Radical calls to “defund the police” have alarmed most Americans with two brain cells working. But proponents are trying to calm those fears, claiming that all they want is a greater emphasis on city budgets supporting our communities of color. We don’t really mean, like, “defund the police.” So relax, you right-wing racist conspiracy nuts. And sit down and shut up.
Then there are radical nutcases like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who come charging in and destroy that soothing narrative where it stands.
The suckers who have spent the last few weeks arguing that “defund the police” does not literally mean “defund the police” should be feeling pretty annoyed right now with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The way the freshman congresswoman tells it, “defund” means exactly what it sounds like.
On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached a tentative deal to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department, “though nearly half will be through shifting school safety from the police to the Department of Education,” according to Gotham Gazette senior reporter Samar Khurshid.
Relax, New Yorkers. We’re just “reorganizing” the police force. Nothing to worry about.
Enter the screeching harpy, AOC.
“Defunding police means defunding police,” she said in a statement. “It does not mean budget tricks or funny math. It does not mean moving school police officers from the NYPD budget to the Department of Education’s budget so that the exact same police remain in schools.”
It continues, “It does not mean counting overtime cuts as cuts, even as NYPD ignores every attempt by City Council to curb overtime spending and overspends on overtime anyways. It does not mean hiring more police officers while cutting more than $800M from NYC schools. If these reports are accurate, then these proposed ‘cuts’ to NYPD’s budget are a disingenuous illusion. This is not a victory. The fight to defund policing continues.”
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
What’s interesting here is that AOC’s position contradicts some very well known radicals like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have come out against “defunding the police.” Radicals do as radicals do; they squabble, they haggle, they try to tear each other down hoping to climb the rickety ladder to the top of the pyramid.
But the problem with “defund the police” is that it’s a slogan, not a policy. You have some leftists who have embraced the truly radical notion of a world free of police which would allow everyone to do what they want. No law enforcement, no law. Violence would disappear because everyone would be happy and content. We’d be living in the Nirvana envisioned by the flower children 50 years ago.
Then there are the slightly less crazed radicals who see dollar signs and a way to extort money from white elites — more for “the communities of color,” don’t you know. They don’t really care if the money comes from defunding the police department or if Washington delivers it on a silver platter, or if cities jack up property taxes to unbearable levels.
In truth, some of the proposals for police reform make sense. New York City’s proposal to transfer school safety to the education department is reasonable And there are certainly some police calls that could be handled by social worker-types and not armed officers.
But the idea of sending unarmed counselors to handle domestic disputes is crazy, as is sending mental health professionals to deal with mentally ill homeless people who could become violent at any moment. Better training to handle these situations could certainly be advantageous, but removing the police from these volatile scenarios is not wisdom, it’s wishful thinking.
Ocasio-Cortez and those who believe as she does would end up getting people killed unnecessarily if they get their way. Democrats should really find a way to tone her down — at least until after the election, when it might not matter anyway.