Only Together Can We Create Safety

Zach Norris

If there’s no such thing as a Bad Guy out there somewhere, then it’s clear why our fear-based system of dehumanization is failing to keep us safe: we can’t get to lasting safety by insulating ourselves from mythical external threats with border walls; we can’t get to real safety by expelling or confining certain kinds of people, like the mythical "superpredator." The paradox of proximity means that the real threats are not coming from a few “bad apples"; they come simultaneously from powerful massive institutions that we all have a hand in upholding, and they come from within our own communities and families. We can’t run from ourselves. The answer to safety is always closer rather than farther away. Only together can we create safety.
In order to truly be safe, we are going to have to transcend the mythical divisions of Us versus Them. We will have to bridge the divides and build relationships. There is no Them, there’s only We. And that We, the fabric of American society, is always evolving and expanding. Rather than hold onto a fixed notion of who We the People are, we have to embrace what john powell calls “a bigger We.”

from Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris. This excerpt from pages 59-60.