I’m writing this because Tr*mp issued 3 executive orders related to law enforcement yesterday. These orders increase penalties against those found guilty of assaulting officers, increase information sharing between law enforcement agencies to fight “drug cartels,” and create a task force (under the Attorney General) to address drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and violent crime. These orders seek to empower racist law enforcement and intimidate opposition to racist law enforcement agendas. The president’s reasoning (and the reasoning of all “law and order” legislators who are “tough on crime”) is that there is a lot of crime and that increasing the power of law enforcement and punishment will lower levels of crime.
This belief isn’t true, and what I’m about to write about it has already been said many times by scholars and activists; they have said it better and longer. This is just a philosophical introduction to why crime is a bad way to measure morality and why, therefore, we should not be using crime rates as justification to further criminalize poor bodies of color. Continue reading crime is a social construct