Can we make sure we tie the energy created right now to the highest office of responsibility possible and the largest amount of change possible? Can we call out the lawmakers – ring the bells on the reallocation of resources away from militarization of police and back in to the communities that so desperately need more funding? I am firmly and decisively in support of Black Lives Matter, the protests, and any grief and outrage that is so absolutely justified. Can we call for clear and long-term change that systematically empowers communities of color with more resources?
The budgets regarding how we spend our money and how we allocate our resources are decided by the lawmakers and politicians of this country. Do not let them off the hook. We need more social programming and more money going to vulnerable communities in a systemic way rather than to things like the military-industrial complex which the police state falls under. In the aftermath of the current protests, let’s not allow government resources to only be spent rebuilding burned police stations and cop cars, as opposed to resources for the people. If we don’t talk about redistributing where we place our budget as a country, then the budget that remains for funding and helping vulnerable communities is going to remain the same.
I would be devastated to see the money that could otherwise be used to fund social programs to uplift these communities being spent in further defense and weaponization against these communities. And it would be horrible if lawmakers were even less inclined to allocate more money to these communities and more inclined to funding defense – both foreign and domestic, so that they have all the equipment they need to maintain “safety”, after these events. If the budget for this year is decimated by the need to clean up communities after the protests – then add to the budget. Permanently.
Can we push the fuel of these protests towards a full restructuring, reallocating and reshaping of our resources as a whole? Can we beg and fight and kick and scream in the direction of lawmakers to fund things differently? To decry and denounce racial injustice, police brutality, and systemic forms of separation and inequality that keeps the wealth gap too wide to sew shut? Can we arrange a list of demands?
We cannot rely solely on the donations that will come generously during the ensuing weeks. We need to demand the systematic restructuring of resources and where they go day after day and year after year. Not just this year, but every year. And we need to have a say in where those resources go. Our own tax dollars should not go to more militarization and weaponization – both foreign and domestic – it should allow our communities to flourish, rebuild, and seek new futures. We have the money, we clearly do. We have the energy and the voices with which to demand, we clearly do. Tie the energy to clear and decisive messaging and we can truly work towards a dismantling of systemic inequality. Push beyond justice just for these four police officers (although of course, they should all receive the justice that is coming for them). Push further even still – wider – we are mobilized and we are ready. Among everything else, push for a restructuring of funding and reallocation of resources to make sure we reach social and economic equality, equity, and justice, especially in our most vulnerable communities.
Don’t give up. Don’t settle. Don’t let it solely ring out in the echo chambers of social media. And don’t rely solely on voting – relying on voting our way out of this doesn’t help if these same communities consistently experience systemic voter suppression. We need voting transparency, outrage, and reformation at every step of the way towards fully embodied justice across all aspects of modern life.
I am not enough of an expert to clearly be able to clarify all that needs to be demanded and all of the aspects of funding that need to be fixed – but please, let’s continue to raise our voices towards getting the experts in each of these social justice fields to come together and draft a list of demands. Let us lean on people of color and experts that have the knowledge to help us entirely flip where we prioritize and place our money. Let us fight for these demands, and let us not give up until the full force of our unity smashes down any barrier between us and the future world that people of color deserve.