Learning How to Be an Ally: Reforming Policing & Punishment

How do we reimagine the work of reducing poverty, supporting mental health services, and dealing with trauma to minimize substance abuse and violence, in order to diminish the need for police to step in as an end to those consequences?

Minnesota Women’s Press, thanks to a grant from Minneapolis Foundation, was able to go deep into our series about


Some of the questions we are exploring:

How is Minnesota re-thinking incarceration?

How is Minnesota re-thinking policing?

What Minnesota women are leading changes?

How are other cities and states dealing with police reform?

Deeper Thinking


Commentary

Barbara Ransby

My daughter came home from college with books given to her by a professor she works with at Chapman University — Prexy Nesbitt who worked with Nelson Mandela against the apartheid regime in South Africa, and alongside Dr. Martin Luther King. He has featured many Black feminists as guest lecturers in his class. The first book in my daughter’s collection that I perused is “Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century,” by Barbara Ransby (2018, University of California Press).

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

The book quotes Ruth Wilson Gilmore, director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, based in New York, and author of the forthcoming “Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition.” She is quoted saying that to move society toward the abolition of inhumanely caging human beings is to get involved with an intensive process of building jobs, housing, new cultural practices, new ways of thinking about work, rights, restorative justice, and community.

The book also quotes Keeamga-Yamahtta Taylor, of Princeton University, and author of “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership,” (2019, University of North Carolina Press): “The challenge before us is to connect the current struggle to end police terror in our communities with an even larger movement to transform this country in such a way that the police are no longer needed to respond to the consequences of that inequality.”

“When our political activism isn’t rooted in a theory about transforming the world, it becomes narrow; when it is focused only on individual actors instead of larger systemic problems, it becomes short-sighted. We have to create a vision that’s much bigger than the one we have right now.”

Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement