Each of the pieces of media I had you all read and listen to for today directly


Each of the pieces of media I had you all read and listen to for today directly

Each of the pieces of media I had you all read and listen to for today directly or indirectly touched on this idea of “bad apple” cops, and why this perspective is a problem.
There’s this prevalent idea that racial disparities in policing are because of individual police officers’ racial bigotry – on the ‘old’ definition of racism. And so, attempts to solve this problem are targeted at officer’s racial attitudes and how that translates to behavior and the way they treat people, specifically people of color.
Some perspectives want to zoom out a little further and say, hey wait, maybe the problem isn’t the individual apple – it’s the orchard, the institution of policing itself, that is shot through and through with a racially biased disposition and culture. So, we need to see solutions aimed at this level of analysis. We need to address the culture of policing as a whole. There are others who take it a step further, and say, it’s not the individual ‘bad apple’, it’s not the orchard the apple comes from. It’s the entire ecosystem in which the orchard, and the apples, exist. This is the level of analysis at which we need to address these problems, if we really hope to solve them, instead of just treating their symptoms, which are things like systematic police killings of unarmed black men.
What does this metaphor translate to? It means looking at the whole society that produced these conditions.

Discussion Questions:
Alex Vitale
What is the purpose of policing, according to the myths we are told by the media and popular culture?
How does this misrepresent what police actually do?
What is the “liberal view” of policing that Vitale talks about?
Have you personally ever reported a crime to the police, or know anyone who has? Was it resolved? (you do not have to go into detail about the event. If you are not comfortable talking about it, you can just say “yes, but I’m not comfortable talking about it”).
What is wrong with trying to address racism in policing by trying to root out racial bias in individual officers?
What is the true purpose/basic purpose of police, according to Alex Vitale? What historical examples does he use to support this?
How does this tie into class concepts we have already learned about? What concepts specifically?
Mariame Kaba
What evidence does Kaba provide for her main argument that we cannot reform police?
Where does it overlap with evidence that Vitale gives?
What concept of safety is she challenging, and how?
What case does she make about why policing reforms will continue to fail?
What does she argue we should do instead?
What objections does she entertain, and what response(s) does she give to them?
What are some examples of alternatives she offers?
Daily Show
What does Patrisse Cullors say that police defunding is actually about, in contrast to the misconceptions that have been circulating about what people think it is?
What overlaps do you observe between points made in this podcast and points that Vitale and Kaba make in the other sources assigned for today?
Why is it so hard to imagine a world without police?



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