Everyone who was shocked seeing the murder of George Floyd knows that racist police violence must stop. It was clear enough to lead to mass demonstrations around the globe.
We used to say that the last 100 years, developments go so fast that it’s hard to keep up. Well, forget about 100 years — look at the last two weeks!
Defunding the police used to be a slogan from the extreme Left. It became a mainstream concept in a couple of days. Defunding means: less police; doing fewer things they are not good at. They should not deal with the homeless, with domestic disputes, demonstrations, and crime prevention.
And now come calls to demilitarize the police. It’s overkill, pun intended.
It Won’t Stop There
Four radical mind-blowing changes will organically follow the above.
- Clearly, racism is not only just localized in the police force.
The above will be a powerful impetus to end systematic racism in the US. Black and Brown people will take more leadership. More Whites will back them up and shed their timidity. Smart and real reparations for decedents of the slaves and Native Americans. Caucasians and non-Caucasians will be so much in each other’s lives that within a generation or two, no statistician can tally Blacks and Whites differently anymore, because of intermarriage. Physicians won’t be able (and won’t think) to write in patients’ files such typically irrelevant things as their race.
- Labor relations are still slavery inspired.
Admitting and regretting that American society was built by slave labor will transform present labor relations. The US also missed the socialist development that did some good to European society.
When I worked for USers, I always was seen as beneficiary, them providing me with labor and salary. For them, people were managed by Human Resource. Just like the supply of paper for the printer can be depleted and should be restocked, similarly, there should be enough workers on hand or on standby to get the work done. Workers were nothing more than tools or supplies. If we don’t need you anymore, we owe you nothing.
How different my work as an employee in Europe. There, it was a two-way street. I worked, they paid a salary. They owed me to behave decently and I should work responsibly. We didn’t have to love each other but showing respect and concern for each other was part of the contract. I couldn’t do without the salary, they couldn’t do without my work. Together we benefitted each other. This way one could also work in America.
What also needs to go is the whole warped idea that if you’re not rich and well-connected, you’re on your own. Millions without health case is beyond belief. Working life will become more relaxed when sick days are paid for and in case of disability, you won’t end up starving or homeless.
- Demilitarizing will not stop at the police.
The level of weapon possession by regular citizens in the US is only a reflection of the fear and selfishness that the weapon industry sows. Unfortunately, there are countless Israelis carrying guns but their abuse is negligible. While we live in a very violent neighborhood. There is no good reason for so much gun violence in the US. Demilitarize the public too.
- And now comes the best reform. The US is a very violent society.
Not only racism is not exclusively found in the police force. So is violence. I was amazed when I first heard, 40 years ago, that boys in US Orthodox schools would beat the living daylight out of each other every day. I said: But you learn every day that you must love each other. How can you lay a hand on anyone? They had no answer to me. That’s what happened.
I went through all my school years in the Netherlands without getting into a fight ever. True, it may have been a close call a few times but I’d defuse the situation with a joke and that was that. I was later told that in the US, every boy gets beaten up around school. A problem not “just” with bullies picking on overweight and GLBTQ kids. What a heartbreak that the dearest you have, your kids, are never really safe in, before, or after school. This got to stop too. When all the above starts shifting, so will the violence for children stop also. And everyone will gain! Women will be safer too.
And when the stress levels go down, so will drug use, depressions, and suicides. Universal Basic Income will certainly help too.
In summary, ending the racism, making work relationships humane, demilitarizing society, and reducing the level of personal violence between people will really remake American society.
Interestingly, this is all happening on the watch of, under the nose of, the most violent, nationalistic, supremacist, bullying US president ever.
Realizing the totality of these reforms will be a drawn-out process but something that ultimately can’t be stopped. No stronger enemy than an idea whose time has come. I’m happy for the American People.