The day after Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser had city workers use taxpayer money to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the streets in front of the White House, the group’s D.C. chapter, BLMDC, tweeted out their “thanks.”
This is a performative distraction from real policy changes. Bowser has consistently been on the wrong side of BLMDC history. This is to appease white liberals while ignoring our demands. Black Lives Matter means defund the police. @emilymbadger say it with us https://t.co/w0ekwSG1ip
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 5, 2020
Indeed, this move to “defund” the police (whatever that means in real life) is gaining steam across the nation. LA Mayor Garcetti promised to cut $150 million from the city’s $1.8 billion police budget.
The proposal to cut the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget by at least $150 million “would require the elimination of hundreds of positions,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told AirTalk host Larry Mantle on Friday morning.
Moore said personnel expenses make up about 96% of the department’s budget and, “Absent any outside influence, [these budget cuts] would require a reorganization that would require the elimination of police officers, would require the elimination of civilian workforce beyond what’s already been proposed.” Moore was referring to cuts proposed by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti given the city’s diminished revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fewer police officers on the streets? Welcome to a kinder, gentler police force. Perhaps the next move will be to disarm the police. That would make police officers positively huggable.
The common thread that runs through these proposals is that they are long on bombast and short on specifics. Where would the cuts come from? How many fewer officers and cars? Does a city really need a SWAT department? Or riot control?
But being a radical black activist means never having to be specific about what you’re asking for. Not that it would matter. Anything these groveling, appeasing liberal mayors give you will never be enough. Because the point isn’t reform. It’s power. And you don’t get power by accepting the terms of your enemy.
The BLMDC leader talks of the “distractions” of Bowser painting the street in front of Trump’s White House. But the real distraction is in demanding police departments be defunded. The ultimate goal is a massive transfer of wealth to the black community and the police department is an excellent place to start.
The “defund the police” open letter was released by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who told Variety that too often police are “the first responder for mental-health crises” or “for drug and alcohol abuse” so we should reallocate those dollars “back to the community” for social spending.
Not really. By a more than two to one margin, black Americans support the police and 60 percent of black Americans want more police hired, according to a Civis poll published by Vox this week. (Other groups support the police even more strongly). This week was a chilling display of what happens when police are overwhelmed:
What if a crazy person has a gun or a knife? Or some drug-addled maniac is running around with a gun? No doubt, that situation could be handled by the “community” without the need for police, right?
The bottom line is these people don’t know what they want. Most of them anyway. Then there are people like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who knows exactly what defunding the police would mean.
Ocasio-Cortez said she’s “actively engaged in advocacy” for a “reduction of our NYPD budget and defunding a $6 billion NYPD budget that costs us books in the hands of our children and costs us very badly needed investment in NYCHA [New York City Housing Authority] and public housing.”
Ocasio-Cortez echoed the demands of Black Lives Matter and police reform activists that New York City should be spending less on policing and putting that money into resources that would help black communities thrive, such as education, housing and social services.
As protesters demand police reform, a proposal is gaining steam: reducing the #NYPD’s budget.
Rep. @AOC expressed support for that in a NY1 debate. https://t.co/vo8uqhoSZR. #NY1Politics pic.twitter.com/bQK2glBPgk
— Spectrum News NY1 (@NY1) June 6, 2020
It is perhaps why most of these calls to “defund the police” are so incoherent. So you want to take that money spent on the police and put it into “social programs.” Which programs? How much? Who decides?
There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Just strutting politicians trying to appease a mob that can’t be appeased.