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How do we think about institutional racism in the American police force? Show more Show less

On June 8 2020, Minneapolis City Council announced it would be dismantling its police force. In its place, they pledged to introduce a new model for public safety, free from the institutional racism that had plagued its police. The decision was unprecedented, and yet, it has been followed by similar moves across the US, for police budget cuts and investigations into how they are run. At the heart of this debate is the question of institutional racism: where it comes from, how it manifests, and how it can be overcome. Following George Floyd's murder, pressure has grown for perceived systemic oppression to be addressed. Others argue that this is a myth, and that police are being victimised for the ills of society. The way that people are mobilising around this question reveals the fundamental ideas that drive their perspectives. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

'The police are not the issue!': The police should not be blamed for the problems of a racialised society Show more Show less

This position believes that the police are the standard bearers of law and order. Limited government is fundamental to protect individual liberty. Strong police are required to protect limited government. Whether institutional racism is real, or a myth, focusing on the role of the police is both misleading and counterproductive.
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American political institutions are responsible for police racism

The actions of the police are shaped by politicians and lawmakers. For decades, they have been directed to deliberately undermine black communities. Proponents point to Nixon's War on Drugs, which was later confirmed to have been a policy crafted to victimise blacks. This tradition has sustained throughout successive governments. As New York Times opinion writer Jamelle Bouie states, "Trump explicitly rejects the legitimacy of nonwhites as political actors, having launched his political career on the need for more and greater racial control of Muslims and Hispanic immigrants". The issue is not the police - it is with the racism embedded within our political institutions. And those who lead them. That is where we should be focusing our attention. Proponents include USA Today reporter Wenei Philimon.
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    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 12:06 UTC