For many years, black and brown Americans living in cities, towns and rural areas across the nation have rightfully been afraid of uniformed officers. Far too often, police officers engage in indefensible violence against the very people they are supposed to serve and protect.
The long arm (and brutal violence) of the law also extends to homeless populations, the mentally ill, sex workers, people facing eviction, protestors, workers on strike and many others. This is a result of the emergence of the new Gilded Age brought on by austerity and ever-widening economic gaps.
We talk with Professor Alex Vitale (@avitale) at Brooklyn College about policing in our current state of affairs. We discuss the need for police, how liberal politicians continue to support the police (as well large numbers of rank and file Democrats, according to polls) and the influence and role of police unions. We also get into the "Defund the Police" movement, the backlash against it, the war on drugs, gun control and how the current debate around police is effected by rising homicide rates.
Plus a brief history of Cop-aganda (i.e. how police and Hollywood have collaborated for decades to portray police as heroes in television and film).
Like Brendan Behan said, "I have never seen a situation so dismal that a policeman couldn't make it worse." We get into all of it.
Bio// Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and a Visiting Professor at London Southbank University. He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The NY Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Nation, Vice News, Fortune, and USA Today. He has also appeared on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, PBS, Democracy Now, and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
You can get the new edition of "The End of Policing" at Verso Books (@VersoBooks): https://bit.ly/3q3rIy5
Outro music// Capitalism (A Lonesome Rider) by Consolidated on the Emergency Hearts (@eHeartsATX) label. ---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States homicide rate continues to soar in 2021. Why?(https://bit.ly/3F1vUnY)
Americans Don’t Want to Defund the Police. Here’s What They Do Want. (https://bit.ly/3IWeRX8)
Vitale:“Policing Is Fundamentally a Tool of Social Control to Facilitate Our Exploitation”(https://bit.ly/3H2ig4X)
Hammer and Tongs: Alex Vitale on Cop-aganda (https://bit.ly/3IUKH6z)
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This is a Green and Red Podcast (@PodcastGreenRed) production. Produced by Bob (@bobbuzzanco) and Scott (@sparki1969). “Green and Red Blues" by Moody. Editing by Isaac.