There are some huge plans around criminal justice being proposed during this election. When it comes to criminal justice, what some Democrats want to do is largely drawn from organizing Black people have been doing for years. Here’s how Black protests entered the election.
These are issues that Black activists have challenged in recent years:
- Police facial recognition software
- Cash bail
- The death penalty
- Mandatory minimums
- “Three strikes” laws, and
- Civil asset forfeiture (which makes it legal for police to steal from people).
Now they’ve entered into some presidential platforms!
The problems that are on the table for removal are ALL racist parts of the criminal justice system that causes our community harm. There’s also a push to incentivize non-lethal approaches to policing and investigate whenever someone dies in police custody the way Sandra Bland did.
A Black organized mass prison strike in 2018 pushed for more rights for prisoners, and now it’s being discussed. So is work to decriminalize homelessness and legalize marijuana. The implications of these goals would change a lot for Black America, and there’s no denying that.
All of these issues are in Democratic candidates’ platforms, and Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s plans go further than other candidates do. But remember, we have BLACK ORGANIZING to thank for making these goals enter the mainstream to begin with and the fight to see it through isn’t over!