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This piece first appeared in Truthout.
The US intellectual class has failed to understand the racism at the core of Trump's political project. The discussion is focused on two questions: Are Trump voters decent, salt-of-the-earth workers protesting their economic insecurity, or hate-filled Archie Bunkers? Are his transition appointments hateful bigots or mainstream conservatives?
What both questions obscure is that white supremacy is a social and political system, not simply a matter of individual attitudes. It is sustained not by barroom bigots but by millions of daily acts of complicity on the part of ordinary people — in New York City and San Francisco as much as in Alabama, and among wealthy elites as much as the rural poor. As Frantz Fanon wrote: "A given society is racist, or it is not." Questioning whether one region or class is more racist than another is the product of people "incapable of straight thinking."
"Historically, only a small number of police officers have been armed in Britain but we’re moving towards a police force that is increasingly armed... The uprising and grassroots response to Mark Duggan’s death sprang from people’s repeated experience of racist violence from the police" — Arun Kundnani
With contributions from #BlackLivesMatter & Ferguson activists, as well as leading writers and experts, Policing the Planet: Why The Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter traces the global spread of the broken-windows policing strategy — first established in New York City under Police Commissioner William Bratton, who was later brought to London as an advisor following the police killing of Mark Duggan, who was shot by a police marksman 5 years ago, on 6th August 2011, sparking riots in London and across the UK.
In this interview, Jordan T. Camp and Christina Heathertonspeak to Arun Kundnani about the killing of Mark Duggan and the export of US policing practices to the UK, the aggressive racialized surveillance of Muslims in the UK and US, and the need to fight against policing and surveillance as part of a larger struggle against racial capitalism.