Jules Taylor
No Easy Answers
Published in
22 min readJun 17, 2020


The Racism of Broken Windows, The Bell Curve, and a National Reckoning

Today is Thursday, June 11th. The year is 2020. This is No Easy Answers, and I am your host. Today, as always, I have no easy answers for you.

It has been seventeen days since George Floyd was brutally murdered by officer Derek Chauvin. The video that went viral sparked protests in Minneapolis and those protests created a conflagration of demonstrations nationwide. What we are witnessing now, to quote Angela Davis, is a ‘global challenge to racism, and to the consequences of slavery and colonialism.’ [1]

Indeed, we have seen not only protests in other countries, but we have also seen symbolic actions, such as the Belgian port city of Antwerp taking down a statue of King Leopold II. Last week, protestors set the statue on fire and another statue of Leopold, in the city of Ghent, was covered in red paint. [2] During protests in Brussels this past Sunday, over ten thousand people gathered and some of them climbed onto the Leopold statue and flew the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo, chanting ‘murderer’ and ‘reparations’. [2] There is an online petition to have every statue of Leopold torn down in Belgium that states “In the space of 23 years, this man killed more than ten-million Congolese without ever having set foot in the Congo.”

There has been growing pressure in Belgium to confront the country’s legacy in central Africa, and that mounting pressure has received a shot in the arm thanks to the George Floyd protests. This pressure should strike a familiar chord with Americans, who have experienced their own mounting pressures to remove confederate monuments and statues. The Christopher Columbus statue in Richmond, Virginia, was torn down by protestors following a peaceful demonstration in honor of indigenous people. Protestors proceeded to spray paint the toppled statue, set it on fire, and then push the statue into the lake. [3] In Boston, Massachusetts, the statue of Christopher Columbus has been beheaded, but of course this is not the first time the statue’s head has been removed. The first time was in 2006, and in 2015, the statue was covered in red paint and the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ was painted on the base of the statue. [4] There are now growing calls to remove a similar statue in New London, Connecticut. Last Columbus Day, in Providence, Rhode Island, a sign was placed under that city’s statue of Christopher Columbus that states ‘Stop Celebrating Genocide’.

Along with this global challenge to racism and colonialism, the conversation at home around police brutality has broadened. The topic of police reform has shifted into discussions of how policing can be reinvented, and ‘what justice looks like in the future’.[1] Defunding the police, along with suggestions of abolishing police altogether, have now become mainstream and at least for Minneapolis, it seems there is an actual policy being crafted. While the dismantling of the Minneapolis police department has become a ‘cohesive cry’ [5], the Minneapolis City Council has not released any specifics regarding potential policy. However the specifics take shape, the general idea would be to have a social-services based approach, shifting resources from a paramilitary police force with the aim of reducing socioeconomic disparities.

These conversations may have naturally broadened on their own, but the broadening of the conversation has been accelerated thanks to an absolute deluge of police brutality videos coming from the protests. We’ve seen a seventy-five-year-old man in Buffalo, NY get pushed to the ground by the Buffalo PD Emergency Response Team. [6] We have seen a Black journalist for CNN get arrested while live on air [7] and we have seen a reporter permanently lose her vision in one eye [8] after she was hit with a rubber bullet. Journalists and legal observers are being deliberately targeted by police. [9] Say what you will about the mainstream media and how they frame the stories they report, but MSNBC’s Ali Velshi did some incredible work broadcasting from Minneapolis as the initial protests erupted. As he broadcasted live, he made sure to note several times, right before he was hit with a rubber bullet in the leg and he was tear-gassed, that the police fired upon peaceful protestors ‘without warning’ and ‘unprovoked’. [10]

The greater contradiction playing out before our eyes in real-time is that the state cannot exert control without violence, and the source of social unrest is state violence. It’s important to understand the role of police in society as the armed wing of the state and sole arbiters of legalized violence. For police and citizens to function within the social contract, there is a covenant of trust between citizens and law enforcement that must be honored. That covenant has been broken for generations, and the fault line in the covenant of trust runs parallel with racial lines.

Consider the Four Universal Principles of the Rule of Law, according to the World Justice Project:

  1. The first universal principle is accountability — The government, as well as private actors, are accountable under the law
  2. The second universal principle is called ‘just laws’ meaning — The laws are clear, publicized, and stable; laws are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and contract, property and human rights.
  3. The third universal principle is Open Government, meaning transparency — The processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, fair, and efficient.
  4. And the fourth universal principle is that justice must be accessible — Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are accessible, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve. [11]

If any of these four principals are eroded, the social contract suffers. We have spent some time discussing social contract theory on this podcast, but it is helpful to be reminded of the definition of the social contract within this discussion.

Social Contract — implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, and in the process citizens sacrifice some individual freedoms in exchange for state protection. Theories of a social contract became popular in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries among theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as a means of explaining the origin of government and the obligations of subjects. [12]

We can see that according to the first universal principle of the rule of law, the government, as well as private actors, must be held accountable under the rule of law for the social contract to be honored and the rule of law to be legitimate. There are numerous examples to cite of government officials going unprosecuted for clear and calculated malfeasance, but specifically to this conversation, we must make mention of Qualified Immunity laws that were introduced in 1967 by the U.S. Supreme Court. This doctrine was introduced originally with the rationale of protecting law enforcement officials from frivolous lawsuits and financial liability in cases where they acted in good faith in unclear legal situations, but in 2005, courts increasingly applied the doctrine to cases involving the use of excessive or deadly force by police. In the words of a 2020 Reuters report, “[The Qualified Immunity legal doctrine] has become a nearly failsafe tool to let police brutality go unpunished and deny victims their constitutional rights.” [13]

Qualified Immunity laws have proven to be an insurmountable defense for nearly all police brutality cases, including the case of officer Daren Wilson in the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. If you have been to a protest in the last five years, you’ve most likely heard the chant “Hands up, don’t shoot.” That slogan was taken directly from the Ferguson Unrest that started on August 10th, 2014, the day after Mike Brown was fatally shot, despite his hands raised. [14] Former officer Daren Wilson has twice been legally exonerated, after having failed to be indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury, and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation reaching the conclusion that Daren Wilson shot Mike Brown in self-defense. As of 2015, former officer Daren Wilson and his wife, Barb, who is also an ex-Ferguson police officer, moved into a new home and have a new child, with the help of over half a million dollars raised by supporters on their behalf. [15]

This is far from the first time the system has failed to hold law enforcement accountable, as memories of Rodney King are not too far behind Ferguson then, or Minneapolis now. The 1992 Los Angeles Riots began after a trial jury acquitted four officers for use of excessive force, which had been videotaped and widely viewed in television broadcasts. [16]

Former officer Derek Chauvin of the Minneapolis Police Department faces charges of second-degree murder without intent, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He is being held on at least one million dollars bail, while the other three officers present at the time of George Floyd’s murder are each charged with one count of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter and at least seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars bail. [17] Though charges have been leveled and these former officers are being held behind bars, the protests over George Floyd’s death have not shown any signs of dispersing. It stands to reason that the public is informed by past instances of officers failing to be indicted, or officers being acquitted, and general justice not being served. Whereas the state’s offerings of a potential conviction via jury trial and the arrests of officers were once capable of appeasing the public, arrests of and charges against law enforcement officials, along with high bails, are received as nothing more than tepid attempts at reparations of the first universal principle of the rule of law. Perhaps a plainer way of stating this is that a conviction of four officers in 1992 would have been justice served, but four convictions in 2020 is just a start towards justice being served.

The second universal principle of the rule of law has to do with even application of the law, and the role of laws (and more broadly, the role of government) in the protection of fundamental rights, human rights, and the safety of persons, contracts, and property. Since the inception of America, there have never been equal applications of the law, moreover protection of human rights. Our country’s sordid history with slavery has left indelible stains of hypocrisy and moral failings on our national fabric.

To quote Charles E. Cobb Jr., from his work This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible:

Well aware that slavery was his new nation’s great founding contradiction, Jefferson awkwardly separated the oppression and injustice of slavery from his idealistic American project of freedom and liberty. Africans had been enslaved because they were inferior, he rationalized, but for his entire life he was dogged by fear that they might revolt against their slavery or, if freed, might seek revenge against those who had enslaved them. “Are our slaves to be presented with freedom and a dagger?” he asked in an 1821 exchange of letters with John Adams, like Jefferson a founder and former president. If slavery were outlawed, he and others worried, freed slaves would have the right to bear arms; given their numbers, they might also seek and gain political influence and power, especially in Jefferson’s beloved South. This concern is essential for understanding the roots of white southern resistance to civil rights. For example, in 1857 the Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Dred Scott, a slave who, after he was taken by his owner to a free state, sued in court for his freedom. Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney ruled that constitutional rights could not be given to black people because “It would give to persons of the negro race . . . the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects; [the right] to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went [emphasis added] . . . endangering the peace and safety of the state.” [19]

Thomas Jefferson authored the line ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’ though he himself owned more than six hundred enslaved African Americans throughout his adult life. [20] The British slavery abolitionist Thomas Day summarizes the American posturing well with his quote “If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.” [21]

I mean not to belabor history, nor the struggle for freedom and the sufferings of Black people. It is important to center this part of the conversation that deals with equal application of the law around the notion that America has had, from its very inception, a very uneven application of laws. Protections of fundamental rights, the security of persons, and contract, all of those things apply towards humans and did not apply towards most Black people as they were considered property. The ‘inalienable rights’ spoke of in the declaration of independence did not apply to them, as there was only continued enslavement declared on their behalf.

To quote again from This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed:

“…In a racially significant decision on July 9, 1640, in their sentencing of three indentured servants who had run away and been recaptured in Maryland, the Virginia Council and General Court ended the fiction that black indentured servitude was anything less than slavery. One of the servants, James Gregory, was “a Scotchman”; another, Victor, with no last name given, was identified in court minutes as “a dutchman”; and the third, John Punch, was “a negro.” Gregory and Victor were sentenced to thirty lashes with a whip and their servitude was extended by four years. Punch, however, was sentenced to indentured servitude for the rest of his life.”

The Black Lives Matter movement is calling for an end to systemic racism [18], and if you’ve followed the conversation this far, it should be clear that systemic racism is something that is not only older than our country, but it’s something ingrained into our national fabric. To be clear, systemic racism addresses the systemic issues beyond the surface-level application of laws, because even if we enforced all laws equally, the system would still present racist outcomes.

The example I use to illustrate this is traffic law. If all police enforced all traffic laws equally, poor motorists would still have the most trouble maintaining their vehicles. Since we know poverty affects disadvantaged communities, the bulk of traffic crime would still be in minority neighborhoods where poverty-stricken motorists and unmaintained vehicles reside. As we know, municipalities gain a fair amount of their revenue via traffic tickets, a practice known as taxation by citation. [22] Economist Fred Foldvary, Ph.D. has written on how ‘excessive traffic fines create distrust between the police and the people, and what’s needed is a tax reform that eliminates the financial incentive of taxation by citation’.

It’s important to understand ‘taxation by citation’ within the framework of a larger context than municipal revenue and petty crimes. In 1982, social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling proposed a criminological theory called Broken Windows Theory. The short description of broken windows theory states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes. [23] In other words, according to Alex Vitale in his work The End of Policing, “failure to indicate care and maintenance will unleash people’s latent destructive tendencies.’

Vitale further extrapolates a logical conclusion from the core idea of Broken Windows Theory, “…if cities want to establish or maintain crime-free neighborhoods they must take action to ensure that residents feel the pressure to conform to civilized norms of public behavior. The best way to accomplish this is to use police to remind people in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that disorderly, unruly, and anti-social behavior are unacceptable. When this doesn’t happen, people’s baser instincts will take hold and predatory behavior will reign, in a return to Hobbesian ‘war of all against all’”.

Basically, the theory suggests that policing methods that target minor crimes such as vandalism, public drinking, and fare evasion help to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes. This type of policing would be popularized in the 1990s by the New York City police commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose policing policies were shaped by the theory.

George L. Kelling would go on to co-author, with Catharine Coles, a book that developed the argument further detail. Fixing Broken Windows: Restoring Order and Reducing Crime in Our Communities presents what the authors believe to be a successful strategy for vandalism. Repair the broken windows within a short time, and the tendency is that vandals are much less likely to break more windows or do further damage. Clean up the sidewalk every day, and the tendency is for litter to not accumulate. Problems are less likely to escalate, and thus ‘respectable’ residents will not flee the neighborhood. [23]

It’s more than fair to argue that there is underhanded racism that threads all of Broken Windows Theory. The racism only became more overt as James Q. Wilson continued his writings. He and Richard Hernstein co-authored a book called Crime and Human Nature: The Definitive Study of the Causes of Crime which argued there were important biological determinants of criminality. While race was not one of the core determinants (sure…), language about IQ and body type opened the door to a kind of sociobiology that led Hernstein to coauthor the openly racist book entitled ‘The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life’ with Charles Murray, who was a close associate of John Q. Wilson. [23] The book was controversial in that the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discussed the implications of those differences. [24] It’s also worth mentioning that ‘The Bell Curve’ was published in 1994, the same year the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was passed by Clinton (otherwise known as the 1994 crime bill).

So there have been major works in criminology and sociobiology that have had severe issues in the ideas they’ve presented. If all of these repugnant ideas can be traced back to John Q. Wilson, understand that John Q. Wilson was mentored by Edward Banfield, and its Wilson’s following of Banfield that gave way to his publications and those of Kelling, Hernstein, and Murray. It’s in this way that the original ideas of Wilson are tied to a larger arc of neoconservative thinking going back to the 1960s.

Banfield was a close associate of economist Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago. In his seminal 1970 work “The Unheavenly City” Banfield argues the poor are trapped in a culture of poverty that makes them largely immune to government assistance. He and Wilson believed strongly that there were profound limits on what the government could do to help the poor.

To quote from The Unheavenly City “He is not troubled by dirt or dilapidation, and he does not mind the inadequacy of public facilities such as schools, parks, hospitals, and libraries; indeed, where such things exist he may destroy them by carelessness and even vandalism.”[23] Banfield would be within his lifetime advisor to three Republican presidents, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He was a critic of almost every mainstream liberal idea, especially the use of federal aid to help relieve urban poverty.

For what it is worth, in Banfield’s assertations that the poor are impervious to government assistance did not make race the critical issue. Banfield suggested poor Black citizens were no different from the white lower-class Americans. They both had quote “no fondness for work, no strong family ties, an easy acceptance of criminal behavior, no brief for schooling, and no future perspective.” Banfield pointed to an individual moral failing of the poor for not improving their condition and provided a stepping stone for Charles Murray to declare that racial barriers had been destroyed, and further failure to make progress had to be ascribed to minorities themselves. [26]

There are so many injustices and uneven applications of the law we can lay at the feet of an inherently racist criminal justice system. This discussion is not broad enough to encompass everything about mass incarceration, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the cash bail system, and the inherent bias of police officers. Demanding an end to systemic racism is a short-hand way of calling for the removal of any and all obstacles that would impede an even application of the law and even accountability for governmental and private actors. It is implied that the processes by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced are accessible, is to be fair and efficient.

There is an internet meme floating around and maybe you’ve seen it. It was shared on social media from Twitter and that made its way over to other platforms. I wouldn’t make mention of it here except that it’s too relevant not to bring up. And don’t worry, it’s not some pithy comment or a one-liner to score some social credit points and move on. I looked up these numbers and verified they’re real.

The meme says the following, “In the same way that Harvard is, in an important sense, a hedge fund with an educational side business attached, I am learning today that fiscally speaking, American cities are basically all a police department with a few underfunded community initiatives attached.” Under that less than 160-character statement is a bar graph showing the proposed 2020 budget for the city of Columbus, Ohio. The highest bar on that graph is the police budget, coming in at Three Hundred and fifty-nine million, nine hundred and seventy thousand, four hundred and twenty-two dollars. The closest second bar, still nowhere near the height of the bar representing police budget, is healthcare, coming in at twenty-six million dollars. Other divisions of funds represented in the graph are Public Services, Finance, City Auditor, City Attorney, Recreation, and Urban development. None of these areas, except for public services, receive as much funding as Healthcare. Education remains the least funded area, coming in at six point six million. This means that in the year 2020, Columbus, Ohio wants to spend sixty times the education budget on their police force. Let’s put it another way. One percent of the Columbus, Ohio 2020 police budget is more than half of the entire education budget. Ten percent of the police budget could fund education for the city of Columbus for six years. [27]

Without a doubt, funding of urban development, education, public services, and recreation within our communities would lead to a decrease in crime. Whereas conservatives would point to individual moral failings and an immunity to government assistance leading to an ‘easy acceptance of criminal behavior’, the liberal thought process on the causes of crime have to do with material conditions of citizens not being met. Crime is a product of desperation, and of deprivation. The logic follows that if people have their basic needs met, they are significantly less likely to commit crimes. It seems that we have allowed the conservative experiments to run their course, as we have deprived our communities adequate funding in exchange for more policing. None of the extra policing of our communities has resulted in any less crime.

Veteran Police Scholar David Bayley, in his work Police for the Future, argues: “The police do not prevent crime. This is one of the best-kept secrets of modern life. Experts know it, the police know it, but the public does not know it. Yet the police pretend that they are society’s best defense against crime and continually argue that if they are given more resources, especially personnel, they will be able to protect communities against crime. This is a myth.”

Alex Vitale also speaks to misconceptions about policing in the following quote, “Felony arrests of any kind are a rarity for uniformed officers, with most making no more than one a year. When a patrol officer actually apprehends a violent criminal in the act, it is a major moment in their career. The bulk of police officers work in patrol. They take reports, engage in random patrol, address parking and driving violations and noise complaints, issue tickets, and make misdemeanor arrests for drinking in public, possession of small amounts of drugs, or the vague “disorderly conduct.” Officers I’ve shadowed on patrol describe their days as ’99 percent boredom and 1 percent sheer terror’ — and even the 1 percent is a bit of an exaggeration for most officers. Even detectives (who make up only about 15 percent of police forces) spend most of their time taking reports for crimes that they will never solve — and in many cases will never even investigate. There is no possible way for the police to investigate every reported crime. Even homicide investigations can be brought to a quick conclusion if no clear suspect is identified within two days, as the television reality show ‘The First 48’ emphasizes. Burglaries and larcenies are even less likely to be investigated thoroughly, or not at all. Most crimes that are investigated are not solved.”

Perhaps if we took an honest look at the sociologists contributing to criminology, and the policing theories which have led to the targeted harassment of communities of color, and the bulk of police work being performed in a broken windows and taxation by citation style, maybe the staunchest supporters of law enforcement can understand that policing is necessarily tied to racism. The occupation of law enforcement itself draws from theory that is openly racist, published by men who were themselves racists, for a system that is structurally racist and fundamentally cannot apply the law evenly and refuses to hold all actors accountable. Why would anyone on the losing end of these arrangements keep the social contract?

That’s what makes the times so uncertain for some, and so hopeful for others. The demonstrations have become about more than just the killing of George Floyd. The demonstrations are as much a product of longstanding grievances as they are a rejection of a racist justice system that disfavors them. The people of Minneapolis struck back against state authority, and in the burning of a single police precinct, they’ve called into question the role and legitimacy of police in our daily lives. The destruction of Columbus and Leopold monuments speak to a deeper and more profound need for a national reckoning, and a need to not pretend our country is something it has never been.

Frantz Fanon wrote in his seminal work Wretched of the Earth that a colonized people will inevitably break their colonial chains, both mentally and physically, through violence directed towards the colonizers and colonial authority. Fanon goes on to describe the psychoanalytic aspects of the colonized mind, equating the adoption of the colonizers’ language and culture as a rejection of the self, fostering feelings of inferiority towards one’s true culture, heritage, language, and traditions. Progress in the mind of the colonizer is how quickly and how closely the colonized turn into the colonizers themselves. In this way, the culture, language, and traditions of the colonizer become a superior culture and language, and hegemony of the colonizer is established. The more the colonized becomes like the colonizer, the more the colonizer resents the colonized people. After a long and pernicious series of events, an uprising will happen in the form of the colonized taking aggressive action towards the colonizers. This is merely self-defense, but it is framed as violent by the colonizers, who control the state and hold a monopoly on both legal violence and the narrative around state-violence. This self-defense and violence committed in opposition to colonial violence is the colonized peoples’ way of reasserting their humanity.

What Fanon is describing is the same thing James Baldwin described when he said, “God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water… The fire next time!!!” Malcolm X seemed to be describing the same need for reconciliation during his famous Ballot or the Bullet speech.

To quote Malcolm, “A revolution is bloody, but America is in a unique position. She’s the only country in history, in the position actually to become involved in a bloodless revolution. The Russian Revolution was bloody, Chinese Revolution was bloody, French Revolution was bloody, Cuban Revolution was bloody. And there was nothing more bloody than the American Revolution. But today, this country can become involved in a revolution that won’t take bloodshed. All she’s got to do is give the black man in this country everything that’s due him, everything.”

Perhaps it is a bridge too far to assign anything eschatological to the movement as it is right now in its current shape, meaning maybe it’s a little early to say something like the fate of our nation hangs in the balance. I don’t think it’s unfair to say though, depending on how the protests go, we’ll see what happens to police. The more police continue to fire tear-gas upon peaceful protestors, and the more mainstream media broadcasts police assaults on crowds of peaceful people and journalists as they’re reporting, the more people will come around to supporting police defunding. Police are showing they are the ones responsible for instigating violence, while a nation questions their role and legitimacy.

At this moment in our national conversation, a lot of people are confused about what defunding the police actually looks like in practice. There are policy proposals such as independent prosecutors in cases of police murder so that the district attorney and the police department do not have an unfair advantage in the courtroom. Getting rid of qualified immunity is another idea that has merit, but most of these ideas being floated are reforms. They’re completely rational and overdue changes to the system a not-racist country would have made years ago, but they have very little to do with defunding or abolishing the police as we know it.

Defunding would look exactly as it sounds. Funding would be taken out of police budgets and reallocated for non-police municipal maintenance, improvements, and developments. Though it sounds straightforward, it’s the kind of thing that can and has taken lifetimes to achieve. The movement and the moment we are in demands a greater imagination towards the solutions to our problems as the moment ‘holds possibilities for change that we’ve never before experienced in this country’ to quote Angela Davis.

While our national attention is on this topic of police defunding, we should take care to not lose sight of the ultimate goal of the movement — real systemic change to a structurally racist system. Police abolitionists may tell you that police are incapable of being reformed, and that they are immune to additional training. They are right when telling you the police have their roots in slave patrols. Law Enforcement Museum dot org has an article called ‘Slave Patrols: An Early Form of American Policing’ in which they trace this back to South Carolina in 1704. Patrols were made up of white men in militias within a certain age range or made up of wealthy land-owning white men. These patrols lasted until the end of the civil war, and there are “distinct parallels between the legal slave patrols before the war and the extralegal terrorization tactics used by vigilante groups during Reconstruction, most notoriously the Klu Klux Klan.”[28]

Abolition of social institutions that have their roots in racism and carry on a legacy of historical racism is in line with the movement’s stated goal of an ‘end to systemic racism’. It could be argued that police abolition is the very essence of ‘radical, sustainable solutions that affirm the prosperity of Black lives.’ Whether we abolish the police, defund the police, or reinvent the police, the improvement of our communities starts with reclaiming adequate funding for the very items Edward Banfield encouraged neoconservatives to starve, the things he listed in The Unheavenly City — public facilities such as schools, parks, hospitals, and libraries.

I’ll leave you with this final quote, from Franz Fanon: “When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe”

  1. Angela Davis Angela Davis: ‘This moment holds possibilities for change we have never before experienced’
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/world/europe/king-leopold-statue-antwerp.html

  3. https://www.nbc12.com/2020/06/09/christopher-columbus-statue-torn-down-thrown-lake-by-protesters/
  4. https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/columbus-statue-defaced-in-north-end/2140321/
  5. https://www.startribune.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-plans-to-defund-minneapolis-police/571112392/
  6. Video at Buffalo protest shows police pushing 75-year-old man
  7. CNN reporter arrested live on air while covering Minneapolis protests
  8. Photojournalist blinded in left eye by police projectile in Minneapolis
  9. Officer shoots projectiles at legal observer recording George Floyd protests in Cleveland
  10. Police Shoot Tear Gas Toward MSNBC Crew, Protesters, ‘There Was No Warning Whatsoever’ | MSNBC
  11. https://worldjusticeproject.org/about-us/overview/what-rule-law#:~:text=The%20Four%20Universal%20Principles&text=The%20government%20as%20well%20as%20private%20actors%20are%20accountable%20under%20the%20law.&text=The%20laws%20are%20clear%2C%20publicized,%2C%20property%2C%20and%20human%20rights.
  12. Type ‘social contract into google’
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_immunity
  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown
  15. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/10/the-cop
  16. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots
  17. https://www.startribune.com/1-25m-bail-set-for-chauvin-in-floyd-death/571099132/
  18. https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/
  19. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: Charles E. Cobb
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson_and_slavery
  21. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Day#:~:text=If%20there%20be%20an%20object,whip%20over%20his%20affrighted%20slaves.
  22. https://www.progress.org/articles/taxation-by-citation
  23. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory
  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve
  25. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_C._Banfield
  26. http://www.vernonjohns.org/plcooney/whiterac.html
  27. https://www.columbus.gov/finance/financial-management-group/budget-management/2020-Operating-Budget/
  28. https://lawenforcementmuseum.org/2019/07/10/slave-patrols-an-early-form-of-american-policing/