Follow-Up is an effort for one of the nation’s premier policing scholars to go back in time and be brutally self-critical to the arguments made in public forums and media about policing issues. The main target of this no holds barred critique is the most confident, boisterous, and (arguably) arrogant voice to grace the media waves regarding a theory of police reform, his own. As Wood put it himself;
“On May 13th, 2015, I began a public argument for revisioning our failed criminal justice system on a podcast called Dogma Debate with David Smalley. After a life of being dedicated to exposing the failures of our actions and promoting the good of solutions, I am stuck, lost, and must go on another adventure of growth. For this journey, I need you at my side. I cannot figure this out on my own.
We plead for the self-sacrificers, martyrs, and heroines to step up and lead the way. It seems that when they do, we put them up on the cross for half of us to praise and half of us to trample. After all, please refer me to the myriad of successful and happy lives held by your favorite whistleblower.
This truth reflects us as a collective society. I cannot encourage anyone to fight oppression on a public stage without making it clear that those resisting power are virtually guaranteed a frustrating fight for survival, virtually alone.
I have not been sheltered from this reality.
There are many barriers to changing the dynamics of power and I believe that placing the burden on those in the system, lifting them up as heroes or traitors, manipulating their revelations to further our own agendas, and then tearing them down as soon as the facts are not advantageous to our narrative, is a societal behavior that dramatically impedes progress and calls into question our morality.
I have failed at telling that story. I have failed at making any tangible difference. I was an exemplary member of the United States Marine Corps, a rising star of police, and an avid collector of education credentials, but I have failed miserably at communicating the battle for human empathy, and I cannot be free until I find something to do about that.
The next phase requires that we travel back in time. Starting with that Dogma Debate interview, we will critically assess what has been said and done. Together, we can find the path forward by figuring out where we are, instead of where we wish we were. It will not be easy to look at our true faces, so I will start, and then we will Follow-Up.
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iMemberMedia presents Follow-Up with Michael Wood Jr., a podcast about an exploration into our culture through the lens of a revolutionary-minded reformer which seeks to remove our biases and dig deep into what we have done and what we are doing to each other, our sisters and brothers.