High level drug dealers and white communities were not targeted by law enforcement’s execution of the policies of the war on drugs, even though drug activity in the white community happensat the same rate as it does in the Black community.The impact that this public policy paradigm has had on Black people is not a matter of conjecture, there has been a barrage of social scientific research, most notably Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow that has substantiated the claim that the kinds of policies that mirror Del. Dumais’ bill have lead to an attack on the livelihood of Black people.What is sad is that this is one of many public policy decisions that our General Assembly has made that shows a fundamental disregard for Black people. As I have said in the past racism is not about a person’s conscious feeling of malice toward Black people. Racism is about the way that institutions create social, economic and political dynamics that result in racially disparate effects on Black people. The fundamental lack of understanding of this has caused many of our legislators to make decisions that will do our communities great harm.
Fortunately our Black legislators were able to step up and kill Del. Dumais’ bill. What we need now is a strong push to get HB 968 out of committee and into the MD General Assembly. There are many powerful elected officials in Annapolis that have not spoken out, or demonstrated any urgency on the issue of police brutality. Too many of our public officials are silent on the the societal assault on the humanity of Black people that take place in multiple spheres of society. We need to call them out force them out of the comfort of being silent on these issues.This includes:
All of these legislators are amongst the leadership in the Maryland General Assembly that could move the police reform legislation if they wanted to. We will likely take one more trip to Annapolis and make one last push for the legislation to address police brutality (HB 968). Lets put these elected officials on blast!
PUT PRESSURE ON THEM!
Email/Call/Tweet/Post so that we can put the pressure on their office to get this bill out of committee and on to the floor. If you have questions, contact Dayvon Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TALKING POINTS FOR THE BILL
When you call their offices, here’s a script that you can use to guide your information:
Hello my name is (YOUR NAME)
I am calling in support of House Bill 0968 and Senate Bill 0586. I would like to know what Delegate/Senator Name is doing to support this bill.
Here are the major points of the bill that we care about:
If they ask you about other parts of the bill, make it clear that the advocates are willing to negotiate on other parts of the bill, but that the talking points above are the main elements that we want in the bill.
If they ask for specific names of advocates you can tell them Dayvon Love from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Sara Love of the ACLU, and Rion Dennis.
Below is an template you can use to email these elected officials to get your voice heard on these issues:
Delegate/Senator [insert name],
I am urging you to support HB 0968 / SB 0566. Here are the main elements of the bill that I think are crucial:
I strongly urge that you support this legislation. All of the items listed above do not put law enforcement at a disadvantage, these measures are designed to create greater police accountability, trust and cooperation.
– (YOUR NAME)