genuine and seems to be a fundamental problem, is it going to be enough, right of the back, to eradicate policing and work on the human minds through social programs? Or is it a much deeper issue that will take decades, maybe centuries, to address!

Or is it not just about "black lives that matter," but about every individual's life?

Because if we have to change the police perception of men of color, we must apply such an attitude to every individual that it is not necessarily the white or black race uniquely different. But every individual is distinct, even two blacks or two whites. If we fail to establish the contrast within ourselves, we will continue to witness ethnic tension within our societies. And since that tension perpetually reflects on every aspect of our lives, the police and prison system will ultimately be contaminated through its employees or policies.

The Unruly Policing in America is about Community Norms and Commercial Interest

The ambition to professionalize the police with a career cop concept as we'd understand it today is less than a century old. The campaigns for police professionalism were promoted as the 20th century progressed. Some historians like Samuel Walker believe that the move toward police professionalism wasn't all good of a movement, as the creation of police departments that were" "inward-looking" and" "apart from the public" and crime-control tactics that ended up exacerbating tensions between police and the societies pledged to protect. Today, the improvement and modernization of America's young police force continue to this day. In America, the old policing has always been informal, just like the prison system, and many other entities have been based on a for-profit, privately funded system. And since police departments are locally adjudicated, one should hardly expect unbiased police activity in a collective populist state.

Policing attitude is a community-driven phenomenon. It has to be, and it should always be, but a community can hardly survive without protection, especially in our modern complex system. However, what will determine the outcome of the police activity is transparency, accountability, and respecting the individual rights of everyone, and not just admiring every set of profiles or traits to which an individual relates.

Be it the state-sanctioned lynching of Breonna Taylor or the brutal chock hold killing of George Floyd, the communities with healthy populist and collective attitudes are forced to grapple with police terrorism, not the United States in general. Obviously, in a city with a uniform race and ethnicity, such terrorism would be rare to witness. In other words, the diverse nature of the U.S. populace makes it more prone to legal slaughter devastations against a particular race or ethnicities. In response, movements like" "ANTIFA"' and "Black lives matter" demanding the police's defunding have spread across the country.

Constitution and History of Police Power in the United States

The United States constitution sees police power as the capacity of the states. It expects local and state administrations to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory. Under the 10th Amendment, the powers not proxy to the Federal Government are earmarked to the states or" "the people"'. The Federal Government transfers all public safety and security powers to the State governments and their constituents. Imagine a community with a majority sharing a particular profile and belief, may see another group or person with a different shared trait as a threat to the community. Such conflict can happen because profiling based on race, culture, and ethnicity has riddled our communities, which tends to send the wrong message to the local law enforcement agency.

States have the authority to coerce obedience to the state and local laws through whatever measures they see proper, provided these measures do not meddle on any of the rights protected by the United States Constitution or are not unreasonably arbitrary or oppressive. However, conflicts over the police authority's nature and extent can arise when such disputes meddle into individual rights and freedoms. Then again, many politicians equate that conflict within the framework of race and ethnicity. Yes, that semantic variation of the cause of the war paradoxically has led to much bigger devastation, i.e., police terrorism and the establishments that launch, magnify, and extend the prison statehood.

Police discrimination is community taste, and community discrimination reflects its populace's collective norms and mindset. The standards of a community are the populist state (be it left-wing or Right-wing in nature).

According to Colin Kaepernick:

“The central intent of policing is to surveil, terrorize, capture, and kill marginalized populations, specifically Black folks.”

He sees police brutality on colored folks as anti-Black violence and control. Concurrent to that, he recognizes that law enforcement sees it as essential to the very nature of the job.

Colin, in his view, states that the police reform will never take place in the United States, and the abolishment of the police and prison system is the only solution to save black lives from injustice at the hands of law enforcement officers.

Can the Police and Prison System be Abolished?

Some people believe they can abolish the police and prison system. The prison abolition movement is a net of activists that strive to reduce or even eliminate prisons and the prison system. Then one may ask what would be the replacement solution. Instead, they would replace systems with a rehabilitation structure that focuses on punishment and government institutionalization.

Some organizations, for instance, the Anarchist Black Cross, seek out total abolishment of the prison system without any intent to reinstate it with other government-controlled schemes. Many anarchist organizations trust that the best form of justice arises from social contracts or restorative justice.

The police abolition movement is also a recent political movement that advocates restoring policing with other public safety systems, primarily in the United States.

Police abolitionists reckon that policing, as a system, is inherently flawed and cannot be reformed, a view that rejects the ideology of police reformists, just like what colin Kaepernick is advocating. While he seeks to address how policing occurs, he strives to transform policing altogether through dissolving, disempowering, and demilitarizing the police.

Abolitionists contend that the organization of policing is exceptionally ingrained in a history of white supremacy and settler colonialism and that it is joined at the hip from a pre-existing racial capitalist order; for the same reason, a reformist approach to policing will always languish.

As we touched on the history of police evolution in the United States, police roots and its mission particular to the United States are valid, even though that may not hold as true for other countries.

The close association of white police with white supremacy may be more coincidental than not, as policing originates from the colonial era when slavery and racism coexisted with a free-market economy and capitalism. And since protecting was a privately owned and operated business, just like any other business, it is not shocking for a community to hire police that would provide racial cleansing in their employer's neighborhood. Since Mounties and policing are the local governments'" responsibility and paid for by their taxpayers, we should expect similar practices today. But then again, police follow their own employer's employer setting their communities mindset.

But does deconstruction of the preconceived understandings of policing and resisting co-option by reformists answer such a problem?

Abolitionists are proponents of engaging in and supporting exercises that reduce police power and legitimacy, such as defunding the police; if so, then what?

Some activists have suggested using police funds for social services, such as youth or housing amenities. Of course, that would be wise if the offenders are truly put back to work away from the society or persons they have assaulted. I can see the latter scenario happening if we all enjoyed a real free-market economy and equal opportunity. We need to hold our individuality instead of our shared collectivism. Meaning, a harmful person must be contained and isolated from other individuals; only then must they be rehabilitated by putting them back to work to sustain their own lives while isolated. Prison must be defined as humane isolation with conditions, accountability, and options. That is, everyone must unconditionally do and rehabilitate. But at the same time, total rehabilitation requires a free market and free opportunity to offer services, skills, and employment without prejudice of using a person's past against them. The kind of option where the decisions regarding investment, production, and distribution are steered by the price indicators created by supply and call forces does not exclude the offender of the crime or felony."

So, what is Kaepernick's vision of Police Terrorism?

Terrorism has no limit; only a few are permissible by law. However, by contrast, it is anything but unprejudiced apprehension and containment of a person only to be brought and tried in the court of law utilizing the minor force possible. And only use lethal means if there is a clear, unavoidable deadly danger.

Colin Kaepernick sees the police institutions, structures, and practices of anti-Black state-sanctioned violence as the infringement of humanity against Black and Indigenous people and people of color. That is why he kneeled during the "The Star-Spangled Banner four years ago. His solution: An institution based on social control rather than social well-being is an institution that needs to be abolished; P.S. Fuck reform!

“Cops are being paid leave for killing people. That’s not right. That’s not right by anyone’s standards”, Kaepernick says

Then he follows: Ultimately, I realized that seeking reform would make me an active participant in reforming, reshaping, and rebranding institutional white supremacy, oppression, and death. This constant re-interrogation of my analysis has been part of my political evolution.

The Mystery of U.S. Racism, Social Injustice, and Police Power

One of the differentiating characteristics of racism that sets itself apart from the rest of the world is that in the united states, racism is rooted in the country's very origin, which coincides with the era of slavery. That, combined with the white majority, the business of policing and incentives for incarceration historically have provided police with a special kind of power. Since the beginning of its statehood, America has served to maintain a white majority and, at the very least, preserve its electoral districts. For instance, according to a statement published in the Washington Post, PresidentTrump'ss 2018 proposal to cut lawful migration rates would delay the date white Americans turn out to be a minority of the populace by as few as one or as many as five more years. The Census Bureau states that minority communities will outnumber non-Hispanic whites in the United States in 2044.

According to another report, an increasing abundance of U.S. counties, Hispanic and black Americans, are the majority. Besides, The Black FuturesLab'ss Black Census Project is the largest survey of Black people administered in the United States since Reconstruction. The Black Census Project amplifies the concerns and aspirations of the most politically and civically engaged Black adults in the U.S., reflecting themes critical to prompting and engaging Black communities in the years forward.

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would ask for a delay to the 2020 Census to ensure it is finalized safely and accurately. The delayed emendation to the Census data collection timeline means administrators need more time to compile the data used to apportion Congress members among the states and the governments' data to draw congressional districts.

After putting the pieces of the puzzles together and looking back in the chronology of the police establishment in the united states, one can easily conclude that police are merely following their community's orders, and neighborhoods are more segregated and partial when it comes to race, be it white or black.

Not long ago, I published a story on medium shining light on Portland, Oregon's escalating tension. The incidence is the epitome of the cultural and ideological clash between two " Groups," black and white.

Between the Line

The matter of policing and police brutality has become complicated. More than ever, state policymakers must evoke that while they have wide-ranging police powers to respond to emergencies that impend public health and safety, they are nonetheless limited by the U.S. Constitution as well as their states" makeups and laws. They must also do their utmost to avoid abridging their citizens" rights. Concerning police abuse of power, as we have witnessed in the case of George Floyd, who was slaughtered in Minneapolisofficers" hands, there is no doubt that there is a significant problem beyond what is commonly described as policing power abuse. Instead, it is about the abuse of collective powers, which is more destructive and difficult to fix. That is unless local and state administrations recognize and honor individual liberty and individualism.

“We must see the George Floyd problem as an insult to personal freedom”

It should be so, not merely an insult against the Black community, just as we should hold the police accountable for abuse of power not because it is racist or not but for the reason that it is merely a crime against a human being. And as far as abolishing the police and prison system, it is valid only if we concomitantly establish and maintain laissez-faire systems of a free market, protect individual autonomy and endure transparency and accountability at every stage of our community life.

#prison #prisonabolition #policeabolition

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