In 2020, the American Public Health Association stated that racist policing is “tantamount to a public health crisis” alongside racism in housing, employment, and healthcare. But how the crisis affects healthcare goes even deeper.
A Truthout analysis found that all ten of the U.S.’s largest cities will spend more on policing than on public health during the 2021 Fiscal Year! The stark difference in spending priorities shows the public health problem we know as policing is more important than our lives.
When combined, the cities’ policing budgets are 3.6 times greater than public health department budgets – and some cities like Houston are spending 10 times more on policing! This is happening in a country that doesn’t have universal access to healthcare – which hurts Black America more.
Black people are less likely to have access to healthcare, which has deadly implications for us. All while funding for policing, which also kills us, surpasses public health spending. We’re getting killed by a double-edged public health crisis that is riddled with state violence. But there’s a solution.
Defunding the police and reallocating spending to needs like healthcare, housing, and education is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, we need to transform society so that Black communities have the ability to thrive – and that means working towards abolition.