Howdy, folks. It’s Sunday, which means I’m in a rental car hurtling toward Austin, Texas and not really in a position to do a full-blown media coordinator update, but I love y’all so I have a couple of points of business we can attend to anyway!
The Week in Commentary, Features, Blogs…
Luckily (for me), this week we didn’t do much in terms of publishing commentaries. Logan Glitterbomb published her “Revolution Through Art” piece on Monday, and Sheldon Richman got his piece on the Donald’s warmongering, “Donald Trump, Hawk,” out on Friday.
Between then and now we got a couple of anniversary blog posts and features up from myself and C4SS Coordinating Director William “Globalist” Gillis (he asked me to refer to him as such from now on). Gillis’ blog post in particular is very good. Also, part two of that bananas interview with Robert Anton Wilson went live! Check that out.
Past that? It was a very quiet week here at the Center.
Since this has been such a quiet week, I’d like to take us back to the end of last month/beginning of this month (so long ago, I know). I wrote a little polemic piece in reaction to the extrajudicial killing of Tulsa resident Terence Crutcher. Like all of our commentary pieces, this one (eventually) got sent out to the various newspapers and websites we distribute to.
One of our former recipient publications took… hmm, umbrage with the piece. Now, they insisted (publicly) that we not mention them by name in this space, so I will respect that request. However, I feel that some of the content of their rebuttal to my piece deserves discussing.
“I do not like the national discourse about police right now. I don’t like that people have to die, and I don’t like that police are targeted within minutes of a tragedy for being out of control. I don’t like anarchists who seek political (and funding) gain by trying to capitalize on tragedy, and I don’t like media who will swarm to the scene of a tragedy, only to pack up their vans and head to the next tragedy because the ratings suggest they do so,” the paper’s editor writes.
“I can’t say anything to solve the concerns of millions of Americans through a column in a small newspaper like ours, and I have no intention of doing so. But what I do know is that dismantling a police department, or having our officers all turn in their badges and guns is the worst form of solution because it is not one.”
For just a moment, I’d like to turn your attention to that noted anarchist rag, The Washington Post, with a local-section column from October 4 titled, “Policing doesn’t need reforming. It needs to be abolished and created anew.”
The column was written by raucous rabblerouser and longtime Washington Post metro reporter Courtland Milloy. Honestly the whole thing is so good, so I recommend giving it a read, but I want to highlight this big ol’ chunk:
An organization called Communities United for Police Reform offers a model for re-creating the concept of policing. The group treats violence as a public health issue. Every human resource a community can muster — including ex-offenders and former gang members — takes on the role of a physician tasked with stopping the spread of an epidemic.
The organizers encourage residents to take more responsibility for policing themselves. No repressive “stop and frisk” police tactics are required. They advocate putting an end to the deadly practice of having armed cops stop motorists because of minor traffic issues, such as a busted taillight.
Why not limit police to investigating major crimes?
Instead of having cops respond to every 911 call, have a list of other service providers to draw on — social workers, ministers, psychiatrists, for instance.
Such changes would certainly meet resistance. Not just from police but from those in wealthier and majority-white neighborhoods for whom police operate as advertised: “to serve and protect.” For those in poor and minority communities, the slogan might as well read: to confine and control.
“Cop culture, historically rooted deeper in racism than in justice, simply cannot be ‘reformed.’ It must be abolished; the institution where it festers must be dismantled and created anew,” Milloy writes.
“Uproot that bush.”
As mentioned last week, I’ll be in Austin for the week. Work will still get done around here, but I’ll probably be even less active on Twitter than I am currently, so that’s nice.
The essay contest is in full swing! Three writers will have a chance to get published and get $25 a piece if they turn in a standout essay on elections by Nov 1! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to submit your work.
More information has yet to be released, but this week Students For Liberty announced that I’ll be speaking on a panel with co-discussants and fellow C4SS folks William Gillis, James Tuttle and Kelly Vee at “Exploring Anarchism,” the 2016 SFL Oklahoma Regional Conference!
I went to last year’s regional conference at the University of Oklahoma, and it was a blast. This year, Gary Chartier, Edward Peter Stringham and Angela Keaton from Antiwar.com will be speaking, so honestly I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
If you think you can make it, go ahead and register while you still can! And come say hi! I’ll also be tabling, which is rad.
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