The below text is a transcript from a spoken word video recently posted on this blog’s instagram page. If you would like to watch the video, feel free to check out @the_levine_lowdown on instagram to watch it there!
It has been 2 months since the murder of George Floyd
You could almost split the last 2 months in two completely different sides.
One month of mass mayhem.
One month of normality.
One month where the world marched for justice.
One month where the world went back to their normal lives.
I’m no different.
And it hurts my soul to say that the only time we will see mass protests again is when another innocent black person is killed by a person of authority.
But it doesn’t last.
Life is too busy, news keeps coming and soon it becomes a clear, but distant memory.
So, where does this leave us?
Firstly, we must acknowledge that this is not a new event.
Violence against African American’s has been occurring for Centuries.
Looking back at the reports of various commissions over the last 100 years, they are all the same.
The exact details of the crime may differ, but the end result and recommendations are identical.
We have to start to think differently.
We have to transform everyday beliefs regarding the role and structure of the police.
We must defund the police.
This doesn’t mean that crime levels are going to skyrocket
This doesn’t mean that more people will get away with criminal activity
This means that we can finally attack the root of the problem.
The zero tolerance approach emphasised by America’s Government since the 1970s has fueled the saturation of police in low-income communities of colour.
This has forced the police to take on a role in communities vastly more expansive than their limited training.
We cannot expect police to be councillors, medical specialists or community advisor’s
We cannot expect police to significantly slow down the rate of crime when they are busy attending to trivial disputes.
Defunding the police isn’t crazy, it allows the police to do their job to the best they can.
It means that this new money can be used to create and develop specialist mental health services in these communities.
It means that the money can connect individuals with employment opportunities, new accommodation prospects and rehabilitation services
It means that we can break the barriers of racial profiling and prioritise solving serious crimes.
This will take time.
But we must continue to speak out and we must continue to fight.
If we all continue to push a message of progress, we will see changes.
And, although I speak of America, everything I have stated relates back to Australia.
We are no different and if we seek to stop Indigenous deaths in custody and the continual oppression that Indigenous Australians face, we too must continue to raise our voice and push for money to be spent in different ways.
For change to occur, we must break the cycle of enforcement.
There is hope.