When Eric Garner was murdered on tape in 2014, it felt like something different in my white household. I was a sophomore in high school, trying to reconcile the convictions of my parents with a world that didn’t match their description.
Trayvon Martin, they told me, was a criminal who was killed by accident. I swallowed this lie, but now everyone could see that Eric Garner had done nothing to provoke the police who killed him.
The new lie became that it wasn’t racially motivated. But that still meant that our police were violent, careless, and power-tripping, and were held accountable seldom enough to continue committing crimes with confidence.
If there is any remaining doubt, the past week has proved they are all that, and racist.
There is no saving this institution. We have seen the police attacking peaceful civilians in cities across the nation, including here in Iowa. We must protect the black people in our communities. We must stop allowing our governments to allocate public funds to arming and empowering racist violence.
We must defund and abolish the police and establish better social systems to provide us with the resources and protection we need. It’s long past time to stop believing lies.