How Not to Think Like a Cop, with Naomi Murakawa

Monday, Apr 26, 2021

Naomi Murakawa

Hello from Jay’s backyard Easter egg hunt!

It’s just Andy and Tammy this week, with special guest Naomi Murakawaa professor of African American Studies at Princeton and the author of The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America.

Naomi talks with us about her J-A roots in Oakland, how her dad’s career in the criminal-legal system got her thinking about carceral politics, why police reform has long been a trap, and the history of hate crimes legislation in the US. She shares her observations on Black Lives Matter, the emergence of abolitionist thinking, and the discourse around “anti-Asian violence.”

What can crime statistics tell us about the world? How do we stop ourselves from thinking like cops? Which groups are pushing Asian America in a more punitive direction? And how should “Asian American history 101” inform our analyses of recent violence?

“The we-ness is something we make through struggle.”

Naomi shouts out:

– Mariame Kaba’s new book, We Do This ’Til We Free Us (foreword by Naomi; and check out the rest of the abolitionist series Naomi curates for Haymarket)

– Victoria Law’s new book, “Prisons Make Us Safer” and 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration

– Christina B. Hanhardt’s Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence

– Chandan Reddy’s Freedom With Violence: Race, Sexuality, and the US State

– Stuart Hall’s Policing the Crisis: Mugging, the State, and Law and Order

– The work of Dylan Rodriguez and Ruth Wilson Gilmore

– The abolitionist organizing of Incite!AAAJ-Atlanta, and Red Canary Song and allies

[Originally published on April 6, 2021 via Time To Say Goodbye]

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