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Alex Vitale

Brooklyn College

Alex Vitale is a Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at the University of Brooklyn in New York City. His areas of expertise include sociology, policing, public safety, crime, and alternatives to incarceration. He has also penned two books and often writes for publications such as The New York Times, Daily News, and USA Today.

A subject Dr. Vitale discusses often is his disdain for the police. In March of 2020, Dr. Vitale delivered a speech at Harvard Kennedy School about the benefits of abolishing police departments. In his lecture, he accuses the institution of policing of being systemically racist. He alleges that public education and free drug treatment will combat the war on drugs better than the police. In his opinion, these things will “actually reduce the harm of drugs… in a way that is directly the opposite of turning the problem over to police.”

Dr. Vitale has tweeted several times about the thin blue line flag. He argues that the flag is racist and a sign of white supremacy. Some of these tweets are included below:

In an article published by The New Republic, Dr. Vitale continues to discuss his anti-police rhetoric, and he also shares a dislike for conservatives. According to Dr. Vitale, “Policing represents a deeply conservative view of the nature of the state… the only appropriate role for the state is a repressive one, to use punitive mechanisms to coerce people into proper behavior.” He goes on to state that, “The reality is that the police exist primarily as a system for managing and even producing inequality by suppressing social movements and tightly managing the behaviors of poor and nonwhite people: those on the losing end of economic and political arrangements.”

Dr. Vitale has also taken to Twitter to speak negatively on white Americans. In one tweet, Dr. Vitale recommended that for four years only black women should be able to vote, as “white men had their go at it.” In another tweet, he shares a podcast he enjoys along with the statement, “I don’t think we can over-estimate the role of patriarchy in shaping right wing extremism. It’s not just about white supremacy.”

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