Some thought Defund the Police was politically disastrous…


Taymaz Valley: Defund the Police, 2020 (CC)

From the New York Times:

Some said it was dumb.

Some thought it was politically disastrous.

Some thought it was being unfairly demonized and mischaracterized.

But whatever the case, “defund the police,” both the slogan and the substance of the issue, appears to be dead. Its opponents beat it to death, not that it was ever wildly popular.

When Democrats underperformed in 2020, party leaders placed part of the blame on the movement to defund the police. The Democratic strategist James Carville called “defund the police” “the three worst words ever in the English language, maybe.” Representative Jim Clyburn blamed some Democratic losses directly on the “defund the police” movement and suggested that the slogan actually hurt the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “It had the possibilities of doing to the Black Lives Matter movement and current movements across the country what ‘burn, baby, burn’ did to us” in the 1960s.

Chad Davis: Minneapolis Police, 2020 (CC)

I suspected that the summer of protest was fueled in part by cabin fever with Covid lockdowns. I wanted so badly to be wrong about that. But the further we get from those protests, the more reversals of passions and policies I see.

Do police killings upset us only when there are fewer killings by civilians?

I fear that the signal we are sending to all the people who truly believed that there would finally be real change in policing and the possibility of more equity in our criminal justice system is that racial equity is a tertiary issue, that it is lower than people want to admit on the social hierarchy of policy priorities. We will regret that.

“‘Defund the Police’ Is Dead. Now What?”, Charles M. Blow, New York Times

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