Safety: every law enforcement officer and every politician tells us that they're for it. And yet for many, police are a problem in their communities, and today's policies are only making things worse. If what we're doing isn't the answer. What is? We explore this issue, and what we all need to learn from the disability justice movement, with this week's guest. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled writer, performer, poet, healer and teacher, inspired by poets and authors June Jordan, Suheir Hammad and Audre Lorde. She is the author of several books of poetry, including Consensual Genocide and the Lambda-award winning Love Cake. She has a new book of poetry called Bodymap, and a memoir, Dirty River. out this year. She also co-founded the performance group Mangos With Chili and is an editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities, a book that grapples with the difficult idea of addressing violence without police. All this, and Laura discusses the roads less traveled.
Protests against police violence continue across the US, and this week's episode continues our exclusive reporting on the movement behind the protests. How are the legacies of the eras of slavery, reconstruction, and Jim Crow still with us today? Laura talks to civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar Michelle Alexander about citizenship and the prison industrial complex. Michelle Alexander is author of the best-selling book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a book which has taken on even more urgency in the current protest moment. This episode also features an exclusive new report from Baltimore, with a look at the issues behind the recent uprising, from housing to education to jobs, and Laura connects the issue of lead paint in Baltimore homes to the death of Freddie Gray.