We Do This ’Til We Free Us — Mariame Kaba’s Special Book

George Marx
4 min readJun 5, 2022

WE DO THIS ’TIL WE FREE US — by: Mariame Kaba is a special book!1.

Prison-industrial complex abolition is a political vision, a structural analysis of oppression, and a practical organizing strategy. While some people might think of abolition as primarily a negative project — “Let’s tear everything down tomorrow and hope for the best” — PIC abolition is a vision of a restructured society in a world where we have everything we need: food, shelter, education, health, art, beauty, clean water, and more things that are foundational to our personal community safety. (p.2)

Kaba describes something that is both very clear in its vision, and also confusing in seeing as a new evolving reality. She tells us that we must:

1. Build necessary radical societal changes which will require us to radically change ourselves,

2. Learn from revolutionary movements how to create collective less hierarchical, reducing violence and harm,

3. Change things so there is less contact between the criminal justice system and people, and

4. Build changes in our others systems dealing with education, capitalist exploitation of workers, how we interact with people with disabilities and much more.

The book spends much detail describing how Black and other BIPOC (People) are victimized and criminalized by the carceral prison system. Kaba notes how the various isms combine to trap those we should be supporting.

The author aptly describes how we need to both ease the burdens systemically oppressing helping free many, while not accepting reform efforts that perpetuate the oppression. Only radical change will help move us towards eventual equality and justice.

Kaba does not shy away from extremes in her writing. She mentions the horrible things that Dr. Larry Nassar did to many female gymnasts, while clearly stating that punishing him through keeping him in jail for the rest of his life is 100% wrong! She notes that she, herself, is an abuse survivor, and that she needs to deal with her own desires for revenge.

Kaba talks of the needs for the victims and survivors to have their needs supported (including therapy). She tells us that those who hurt and kill need to learn from their victims’ pain.

I don’t believe the state has the right to kill in my name, any time ever. And then

George Marx

See: www.WorkingTowardsEndingRacism.blogspot.com & www.GeorgesWorldOnTheWater.blogspot.com & www.CaringWhiteMen.comm - I care - share/ Feel My Heart - born:1951