3 Ways Abolitionist Principles Can Actually Make Our Relationships Better

family playing a board game
Zain Murdock
November 29, 2021

“Abolition,” or the modern movement to dismantle prisons and policing, invites us to knock down the systems that hurt us and build something better. 

But it also exposes how WE are often violent and police each other – and how we can love each other BETTER. Here are three ideas.

#1: Practice loving accountability

If someone you love hurts you, or vice versa, don’t just throw them away! We all need to learn accountability: true self-reflection, making genuine apologies and amends, and actually seeing a change in behavior. Not holding grudges against people trying to do better!

#2: Don’t be a tyrant to children

From whooping children to forcing them to give hugs, society teaches us that children don’t have rights, aren’t allowed to set their own boundaries, and that love comes with violence. But we can actually learn from kids and teach them to communicate their needs now and in the future.

#3: Open up the nuclear family

An abolitionist family doesn’t have to be “wife, husband, child, pet.” Many happy families are already single-parent or LGBTQ, but we can also show up for each other through “chosen” family that’s just as important, whether that be through mutual aid or relative adoptions.

When we have strong Black families based on love instead of the punishment model our criminal legal system is based on, we have strong Black communities!

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