As funny as this sounds, the fact that this movement is happening during a pandemic is making me even more hopeful. With a 40-hour work week, you come home each night too tired to fully engage with the fact that there are injustices in the world. The only free time you have is the weekends and no one wants to do anything that takes away from what little joy those days provide. But without everyone spending all their time in the workplace, people are sitting at home realizing, “Oh. It’s unreasonable that all this police brutality is happening, and I have the time on my hands to actually do something about it.”
Without the pandemic, we might not have gotten the change that we have so far, and I think that’s really important to recognize. A lot of the changes that we’ve had in this country, even just to our work life, have come from people with the time to realize that certain conditions are not fair. So maybe this is the time where we realize that a 40-hour work week with only a two-day weekend isn’t the way forward. I’m applying to medical school right now so I don’t have a lot of time to get out there and organize, but I think whatever a person can do to help is good.
We've already started to see change and I think we need to just keep moving forward. At this moment we obviously can't eliminate all police, because our whole system is set up around them. But I do think the goal should be eventually to not have police, or have very, very few.
The more money we can take from police and send to community organizations, the better. Schools in Randolph, where I went to school, might cut gym, art, and so many of the other extracurriculars that make high school fun to attend, and that’s ridiculous. Cities are allocating huge portions of their budgets to police departments while teachers are using their personal money to buy supplies for their students.
Seeing people doing their best in their fields to make a difference is inspiring, though. A lot of people are doing the work to better themselves and others, so that gives me hope. But at the same time, there’s just so much that we have to dismantle in order for us to live in a more equitable world.
Maya Barrant, 24, is a certified nurse assistant in Stoughton.