The Case for Racism Response Funds – A Collective Response to Racist Acts

| July 20 2020

By Monica C. Bell (The Appeal)

The catalogue of recorded moments when white people call the police to report Black and brown people for no good reason is so large, and growing so fast, that the response has become routine: A video is posted on social media. There is an explosion of comments and shares. A crowdsourced search for personal details about the caller begins alongside a parallel crowdsourced examination of the call’s target for blameworthy details. Then, depending on the results of those investigations, a ritual of “cancellation” ensues, perhaps resulting in the police-caller losing her reputation, her livelihood, and in a recent case, briefly, her dog. The police-caller’s victim may gain recognition for a short time but otherwise, nothing. This is internet justice.

For those who commit racist acts, internet justice may produce justified negative consequences, but it does little to help those who have been harmed. Its focus is too narrow, its reach too short. It emphasizes individual “blame and shame” and detracts from shared accountability for these routine racist acts. It’s a “bad apples” reaction to racist harm that ignores the “rotten trees.” (Read more)