Police violence, gentrification, and racial capitalism w/Robin D. G. Kelley

In 2001, Cincinnati police killed a 19-year-old Black man named Timothy Thomas, sparking an uprising that shook the city for four days. 19 years later, in the city of Minneapolis, local police officers killed George Floyd over an alleged counterfeit bill, catalyzing a nationwide rebellion. Much of the discourse surrounding racist police killings have focused on perceived flaws within the institution of policing itself, but explanations for the consistency and pervasiveness of police violence cannot be found within police departments alone. Police operate within a system of race and class-based segregation, wherein Black, Indigenous, and migrant poor people are rendered surplus populations marked for the extraction of revenues by the state in the form of fines and fees. The lives of George Floyd and Timothy Thomas themselves exemplify this in cruel relief. TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez interviews historian Robin D. G. Kelley on the links between police killings and the system of racial capitalism. This interview took place shortly before Kelley’s delivery of the 2023 George Floyd Memorial Lecture at the University of Houston.

Production: Nelly Cardoso, Michael Ma
Post-Production: Michael Ma

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Author: phillyfinest369


25 thoughts on “Police violence, gentrification, and racial capitalism w/Robin D. G. Kelley

  1. Non stop BS, racist police killings. So, every time a violent black criminal gets shot by the police it's due to racism? Twice as many whites are murdered by police annually and whites have half the interaction rates with police than blacks. You see, blacks commit the majority of murders in the US and they make up 13% of the population. Blacks dominate the drug trade and violent crime which puts them in contact with police, above and beyond all other races combined so naturally they'll have a high death rate as they rarely comply with police commands. Notorious for their shoot first, ask questions later, indifferent cultural attitude.Thus, blacks are under-represented in the penal system which is why crime is out of control.

  2. Hardcore conservative here. Used to think backing the blue was the thing to do. Until I had a run in with a crooked cop. They destroy lives and families. The police abuse their power with zero regard of the human cost involved. This is one issue that left or right need to be United on. Cops are basically a state sponsored gang.

  3. I'm flipping the capitalism argument on its head. Our version of Capitalism exists precisely to keep the poor poor and to continue the racial legacy of colonialism. Police are not there to stop crimes…there are there to perpetuate them. The name of the game is to get away with extracting as much money from others as humanly possible…EVERYONE sees this. Poor people CANNOT fight back, they always lose in courts, they are charged for crimes they dont commit, they are criminalized to the point they are unable to find work, guaranteeing the entire family ALSO falls into poverty. Kinda like north Korea in a way…a crime is committed the whole goes down. And Of course poor and minority people are the easiest to exploit, Fire the worker who is stressed about bills…then go to church cause the guy committed suicide. Starve them out and if they act out of desperation, smash in the back of their head. Beat up the homeless at night or let them dehydrate to death in 115 degree heat…OUR SOCIETY DOESN'T F***ING CARE. Capitalism IS class war and it has ALWAYS BEEN A CLASS WAR.
    Our criminal justice system serves one purpose…to keep people broke enough to be exploitable at every turn of their lives.

  4. Perhaps not bearing multiple babies with multiple baby daddies would help end the cycle of poverty. Obeying lawful police directives could help too.

  5. Capital – head or top, I am, talley. Richard Wolf describes capital best. He says, “your brain, your muscles, what you produce”. Because you are using the word capital incorrectly, you are giving these people permission to treat people badly. Correct the language. Republicans are not conservative. Democrats are not liberal. Correct the language.

  6. This dudes nothin but a commie, hes got soo much backwards. Praising Marx and how hes right, but comparing it to crony capitalism is just dismissing the point of a free market. All I can say is look at the fruits each produce, and let that be your answer, not what some commie tells you….

  7. The phrase "racial capitalism" is redundant. People of color have been exploited by the ownerclass since the days of feudalism. What pisses me off is how calm everyone acts over this type of systemic injustice. Unless it wears a gun and a badge, there won't be a mobilization for defiance in the street. 🙄

  8. Omg! This man is so right! He has nailed this issue to its very core. Now we need to keep talking about this until we see complete resolution. Ty TRNN & Prof Kelley! Solidarity! ✊

  9. An economic system based on creating (value) capital out of nothing . Means the rich who create it out of nothing get the lions share and pittance for the people who will pay for it. By regressive taxes and inflation on everything purchased.

  10. I wish Mr. Alvarez would take an opportunity to interrogate Racial tension and antipathy between the Latinx and Black communities in the US. What's going on here and why…? How / Why are Latinx communities being mobilized and pitted against Afro American communities of LA and Chicago. How do we account for the George Zimmerman, Enrique Tarrio and Mauricio Garcia vigilantes…?

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