Working People's podcast host: Protests illustrate need to help minority neighborhoods

The Working People’s podcast host Max Alvarez said Thursday that the protests over George Floyd’s death illustrate the need for more help for minority neighborhoods.

Alvarez told Hill.TV that the demonstrations show that the U.S. needs to “address the problems that require police to police poor black and brown communities,” including through economic and social justice reform. 

The podcast host said that society depends on the police as an “after-the-fact solution to manage the pain” that minority communities endure in the current political and economic system. 

“We kind of push all these roles onto the police,” he said. “We essentially turn police into social workers with guns, and clearly that isn’t working."

Alvarez acknowledged that “maybe there is more crime” in poorer communities but argued that these communities need safe water systems, better school systems and good-paying union jobs as much as, if not more than, they need more policing.

“We think of beefing up police as a system of pain management as the way to deal with these kinds of systemic problems,” he said. “And I think instead of just trying to tweak the ways we approach policing, we need to think of the reasons we rely so heavily on police to manage the pain that our system creates.”

Protests have broken out in cities across the country after Floyd was killed while being detained by Minneapolis police when a now-former officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.