Marco Rogers Profile picture
21 Apr, 16 tweets, 3 min read
There is a thing I've seen a lot today. It's a "concern" among conservatives and moderates that the Chauvin verdict is not a victory because it was "influenced" by public opinion. I want to talk about that for a second because it is worth addressing.
I want to start by saying that I understand where this comes from. If we're talking about the "spirit" of the court system. A judge and jury are supposed to try as much as possible to decide on cases without being influenced by other parties.
And whenever a crime and a trial get this much public attention, there's always an argument to be made that it's impossible for the outcome to be "unbiased". I agree with that in general. But I also think it's part of a wider narrative that has more nuance.
The reality is that it's impossible for people to make decisions without bias. We cannot escape our biases. And we are always conditioned with them. The hubris of the American legal system has always been pretending that what we're doing is controlling for bias.
What we're doing instead is controlling for *obvious and acute* biases introduced at the time of trial. We don't do anything to mitigate for the clear prejudices that people are always bringing with them into the justice system.
We know that judges are prejudiced. We can see it when we look at trends like sentencing. We know that prosecutors are biased. We can see it when we look at where they pursue charges and where they don't.
We know that jury selection is biased. We know that arrests are biased. We know all of these things. We can observe it directly. We can see it in studies. We can see it in data. None of this is a mystery. The fact is that America doesn't care about bias. It cares about control.
When people talk about trial verdicts being "influenced", what they mean is that the powers that be weren't able to control the narrative. The thing is that controlling the narrative is precisely what allows the powers that be to create a system that is systemically racist.
With no checks and balances on these outcomes, it's easy for the courts to let police walk free and continue to kill. We're all supposed to just trust that they're being objective and fair about things. When in reality there are so many different ways to *know* that's not true.
So all of the public attention around these trials is about creating accountability. It's about saying this justice system must prove that it is trustworthy by not delivering verdicts that we know contradict our very direct observation.
We don't always get the opportunity to observe directly. We've all had to subject ourselves to excruciating videos of people having their lives ended. Because that is the only way we the people get enough leverage to call bullshit on this system.
But we should never lose sight of the fact that this happens countless more times on a daily basis and we can't see it. Police kill thousands of people every year. We never hear their stories, there's no accountability, and those cops are still on the streets.
The problem is systemic. And one guilty verdict doesn't change that system in any real way. People in power are already doing victory laps because they want to use this as an excuse to keep doing nothing. We can't let that happen.
Instead, what we should take from this is a stronger conviction that it is possible to hold this system accountable. And we should recommit ourselves to making it painful *every single time* they murder us and then try to sweep it under the rug.
The goal of the movement is for us to make it socially, politically, and economically infeasible for this system to stay racist and corrupt. We have to keep pushing until the only way people get to keep their jobs is if they are committed to true justice.
It's a long, hard road. But that is the work. And it literally saves people's lives. There is reason to celebrate this victory today. But it should be seen as part of an ongoing movement that is not yet done. That's how I'm feeling today. I hope this helps you process as well.

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More from @polotek

21 Apr
How do we take back control of our livelihoods? I can tell you where my thoughts are taking me.

One core idea is that we have to create companies that are not wholly directed by the capitalistic profit motive. @operaqueenie is doing a lot of work around things like co-ops.
This has a lot of implications. The company can still be for profit. Just not at the cost of people's health and happiness. Instead, the leadership of the company is beholden to the employees. So it has to balance profit motive with other things that matter.
It's hard for one company to survive in this entrenched market environment though. Instead we also have to think about bringing companies together into a shared ecosystem based on values. One where we choose to do better together and reject the current set of dominant incentives.
Read 4 tweets
21 Apr
Aniyia and I watched this last night, and I want to share it this morning. We've never heard a white man in elected office talk like this. Clear and direct about the problems of racialized police oppression. I recommend watching it in full.…
What struck me about this is not only that the Governor was saying the things I wanted to hear. It's specifically that the language he is using is the language of the movement. It shows how far we've come in changing the conversation. This is advocacy work.
If we can get every elected official to understand these issues the way that Tim Walz now understands them, we might see meaningful change.
Read 5 tweets
18 Apr
"Got a girl next door... and you know I ain't got no neighbors"

Okay I can't hate. These are some bars.
Some British hip hop is pretty good. Aniyia has been into it for a while. Is the cockney accent the must pervasive there? It feels like it's the most expressive for rhyming, so it makes sense to me. But I'm certainly out of my depth in terms of understanding the culture.
They're called Pete & Bas and they're on spotify.…
Read 4 tweets
16 Apr
Imagine hearing this and thinking "we shouldn't give people relief benefits" rather than "damn these businesses must be paying really low wages".
From the article. Basically:

1) paying people to start home during a pandemic works

2) Businesses that try to stay open, in defiance of public safety mind you, are dependent on low wage labor.…
Something has been bothering me though. I do think there is a disconnect between giving relief to individuals, so they can stay home during a pandemic, and helping people's *businesses* survive the pandemic. We never figured out how to reconcile these.
Read 5 tweets
15 Apr
You can stay a shitty person and still get filthy rich! Huzzah!
You can completely ignore people's pleas for better treatment. It won't stop you from continuing to hoard unimaginable wealth! Yippee!
Read 12 tweets
13 Apr
I can't tell you how infuriating this kind of gaslighting is. It comes in lots of different flavors. but this combination of "it takes time" as though it hasn't been decades and decades and "you have a lousy attitude" as though I have to be "nice" in order to deserve to live.
There's also this.

"A lot of white people are dead too. You don't see us caring about that."

It is so not the flex people think it is.
My dude is literally inventing activism on the spot. Nothing was happening before he showed up.
Read 10 tweets

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