Even after the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, which encompassed the idea of racial progression, there were still loopholes that allowed institutional racism that continues to oppress minorities. President Johnson created the Kerner Commission in 1968 to understand and investigate the causes of the race riots in Detroit. The commission’s report recommended the allocation of billions of dollars to diversify policing, create new jobs, better schools, affordable housing for Black people. However, President Johnson opposed the recommendation due to costs and instead created another commission to push the idea in using federal funds for a more militarized police force against Black communities. Recently, there has been a bigger push for “defunding the police” which is similar to the commission’s recommendation. Some political leaders have agreed the reallocation of funds, but little has been done and there has been reports showing that many police departments across the nation have actually received more funds due to the uptick of violent crimes during the pandemic. Similar to 1960’s, there probably will not be a reallocation of funds in the near future, even if necessary to create an even playing field and better quality of life for minorities. There are democrats who vocally support a criminal justice reform but are avoiding advocating to defund the police due to fear of backlash which shows that they are not moving forward to a criminal justice reform. As Kendi mentions in the Epilogue, antiracists need to be in power to spearhead antiracist policies and laws. I agree with Kendi that there needs to be a shift in power to one day see an actual criminal justice reform that focuses and heavily invests on community building and not mass incarceration/police brutality.
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