I once did a series of toxic masculinity workshops at a state prison in Minnesota. They were some of the most humbling & engaging conversations I ever had w/ fellow men. Mostly native & black men with a few hmong brothers & a couple white dudes.
It was the discussion about trauma & the limitations of what it means to be a man that hit the hardest. To see/hear/feel the repercussions of hurt boys who never healed, who remain in many ways emotionally traumatized kids who've hurt others, pains me.
I heard stories:
•of trauma inflicted in childhood
•of being taught to sever one's emotional capacity as a man
•of how we learn to inflict harm, dominate others & normalize toxic ways

They reinforced my belief that as men we are also victims of toxic masculinity.
I do not absolve men from the harm they have caused. But I recognize 2 things:
•Our toxicity as men is learned and reinforced
•& that the capitalist carceral state depends on BIPOC bodies 4 economic solvency.

Of course this is an oversimplification.
In South Dakota were I grew up & within my homelands. Natives are 8.7% of the state population, but are over 50% of those jailed or imprisoned. In MN, we are about 1% of state pop, but 10% of the prison pop. Natives are 14 times more likely to be imprisoned than wypipo in MN.
State-sanctioned policies have historically created:
•abysmal pub. education
•underfunded social services
•absent economic opportunities
•predatory financing
•environmental waste
•and more
for BIPOC communities.

& then....
State-sanctioned violence allows:
•police to murder Black & Indigenous ppl w/o consequences
•the arrest of our folks at ridiculous rates
•the detainment of our relatives & the keeping of children in cages
•the holding of ppl in jail indefinitely due to the cash bail system
& that's why when I look at the faces of my relatives locked up, I say fuck the carceral system. Its designed to hunt & imprison us.

Let's invest in healing men. Let's invest in confronting toxic masculinity & Patriarchy. Our sons deserve it. We deserve it. #DefundThePolice
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