Black Lives Matter (August 2020)Tags: Black Lives Matter. COVID-19. Public policy.
Our for-profit, commodified health care system has proven woefully inadequate in the face of the worst public health disaster in over a century. The resulting economic crisis has accelerated the meltdown of our employment-based health insurance system. Workers will not soon forget how precarious their shrinking health care benefits really are. And the Black Lives Matter uprisings have brought to the fore the racial disparities that undergird the industrialized world’s most unequal health care system. Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly supported Medicare for All regardless of what candidate they voted for.
We demand justice for Jacob Blake and for Trayford Pellerin, for Breonna Taylor, for George Floyd, for Tony McDade, for Sean Reed, for Michael Brown, for Eric Garner, for Trayvon Martin, and for all the other Black lives stolen by the state.
This year’s proposed platform also responds to the Black Lives Matter movement by recognizing systemic racism and calling for a dramatic change in the legal standard for police use of deadly force. And it has reversed course on the death penalty, now opposing it. But even while recognizing this evolution of the platform and the challenges of finding consensus among a party with diverse viewpoints, it is still disappointing to see the platform fail in some respects to meet the demands of the moment. […] Moreover, on policing, the platform is silent on the call to slash police budgets and redirect those resources into alternatives to policing, and to reinvest in communities historically targeted by the police. Instead, the platform mostly continues to tout procedural reforms and calls for greater transparency and accountability. These are important reforms, but they miss the mark on what millions of people are marching on the streets to demand – a fundamental reorientation of public safety, divesting resources away from police and into alternatives to police and towards resources that will build long-term safety and stability.