Blacks, Cops, and the State of Nature
10 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017 Last revised: 27 Nov 2017
Date Written: March 15, 2017
This essay offers a new way to conceptualize the “police violence against Blacks” phenomenon. I argue that we should see the situation as an instance of what Thomas Hobbes called the state of nature, that is, a state without effective law. This understanding of the phenomenon stands in sharp contrast to that offered by Professor Michelle Alexander in her book The New Jim Crow. Alexander sees the phenomenon as a continuation of centuries-old patterns of state-backed anti-Black racism. My account is that police are not under control of the state in their interactions with Blacks.
Keywords: Police Violence, Thomas Hobbes, State of Nature
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