Showing up for Racial Justice(SURJ) was formed in 2009 by white people from across the US to respond to the significant increase of targeting and violence against people of color in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama. The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO; Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY; Ezell Ford in Los Angeles, CA; and John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio are the latest in a long series of extrajudicial (outside the law) killings of people of color in the United States. We mourn the loss of life, see the impact on communities of color and believe that white people must partner across race and other differences to create social change. SURJ is here to provide resources and support for white people to make this happen.… Read more
Like many Oakland progressives, my political alarm went off last year in response to the trend towards middle income and affluent neighborhoods hiring private security guards. For Oakland at least, the private patrol debate is relatively new, but it raises many familiar concerns about racial profiling and the feeding of racialized fears by misrepresenting the dangers of city life. Here I reflect on my learning from engaging in the patrol debate in my own mostly white, mostly home-owning neighborhood.
Since the hiring of private security strikes me as yet another example of those with class privilege investing precious time and money in methods that disproportionately target black and brown people and contribute to the increased privatization of our lives, I felt grateful not to be in a neighborhood contemplating a patrol — but soon enough it was my turn. In mid 2013 some people in my area began meeting to plan the hiring of our own security guard.… Read more