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5'7" Black Male May 2
It's also more complicated than that. Having existed in the same spaces as Harris I can attest that from an individual perspective, it is VERY complex to be Black in the criminal justice system.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
A lot of the people in the criminal justice system, (particularly POC) are there because they believe that they can mitigate the harm of that murderous machine on Black and Brown people.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
As I said a few weeks ago I used to be a staunch proponent of prison reform. A position I have since abandoned for prison abolition. But that change wasn't from me being pro-incarceration to anti-incarceration. I was always opposed. But reform still upholds incarceration
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5'7" Black Male
I spent a lot of time in the criminal justice system building bridges and relationships with cops, prosecutors, judges, court officers and defense attorneys. The purpose was to make it easier for me to navigate court involved kids through the system safely
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
Building relationships and bridges meant I could get prosecutors to slow down and listen to what was going on with a kid instead of hurtling them onto jail. I could get judges to see perspective I could change how officers looked at kids
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
But it's just as easy to look at my work through a purists lens and see me as a total sellout. It is also a valid perspective that by ingratiating myself to the system, I was merely complicit in it continuing to crush poor, Black and Brown people.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
However, the desire to minimize harm to Black and Brown kids was the driving motivator either way. Whether reform or abolition, the point is still harm reduction. Because when you're working on an individual scope, a kid getting 18 months rather than 5 years is a win.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
But here's the thing. Purism has its downsides too. The fact is that the criminal justice system exists. And even if you are 100% for abolition, you have to recognize that until that actually happens, the system churns on. And the people in it RIGHT NOW need relief.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
Failing to value iterative efforts to reform the system ultimately results in unnecessary and ongoing harm to the people caught up in it If you are ignoring or undermining efforts to ease the suffering of incarcerated people simply because it is not abolition, you sacrifice them
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
This is the problem for me with those who have difficulty embracing nuance and the choices that come from being in untenable positions. They are frequently willing to sacrifice the vulnerable for the sake of purism.
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5'7" Black Male May 2
Replying to @absurdistwords
And this is why I exist as an absurdist. Because in this case, everybody is right and everyone is wrong. And both need to be addressed. And you just can't do that if you only exist in one scope. You have to be able to travel between them.
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