Ah, Utopians. Can’t live with ’em. Can’t live without ’em.
There is a rich history of trying to create Utopian societies in the United States. But somehow, perfection never seems to work as well in practice as it does when imagined.
This is to be expected. Humans are flawed, selfish, imperfect creatures who are stubbornly independent in thought and action. Utopian societies invariably end up forcing people to think and act a certain way, which always ends in disaster.
Thus, we have the effort to defund the police in Seattle. If you listen to the earnest, but ignorant organizers of this effort, you can hear echoes of the “flower children” of the 1960s who firmly believed in a world where everybody would love everybody else and mundane things like eating, hygiene, and having a place to live would all be taken care of by the “community.”
That beautiful LSD trip turned into a nightmare of drug addiction, homelessness, rampant disease, and predatory criminals taking advantage of the hippies. But did anyone learn their lesson? What will really happen if you “defund the police”?
Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now spearheaded the effort, premised on a four-point plan that would: (1) disassociate 911 dispatchers from the SPD; (2) increase civil society-based solutions to public safety; (3) fund community-led initiatives to “imagine life beyond policing”; and (4) drastically ramp up investments in affordable housing.
Decriminalize Seattle’s Jackie Vaughn described “the pathway to defunding the Seattle Police Department and building a world where we trust and believe in community to provide the safety that we need” during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
If you’re waiting for the “community” to come to your assistance when you’re screaming your butt off for help while being raped or robbed, you will wait a long time.
The police, not being Utopians, are not amused.
“While no decisions have been made yet, we wanted the community to be aware of the situation,” the SPD said via their official Twitter account on Friday. “Laying off 50% of the department would be catastrophic for public safety in the city of Seattle.”
“The Department has made a conscious effort to hire employees, both sworn and civilian, who represent the diversity and values within our community,” the thread continued. “Cuts this deep mean we would lose more than 50% of our (BIPOC) officers. These officers’ life experiences make us a better department and community.”
The department may be fudging those numbers a bit as other sources point to a department that’s 70 percent white. Still, “first hired, first fired” means that most black and minority officers without seniority would be let go in any “catastrophic” budget cuts.
The Seattle Police Department produced a graph Friday which showed a 90 percent reduction in mixed race officers, a 65 percent reduction in Hispanic/Latino officers and a 53 percent reduction in white officers. Black officers would be reduced by 43 percent, the same reduction level as Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander SPD members.
So much for “Utopia.” I’m sure the “community” will take them in, pay their bills, and protect them from the barbarians who will live it up in a defenseless city.
Just like the hippies from the 1960s, the Utopian activists don’t believe anyone who tells them their ideas are screwball.
The Fines and Fees Justice Center’s Policy and Communications Manager Jonathan Ben-Menachem, who also writes on legal topics for The Appeal, suggested: “[I]f you care about an Inclusive, Diverse police force, figure out a way to fire the old white ones maybe.”
“Figure out a way”? Maybe Mr. Justice Center should read the union contract — a document that even muddle-headed Utopians are going to have to follow.
The only obstacle to realizing this Utopian dream appears to be the Seattle police union — the only union lefties love to hate. They have rules about who gets let go when the budget ax falls and it’s not “old white ones” first.
I wonder how the majority of regular, common sense, ordinary Seattle residents feel about this idiocy? If they have an ounce of sense, they’re planning their getaway from this would-be Utopia.