“Overpoliced & Underprotected:” john powell on Democracy Now

This week, john powell, director of UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, was a guest on Democracy Now. powell and host Amy Goodman discussed the historical context of the tension in Ferguson, Missouri. 

In light of the tragedy and ongoing tension in Ferguson, powell spoke of the country’s long history of institutionalized inequity, touching on the Kermer Commission, Hurricane Katrina, and the Dred Scott’s legacy. Listen here.

powell stated, “We need to respect all life.”

As you mentioned the Kerner Commission 50 years ago, we’re still dealing with the same issues, in part because we avoid the hard issue. We avoid the structure. We avoid the system. We avoid the sort of continued neglect of poor people of color all across this country. And then, obviously, the police don’t live in the community with the people. The police don’t know the people. The Kerner Commission noticed this in 1968, that part of the problem was the police did not have a real relationship with the community, a trusting relationship with the community. The black community tends to be overpoliced and unprotected.

— john a. powell

Praxia Partners’ CEO and founder, Joe Recchie, partners with powell and the Haas Institute on community development and social justice projects. To learn more:

About Holly

Holly Jensen is a writer and poet who has worked with nonprofits and businesses for over a decade. She also serves as editor of The Ghazal Page, an international literary journal.
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