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Archive for the 'Violence' Category

09 July

But What Should We DO?

As this hellish week draws to a close, I’m asking myself, once again, what we’re supposed to DO to fix the sorry state of our culture. I have heard repeated exhortations for people–especially white people–to speak up. To stand up. To do something.

What I have not heard is what we are supposed to say and do. How do we move beyond the perpetual cycle of anger and lamentation?

I fear that the Black Lives Matter movement is going to devolve like the Occupy Movement, focused on public displays of emotion and solidarity such that it brings people together but doesn’t send them forth commissioned to accomplish concrete change. So reluctant to embrace centralized authority that no one can lead. Two years of protesting police violence against African Americans (on top of decades of protesting, really), and the same thing keeps happening.

What I would appreciate, speaking for myself, is some direction. I’m no expert in policing or criminal justice. I like to think I’m reasonably intelligent, and I’m fairly well read on these topics, but I don’t know where to start. What policies would be most effective in curbing this violence? Body cameras? Civilian oversight of police? Different recruitment and training policies for police? At what level should efforts be directed–at individual police departments? City governments? Counties? State legislatures? Is this a problem for Congress to solve? The Justice Department?

The goal is clear, but how are we going to get there? Who is going to provide the map?