If you live in the UK or the USA white supremacy is stitched into the fabric of our countries, built upon genocide, slave labour, violence, kidnapping, theft and oppression. Many countries across the world sustain white supremacy through police violence, medical bias and colourism.
Last week a video was shared showing a british policeman kneeling on the neck of a Black man who was handcuffed, on the ground and already held by another officer. This happening months after global outrage over George Floyd’s murder shows that police feel comfortable subduing Black people in any violent way they choose, even if its being filmed they feel safe to continue.
Cressida Dick, commissioner of metropolitan police said the police institution is not racist, yet 22,000 stop and searches were carried out in London on young Black boys during lockdown, which equates to 30% of all Black 15-24 year olds across the city! A GB athlete, her husband and 3 month old baby were pulled over because the police officers wanted to assert their authority or thought their car was too nice for a Black person to be driving. In North London a father and son were on a charity bike ride, stopped by police and tasered. These have all happened during the pandemic. There is a serious problem when people across the police force assert dominance over people they are supposedly meant to protect, bully behaviour. The way BLM protestors were treated by police compared to drunk fascist thugs who travelled to London to cause trouble and “protect” statues. In the UK according to charity Inquest there have been 1,741 deaths in police custody or otherwise following contact with the police since 1990. No police officer has ever been convicted in connection to those deaths.
Cities in America have been marching and protesting every day for two months against police brutality, and every day another example of police violence and abuse surfaces. People have a right to protest and they are being battered, tear gassed and dragged in the streets to protect and maintain white supremacy. Trump is sending militia with no badges to cities across America, he has already set an example of Portland who have seen people pulled into unmarked vans, tear gassed and beaten.
You may think it sounds radical when you hear the words abolish or defund the police because you imagine a world where you don’t feel safe without police protection, but this is already the reality that black people are currently living with under white supremacy. While schools, healthcare, youth services, domestic abuse shelters and local services have continued to be defunded, policing and surveillance has increased budgets exponentially. The main cause of crime is poverty, so why do poor people get criminalised for a system they have been forced into. Over policing will not make the world safer, it is already unsafe for Black people and minorities. The world will be safer when every person has basic human needs covered. More diversity in policing does nothing to change the core problem which is systemic racism.