Greens may take many stances on the unjust laws that leave killer cops unaccountable for murdering black youth and the harsh occupation of black communities that often amount to enforcing poverty and deprivation. I think we can agree we must resist the logic of having local police departments acting as surrogate occupying armies defending ‘social order’ against popular demands for social justice. For the larger public, harsh conditions are commonly masked with the barbarous social Darwinist narrative of “opportunity” (indicating some “few” actually could have some “hope”… but the rest are doomed). However, that narrative fails to pacify a population who knows quite well most won’t be permitted to escape those conditions via so called scarce “opportunities”. We live in the kind of economy that suggests that we can work to provide for ourselves and stay out of poverty but operates within two realities regarding “work” that make that a ridiculous notion. One, there aren’t enough “jobs” to employ everybody out of poverty. Two, a growing number of available jobs fail to compensate people out of poverty… even if you can get one of those jobs at poverty wages (aka: the working poor).
It’s a trap, and people know it. So how do we change that? One may get seduced by the typical “liberal” stance to “reign in” the excesses of police brutality but maintain the premises of how it operates (poverty and occupation). Those are the types who are advocating a peaceful “occupation” (similar to the narratives Palestinians are subject to under the inhumane conditions of their occupation). Progressives have to reject that as we recognize poverty as a form of violence and occupation as a form of ‘structural violence’.
It’s easy to see where my moral compass points. Rather than making the injustice itself a little more bearable (aka: the “liberal” concession), we need to explore what a more “just” solution might look like. It was proposed, by Black leadership, that one solution would be Black Community Control of the Police. That’s a quite reasonable solution! For Greens, it’s easy to see how that is completely in-line with our Ten Key Values.
Let’s take a look at a two of those:
GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
– Black Community Control makes the Police accountable to the community it should be ‘serving’. This directly expands the process of participatory democracy.
DECENTRALIZATION Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
– Black Community Control is decentralization in practice. This can work to start unwinding the occupation of these communities and allow these communities to operate in an increasingly self-determined manor.
It’s a start and a good one. It’s not the “end” as we remain confined by the political duopoly of the imperialist bipartisan neoliberal regime that manages poverty and resists progressive attempts for eradication of poverty and increasingly is criminalizing dissent as well as those subjected to the violence of poverty itself. It’s a rational response to the police state and I encourage all greens to support efforts, under black leadership, who seek redress of their grievances.
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