MOTFL Episode 30: “Defunding the Police” Conversations Between Friends #2

a child's drawing a person experienceing panick, with arms waving and distraught face

In this episode we have a conversation about defunding the police:

  • what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and how the phrase raises different emotions in people depending on their personal experiences with the police and racism.
  • How decades of consistent and pervasive defunding of community programming, healthcare, and education has harmed communities. We focus on the effects for children with disabilities.
  • School Resource officers and police brutality in the schools that specifically targets black and brown children and children with disabilities.
  • How policy runs on narratives, not statistics. We discuss and challenge narratives about “bad neighborhoods” and “bad children” that are steeped in anti-black racism, anti-indigeneity, and ableism and have fueled bad policy for decades.

For more information about this topic:

Defunding the police:

Democracy NOW!:  “Defund the Police: Linda Sarsour & Mychal Denzel Smith on What Meaningful Change Would Look Like

USA Today “What does ‘defund the police’ mean and why some say ‘reform’ is not enough

Black Lives Matter

Los Angeles Times “Eliminate school police, L.A. teachers union leaders say

Reading Towward Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness by the Abusable Past.

Resources for teaching and talking about racism:

EdJustice: “Black Lives Matter at School – Resources

Watson, Dyan, Jesse Hagopian, and Wayne Au. Teaching for Black Lives. , 2018. Print.

The Black Lives Matter Syllabus

The School to Prison Pipeline:

Bullies in Blue: The Problem with School Policing [infographic] by the ACLU

Cops and No Counselors: How the Lack of School Mental Health is Harming Students by the ACLU

** The image above was drawn by Akim, a 10 year African American boy expressing his feelings in this current moment of police brutality, racism, and Covid-19.

MOTFL Episode 29: “White Lady Tears” Conversations Between Friends Series #1

In this episode, the founders of Mothers on the Frontline discuss grief, racial privilege, policing, and the performativity of emotion.

Families and communities are grieving right now. We are grieving the deaths of over 100,000 Americans to Covid-19, which has disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities. We are grieving ongoing and countless losses of African-American Women, Men, and non-binary folk, children to elders, to institutional racism, particularly by the very structures that should be protecting them, including the police. Many parents are grieving the loss of the veneer of safety they once felt for themselves and their black and brown children in the community and in their very homes.

Many white allies see the collective grief in the Black community and the pain in the eyes of their Black friends. They want to be helpful, but often fail to recognize their own emotional privilege. We examine how the centering and privileging of white emotion can result in dysfunctional empathy, as well as the weaponization of white lady tears.  

Today’s conversation challenges us to think about how the expression of emotion is learned and responded to very differently between White and Black women and how white emotional privilege in turn affects social narratives, resulting in particular interactions between children, police, and schools which are detrimental to children’s mental health.

If you are interested in learning more about some of the topics mentioned in this podcast we suggest the following:

For information on addressing racism and racist thinking in your personal relationships: Seed the Way “Interrupting Bias: Calling In vs. Calling Out”

A good guide on ACEs and Toxic Stress: Harvard University: Center on the Developing Child “ACEs and Toxic Stress: Frequently Asked Questions”

Mentioned in the Podcast:
DiAngelo, Robin J., White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism. United States, Beacon Press, 2018.
National Domestic Workers Alliance