18 Million Rising knows that some of our family members and loved ones may not understand why we must stop calling the police, but now is the time to have these conversations with our families. We want to help support you through that conversation. So, we wrote a letter to help you have these conversations with your own family members. Share this page with your family and take action together.
I need to talk to you. I want us to talk as a family about what is happening right now in the U.S.
Across the country, police are killing Black people. Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed and George Floyd were all murdered by police officers. The fact that we can name four Black people who have been murdered by the police in the past three months shows us that this is more than an issue of a “few bad cops.”
Calling the police means someone could get hurt or lose their life. Whether we are home or at work, we can stop police violence against Black people by not calling the police. In Minneapolis, a convenience store employee called the police on George Floyd for allegedly using a fake $20 bill. What was the police’s response? They used their knee to choke him for over 8 minutes and killed him. A person’s life cannot be replaced.
I know you might think that calling the police is the right thing. But it’s not. The police do not protect us.
What we decide to do means life or death for Black people. We’re taught that the police are the people we should call when we’re scared or need help. But policing does not protect Black people, and it doesn’t protect us. We see how the police in our homelands are deeply corrupt and violent, and the law does not apply to them. If police can be corrupt there, they can be corrupt here too. Calling the police means someone could be beaten or killed.
We want the world to be safer, and that means changing what we do. Knowing what you know now about police violence, we need to lean on each other and our communities when we feel unsafe – not police. If you’re scared or need help, call me, a friend, or a neighbor instead. Calling someone else instead of the police is a safer option for you and everyone involved. I want you to know I love and care for you and we can make a safety plan together that doesn’t involve the police.
While we know that all people have the capacity to be life-affirming and humane, all policing is harmful. Unfortunately, when you call the police you are not calling someone who can do proper conflict resolution or social work. Police officers do policing.
People are fightinµg for a better future all around us. I’m writing to you because I believe you know that lives are more important than property. Maybe you’ve asked, “What do I do if someone steals from us? What if my building is burned in the face of these protests?” I promise you, property can be replaced. Black lives cannot. When we call the police, we are willing to have someone die because of that call. Black lives should not be the cost of our fear.
If we have strong communities, we will not need police. Even if property is stolen or damaged, our communities are strong and resourceful. Imagine a moment in your life where you have felt safest. Did it involve the police? For me, the safest I feel is when I am surrounded by a close family member or community who loves and cares for me. The police do not protect nor provide resources for our communities, we do.
We all deserve to feel safe in our homes and communities. Many Asian businesses are in Black neighborhoods. Everyone who walks through our doors are our neighbors and customers. Between you and me, we can work out a solution to anything. We must commit to not calling the police. This is how we save people’s lives.
When it comes to police violence, we cannot afford to ‘agree to disagree.’ We have to remember this country was built on land stolen from indigenous people and by the labor of enslaved Black people. We often know the ways racism harms us as Asian Americans, but ignore how it harms Black people.
Will you take the pledge with me to not call the police? You can sign it below.
I know this is hard to talk about, so thank you for listening. I love you.