In this interview, sociologist Alex Vitale explains how the policing crisis in the United States begins with politics—the decision to embrace neoliberal austerity and to turn the social problems it creates over to police.
Contrary to hopes for a tidy conclusion to the COVID-19 pandemic, history shows that outbreaks of infectious disease often have much murkier outcomes—including simply being forgotten about, or dismissed as someone else’s problem.
Since World War II, the United States has spread its style of policing—and police technology—around the world as a way to exert control. This link between modern policing and the national security state means they will have to be democratized...
As post-Katrina New Orleans illustrates, even ambitious attempts to reform police leave intact the structures of racial violence. Worse yet, such efforts drain public money that could instead have been invested in caring for communities.
A new book shows how Trump’s family separation policy belongs to a much longer history of U.S. government forces—alongside state and local entities—taking children from families deemed inimical to the idealized American family form.
We need not wait for Congress or the Supreme Court to deny police officers qualified immunity when they violate constitutional rights. State attorneys general and city law departments can—and should—lead the charge themselves.
In 1961 Frank Kameny became the first person to ask the Supreme Court to protect the employment rights of homosexuals. The fact that the Court finally has—sixty years later—points to both the successes and agonies of a legalistic approach to...