Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.
Martin Luther King
On Friday, at the start of 96 Hours for MLK, SURJ Bay Area (Showing Up for Racial Justice), a group I regularly photograph for, held an event outside of Rockridge BART station where they were handing out flyers to remind commuters about the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King. The leaflet also had information about state-sponsored violence with suggestions for alternatives to calling the police. As a white person I grew up with the intrinsic sense that if I was in danger I could call the police and they would come and help me. To me, the police were a symbol of safety, that is what is I was taught and what I believed. People of colour do not have the same sense of security. We've all seen enough video examples on the internet by now showing that the police represent a real danger and threat to black people's lives. It's so easy for me to rush to ask the police to help, even in minor situations, but there are other ways to report crime and ask for help that pose less of a risk for people of color in our communities. Please take a look at the alternatives and give some thought to when is the right time to involve the police and when you might be able to tackle your issue another way.