Kendi sets the Policy Agenda

Important Essay here: Kendi’s policy recommendations are made clear at the end.

“The abolition of slavery seemed as impossible in the 1850s as equality seems today. But just as the abolitionists of the 1850s demanded the immediate eradication of slavery, immediate equality must be the demand today. Abolish police violence. Abolish mass incarceration. Abolish the racial wealth gap and the gap in school funding. Abolish barriers to citizenship. Abolish voter suppression. Abolish health disparities. Not in 20 years. Not in 10 years. Now.”

Lots of work to do in this society fractured by inequality. Kendi seems to get the big pieces. Do let me know if you think he’s missed anything.

In How to be an Anti-Racist, Kendi points out that the crime rate among employed black males is about the same as that among employed white males. Unemployment causes crime. That suggests a pretty clear path to lower crime that does not involve police brutality, the inhumanity of mass incarceration and the massive expense of our criminal justice system.

Some will complain about the cost of transforming our society into a more humane, decent and equitable place. Not that the cost of sustaining an unequal unjust society is any kind of a bargain. In spite of the economic devastation of our current crises, the US remains the richest society the world has ever known. We can afford decent, hopeful and meaningful lives of all our citizens. For some perspective, let’s note that a 1.5% interest, each trillion we spend to capitalize black and Native American communities costs 15 billion per year to finance. That works out to less that $50 per person per year. Capitalize black and native communities in sustainable ways and we begin to redress long standing injustices while mitigating to some degree those we are now also imposing on the future.