The deep trauma suffered by Jacob Blake's children, who witnessed his attempted murder by the racist @KenoshaPolice, may last a lifetime. Trauma is insidious and can affect everything from brain development to physical health and academic success.
Subsequent research in the Philadelphi ACE Study in 2013 showed that children growing up in predominantly poor and black and brown communities suffered unique traumas due to oppression, racism and overpolicing.
The trauma of what happened to Jacob Blake will not only affect his children, but all children in black and brown and predominantly lower socioeconomic status communities for years to come.
There is not a black child who goes to bed in this country that isn't fearful that they, or their parents, may become victims of racist police vioolemce the next day.
This toxic stress and trauma affects them in all aspects of their lives, and must be addressed. Knowing that the police have the power to detain, beat, falsely arrest and even kill them as long as the officers indicate that they were afraid is the foundation of this stress.
This is one of the things that the movement to #DefundThePolice is about. More training isn't the answer that will solve this problem.
Police departments need to be depowered and defundesld and those funds diverted to social work and community agencies better equipped to do many of the jobs currently done by the armed soldiers now known as police.
Additionally an intersecrional, teauma informed framework must be applied to policing, criminal justice, the courts and the educational and social service sysytems which all currently work together to prop up white supremacy and anti-black racism and oppression.
Not one more penny needs to be spent on police while they continue to abuse, occupy and oppress black snd brown communities and suppress popular uprisings against this oppression with violence.
Trump and the GOP gladly embrace the culture of violent policing and are opposed to the #DefundThePolice movement. Sadly, Democrats have also rejected calls to defund the police, opting to walk the line with half measures and calls for increased training funds.
Programs like Kamala Harris instituted in CA which threatened parents with jail time if their kids were truant, however well-intentioned, only add to the stress and trauma for poor and black/brown families most likely to be targeted.
And Joe Biden as VP helped oversee a draetic increase in funding to expand police powers and further militarize the police.
To only decry the actions of individual officers and not question and challenge the actual insitution of policing itself will not solve this problem.
Virtue signaling by using the language of #BlackLivesMatter without also embracing the call to significantly defund, depower and reallocate funding for the police puts a smiling face on a system that is still built on the propping up of white supremacy through racist violence.
Republicans whose mantra has always been "less government" have no problem with government overreach when it xomes 5o the violent and traumatic overpolocing of poor and black/brown communities.
Democrats who embrace and elevate masterminds of this violent oppression like Mochael Bloomberg, whose racist Stop and Frisk policing policies terroized black neighborhoods for years, also serves to preserve this violent system.
A true opposition to Trump and the GOP needs to include the language of Defunding the Police as well as the language of depowering and disarming them in the majority of situations wmin which they now operate.
This moment calls for bold action, not incrementalism and a desire to distance themselves from the #DefundThePolice movement.
In order to adequately address and transform policing and to permanently stop the trauma inflicted in black and brown children and adults, we must demand that our representatives stand with the Defund movement.
Wearing Kente cloths, kneeling and having BLM spelled out in blocks at the Dem Convention while giving criminals like Michael Bloomberg a prominent speaking role will not cut it.
Fighting oppreasion and transforming society requires taking risks, not reading polls. We expect and demand more. And if we don't get justice in the voting booth, we will get it in the streets.
You can follow @anthonyzenkus.
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