On "Diversity Cruisers"
April 4, 2021
For many communities, the presence of police cars is a precursor to negative interactions and a reminder of historical trauma. These vehicles have and always will be used to intimidate and control people, as well as protect and preserve capital. The WRPS’ “diversity cruisers” and trading cards objectify and commodify diverse cultures and religions.
Such shallow interpretations of equity and inclusion to “start a conversation” are performative and appropriative, and have already caused immense harm in our community.
This offensive decal disguised as community engagement dulls the revolutionary edge and potential of art. While art as a social practice can create conversation, bridge across differences, and help us imagine futures together, we are disgusted to see the WRPS exploit art for their own purposes.
In echoing and amplifying those who have spoken out against these embarrassing and dangerous tactics, we assert that these “diversity” efforts carried out by the WRPS are all the more reason to abolish policing. We believe structural work is needed to replace policing with upstream approaches to community safety and wellbeing — to create communities where we uphold care for one another without policing one another.
WE SUPPORT THE FOLLOWING CALLS TO ACTION, AS OUTLINED BY ORGANIZERS OF THE CHANGE.ORG PETITION:
- Discontinue this “diversity cruiser” and “trading card” project immediately.
- Publicly provide a detailed, itemized accounting of the total cost of this project.
- Donate the total money spent on this project to Black- and Indigenous-led community organizations that provide community-led, culturally appropriate, life-affirming supports and services to residents of Waterloo Region.