The Ricky Jones Show blends hip hop music, personal perspectives, and political discussion as it explores a range of issues brought up by the movement for Black lives. The show begins with Jones talking about Donald Trump’s militaristic response to protest, the fall of confederate statues, the sudden consciousness of white leaders across the nation, former University of Kentucky football star Lynn Bowden’s gun ownership, and, more playfully, alcohol sponsorships and drinking.
A little under 20 minutes into the show, Dr. Amrita Myers, IU associate professor, core council member of Black Lives Matter Bloomington, and author of Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Freedom in Antebellum Charleston, joins Jones. She asserts that we’ve long sought to reform the police force with training and teaching, and those efforts have failed. In order to get the change we need, defunding, which is closely associated with abolition, is where we need to move. Fears that abolition will create crime and anarchy are addressed by abolition’s call for investment into programs that address social, economic, and political struggles such as mental health and drug issues. This puts these issues into the hands of those best equipped to help rather than those of a violent police force originating from slave patrols. Abolition is deeply connected to calls for reparations and decarceration since abolition seeks to repair injustice and since policing and mass incarceration drive each other, as highlighted by the black women scholars vanguarding police and prison abolition.
After Dr. Myers leaves the show, it continues with discussion of the Equal Justice Initiative, the historical violence black people have endured, and the significance of the seemingly new consciousness and unification that has emerged since this movement for Black Lives began.