Students at Cornell University recently hosted an event examining abolishing the police — but in a bizarre new twist, the event specifically focused on defunding the police through a “queer framework.”
Cornell University’s LGBTQ+ student union “Haven” co-hosted an event on “police abolition” alongside the Cornell Abolitionist Revolutionary Society as part of the organization’s “Queer Month” event series, according to a report by the Cornell Daily Sun.
The event explored abolishing the police through “queer framework” by examining “queerness and its relation to policing,” as well as the Ithaca and Cornell police departments, and how Greek life is also involved in an “exclusionary practice” that is apparently seen in the justice system.
The event moderator, who requested to remain anonymous, claimed that society creates obstacles for queer people, which end up contributing to mass incarceration.
The moderator suggested that many queer people end up homeless due to apparently being disowned after coming out, which then sends them into behaving in ways “that may be perceived as illegal” in order to make money.
“Those lines of work [are] ostracized by just society and then deemed illegal. And then, boom, thrown into the prison system,” the moderator said.
The report added that the moderator also claimed there is a connection between “colonialism, homophobia and transphobia,” stating that a prison industrial complex was created through slavery, and that there exists a class structure of the “expendable” and the “elite.”
“To successfully subjugate the colonized people, the European colonizers force the colonized to let go of their cultures, their practices and beliefs in order to usher in a more binary version of society,” the moderator said.
The event also likened Greek life to policing, claiming that they “play a similar role in societal hierarchies of power.”
Student Jenn Reed said that Greek life made her feel excluded based on her gender and sexuality after she came out as non-binary and lesbian. Reed added that while participating in Greek life, she felt forced to stay within traditionally feminine and heterosexual boundaries.
Editor’s note: A quote was eliminated from this article because it was not given on the record to the Cornell Daily Sun, which was a source for our reporting.