All Cops Are Derek Chauvin.
The cop who murdered George Floyd is not a “bad apple,” the entire system of police and policing is rotten to the core.
The same cops that murder BIPOC with impunity are the same forces that protect corporations while they commit cultural genocide and ecocide.
Police violence is systemically rooted in white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy, capitalism, and colonialism.
According to Eastern Kentucky University professor Victor E. Kappeler, “New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans, the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols. In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property.”
The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice states, “The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.” This is not to argue Indigenous folks’ oppression is more severe, but to recognize our shared struggles to ensure there is not one more Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Corey Kanosh, Paul Castaway, Allen Locke, Mahivist Goodblanket, John Williams, or Loreal Tsingine and to situate the ongoing police terrorism all our communities face as originating from the same systems of oppression.
This also means connecting our struggles beyond co-opting hashtags like #NativeLivesMatter. As Sabah at muslimgirl.com observes: “#BlackLivesMatter represents an entire movement and its history. It’s not “just” a hashtag, it’s a powerful outcry born from a racial injustice felt by a people. It cannot, and should not, be molded to fit another people’s struggle. And solidarity, while important (and in fact, essential), never involves co-opting another movement.” After all, #BlackLivesMatter & #NativeLivesMatter both mean end white supremacist police violence. Beyond pleas for a system rooted in genocide and slavery to recognize that our lives matter, our communities and movements can learn from each others’ struggles and build together towards lasting solutions to defend ourselves, neighbors, lands, and resolve issues we face in more just
and healthy ways.