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The Advocate Daily Podcast interviews Justice League NYC’s Nia Adams

Advocate Daily is a podcast and editorial series focused on highlighting young community organizers and social justice advocates of color. In collaboration with The Gathering for Justice, we have recorded 10 episodes of audio content focused on different topics in the social justice sphere. Advocate Daily is a reminder:

Educate. Empower. Elevate.

Nia Adams works as a member of the Long Island Progressive Coalition and member of Justice League NYC. Nia has also been leading the campaign #justiceforAkbarRogers.

She is a vocal advocate for defunding the police, ending segregation in Long Island (and across the world), and educating everyone on the history of police and white supremacy in this country.

Nia sat down with us to discuss how to hold police officers accountable — and it all starts with education.

“Accountability looks like exposure, it looks like defunding. You don’t reform racism. You eradicate it,” says Adams, in long-winded and articulate prose.

Adams mentioned how Nazis analyzed race relations in the U.S. in preparation for how to ostracize and then persecute jews (and other perceived undesirables) in Europe.

The U.S. was clearly birthed in persecution and white supremacy, so much that it was studied by a foreign, fascist power. Understanding this, along with the fact that the system of police in the U.S. was initially meant as solely a force to capture runaway slaves, allows for deeper thinking of the systems today.

The killing of Mexicans near the border by Texas Rangers was a brutal and grotesque period in this country’s history, but perhaps just as bad, the Rangers are glorified today instead of condemned.

Teaching the general populous the history of persecution, inequity, and white supremacist foundations is crucial in painting why today looks the way it does, and how to not repeat the same mistakes.

Police unions are, to put it bluntly, like a cult. No one is expected to speak out against their fellow officers, no matter how heinous the officer’s crimes are, and if one does speak out, they are almost always fired.

It is not about reform. Nia made this abundantly clear. You can’t reform Nazis, you can’t reform white supremacy, and you can’t reform a system that was built to persecute black people.

It is revolution that must be had, and as Nia echoed, the revolution must be joyful.