Although on the long side this article has it all. It is a fantastic starting point to learn about policing history, what police reforms to advocate for along with a personal story that ties it all together. Ultimately it is up to us citizens to decide whether we want a police force that "enforce(s) every law on the books by identifying and punishing any infraction" or one that "help(s) to maintain community standards of public safety and order."
From the report issued by President Harry Truman in 1947 to the Kerner Commission ordered by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 Americans have known for decades that racism has been embedded in police departments across the 50 states. Police brutality along with a culture of racial bias has put us in the current situation in the 2020's. Relevant Magazine's Tyler Huckabee says enough is enough. We don't need anymore commissions or studies, what we need is meaningful police reform.
Every forty hours a Black man is killed in America by police. The seemingly endless onslaught of violence against Black bodies makes it readily apparent that there must be changes to the policing culture. Author Rashawn Ray says there are two reforms we should make to change police accountability. One, officers fired for police misconduct should not be allowed to work in law enforcement again and two, we should restructure civilian payouts by moving them from taxpayer money to police department insurance policies.
As the United States grapples with ways to reduce police violence CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets), a community based public safety program in Eugene, OR that responds to crises involving mental illness, homelessness, and addiction may be the what cities around the country need. The CAHOOTS workers are equal part medic (a nurse, paramedic or EMT) and crisis prevention worker with at least 500 hours of training. The workers are not armed and are designed to respond to non-violent crisis situations and non-emergent medical issues.
With the advent of smartphones and immediate access to record events there have been a plethora of videos showing police brutality. As the evidence grows public support for protestors and police reform has increased. Writer David Brooks says much of the public debate centers around two theories: an individual issue (a few bad apples) or a systemic issue (the tree is rotten).
Critical race theory is being used by many people as a weapon and many people are not taking the time to dig into what CRT actually is. Is critical race theory a tool that Christians can use? Absolutely. Is it a tool that Christians will use to direct church doctrine? No. As Christians we must be nuanced and distinct in our response to CRT.
Lamont English tells it like it is by stating that Christians are treating critical race theory in the 2020's the same way white Christians treated racism and white supremacy in the 1960's by blanket labeling it communist and Marxist. Sure, there are parts of critical race theory that Christians should reject, but there are also useful parts. At the very least Christians should do their homework and not parrot platitudes.
Priest Tish Harrison Warren argues that the church's response to racism should be different then the worlds - we should be able to admit systemic racism while also moving past the guilt and shaming of others and ourselves. We love the both/and worldview of this article.
Dating back to the 1800's with the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Immigration Act of 1927 to putting Japanese into interment camps during World War II to the current wave of of violence against Asians in the 2000's there have been countless waves of anti-Asian laws and sentiment in the United States. Asian American Christian Collaborative president Raymond Chang says Christians and the church must speak up and declare that Asian Lives Matter.
Penned from a person who grew up extremely poor the author sympathizes with why poor white people react vehemently against the term white privilege, but ultimately comes to the conclusion that white privilege does exist and perhaps why so many poor white people have a problem with the term is because classism is mixed up in the term.