What I’m Reading Today, June 9, 2020
What We Want is Black Life Affirmed / Patrisse Cullors
shift priorities–defund police, invest in public care systems
Communities from across the globe are demanding the immediate defunding of police and a reallocation of those dollars to building out an adequate public health care system. As Black folks are dying from COVID-19, city, county, state and federal budgets have prioritized the over-funding of law enforcement while defunding or underfunding critical social services.
people over profits
We need to invest in an infrastructure that values people over profits.
we should be investing in housing that is accessible across the board. There is growing need for an infrastructure that addresses the needs of people with mental health issues—let’s invest in an infrastructure that doesn’t incarcerate but actually treats people with mental illness with dignity and respect. Let’s invest in infrastructures that are sustainable and don’t plunder the earth or exploit the living organisms in it.
defund = de-prioritize = decenter
We have to defund the police because law enforcement should not be our first responders to everything.
redefine safety as a collective action
Abolition inspires us to redefine safety as a collective action. The prison reform scholar Ruthie Gilmore argues that abolition is about presence not absence—about building life-affirming institutions.
black life affirmed means
Black life affirmed means the investment in our well-being—our mental health, physical health, spiritual health. It means we get to see our parents grow old alongside us. Black life affirmed means that we are given the resources we need to heal generational trauma and addiction. Black life affirmed means we get to work in jobs that offer a livable wage, live in equitable homes, and eat healthy foods that prolong our lives. Black life affirmed means that our people and our culture are not simply an accessory but are valued as an integral asset to this country.