Issa Rae Speaks About Defunding Police & What It Means to Her

Issa Rae recently sat down with the folks at THR to speak about why she is supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, Regional Bail Funds, Defund the LAPD, and many other advocacy and efforts to dismantle racism in America.

About this she said:

“I recognized that so many people felt anxious, overwhelmed and aimless. While I saw various anti-racism lists circulating, they each had like 30-50 broadly Black organizations, which is great, but a lot. So, I wanted to consolidate my call to action to a few organizations that kept the focus and mission clear. For me, that mission is to end police brutality and killings.”

Asked how she chose those organizations, she said:

My staff and I discussed extensively and did the research. Some organizations we were already supporting and knew they did the work, like the ACLUBLD PWR and Black Lives Matter. Within those, we wanted to support the initiatives to hold the police accountable, to ultimately Defund the Police via the People’s Budget, and to aid protestors in the immediate time by providing bail money. We’re also a creative company and all hailed from art programs of sorts, and recognized the importance of supporting those organizations in our communities, so that’s where supporting Black Table Arts in Minneapolis came into play.

Asked if she is encouraged by the large support to defund the police and combat systemic racism, she said:

I’m encouraged because, for the first time, it feels like white people are listening and white guilt may lead to long-term action. These thoughts are already mainstream, but we have to maintain the momentum and continue to make this a priority.

And she explained why defunding the police is very necessary:

I definitely fully support allocating the police budget to more social services, and I absolutely support abolishing the police in the long run, and especially in communities that don’t benefit from police services. But we need a comprehensive plan, because too many people can’t see it, and too many people don’t care enough to educate themselves because they operate in a safe bubble. And I don’t think you can talk about abolishing the police in its entirety in this country without addressing gun control and reform. Those things go hand in hand, and I think as long as we have a gun problem, we’re going to have a police problem.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

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