Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/09/defund-police-defund-military
The War this Duopoly has waged against the world, and the American People, must end.
We The People have the power to do it.
Embrace your power.
Yeah, this is going to go over really well with the swing states - not.
AOC herself said it best on twitter:
the fact that ppl are scrambling to repackage this whole conversation to make it palatable for largely affluent, white suburban “swing” voters again points to how much more electoral & structural power these communities have relative to others
If nothing else, that is the name of the game.
Too bad that most Americans won’t be able to connect the dots and realize that the war has now come home.
And it’s only going to get worse. Actually, that’s all it ever has done is get worse, at least as far as I can tell. In damned near every category I could list. I’m still shocked that cannabis was re-legalized in some states, well, sort of I guess though that probably won’t last, either. Like abortion, it is going to go away soon, too. My guess is it will be ‘federal’ clamp down as the War Against Slavery pretty much put down the ‘state’s rights’ movement.
Carlin said it best: the Bill of Temporary Privileges that can be taken away at any moment by the wealthy that control the country. And besides, all it was meant for was just the wealthy white men who owned land and businesses. Those ‘Founding Fathers’ would be APPALLED at how twisted the Constitution is from how they set it up! Women voting? People who own no property? No more obvious slavery though I would argue that it is still obviously very apparent that it still is in force…descendants of slaves in Government? The horror!
But then again those Founding Fathers would completely understand the need to rig elections to get their Constitution back on track of the original intent, wouldn’t they?
The cynicism and gray rainy t-storm skies threaten to turn to irony if I don’t quit reading. Just to really make everyone’s day here’s the latest climate. Another slammed pretty hard into concrete feeling:
How did Hillary’s moderate policy stances go over in 2016?
You want to overcome “how much more electoral & structural power these communities have relative to others?” Excite more people of color, young people, and disaffected progressives to get off their asses and vote. Mistake #1 on that score: Nominating Joe “nothing will fundamentally change” Biden.
You still sending Amy McGrath money?
Yes, that is a concern. However, Biden appears to lack Hillary Clinton’s personal unpopularity - head to head match-ups have not only placed him ahead of Clinton’s lead at this time four years ago, but crucially he has crossed the 50% mark in several live interview calls. In other words, there are fewer undecideds or 3rd-partiers that could potentially swing towards Trump. Combine this with how close Clinton did come to winning (and how Biden isn’t quite as uninspiring as Clinton), and you really have to give Biden good chances right now.
I donate to parties, not candidates.
As usual, I’m in complete agreement with Medea Benjamin. I have always hated the way our leader’s casually use the word “the American people” as if everyone else is worthless. Why do we always hear such nationalistic jingoism instead of addressing all of humanity? Is it so terrible and out of order to have conversations about inclusiveness and our global commitment to work together to eliminate suffering everywhere?
Vote out the ‘duopoly’ in Congress this November!
Clinton did not come close to winning.
If you eliminate California, she lost the popular vote across the other 49 states.
The electoral college tally was 304-227.
“What we do to other countries, we eventually do to ourselves”
Keep in mind the Saint BO murdered civilians with Drones in Yemen.
The word “defund” is confusing here. Many people use it to mean remove ALL of the funding. That would be as bad as what Trump wants to do with the police and the military, even if it is in the opposite direction.
You have to be of a lack of brains to call for defunding police and the military.If the police are defunded then who is going to keep the peace in the country? Have you even thought about that?? Think of the chaos and violence that will errupt without law and order.Its fine and good that reforms are made,but defunding will only lead to more deaths of all Americans not just some.True that black lives matter and all lives actually matter.What is being proposed as defunding is actually a form of punishing all for the deeds of the few.There are more good police than there are bad so you want to punish all of them fir what a few do ?? Without law and order in the country it will be like the Purge except on a daily basis.
Black lives matter is as I said true,but how about Chicago,Detroit and other large cities that have massive weekend killings of BLACKS-mainly gang members and innocents.Why are you not protesting these killings or are those alright since they are black on black ??? Think people think.
Then to want the U.S. military to be defunded you must have your brain in left field someplace.We have enemies that are waiting for just that sign of weakness to attack the U.S…Yet you are calling fir defunding the military.The military is there to protect America from its enemies.Even though many might think that it is not needed and we live in a so totally peaceful world !! Dream on !!! Our military is what holds the dogs at bay and keeps our rights and freedoms for us.Men ad women sacrifice their lives so you can have everything that this country has go offer.This would be the worse thing to do.Without a military the country is wide open to attack from a foregin entity.Again think about what you are asking for.
Hope this helps for the two main points you are making.
The word “defund” in today’s public conversation means “reallocate” funds from police to social services and other civil forces, and reduce the police force to the minimum required - similar to what the most advanced societies have.
“The military is there to protect America from its enemies.”
Good point. Except that the US (not America) has engaged in war upon war upon war to invade other countries - that were not an enemy or a threat to the US in any way, but which people have been murdered by the millions from the US. And, which also means that the man and woman have not been sacrificing for the US people, but for the few oligarchs who need more oil and more arms manufacturing to make a few more billions.
This article, in my book, tops everything else discussed in this moment. This is the right agenda for this movement. But alas, I doubt it will take hold.
Defund the military…cut police budgets…FUND public defenders!
Public defenders stand little ability to fight against the formidable financial, legal and political strength of prosecutors…
thus leading to forced guilty plea deals and wrongful convictions…
which is NOT JUSTICE
some states do not even have public defenders…
I posted a long time ago, during Occupy, that since Amerika’s foreign policy was fascist; that it would just be a matter of time until Amerika’s domestic policy would be the same just as soon as the 1% AND THEIR ORGANIZED CRIMINALS could get away with it. I was laughed at by some then, but with the Mafiaocracy of Trump, Barr and his Republican Lieutenants…NOW THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT! And they are not laughing now!
Shanti, some of us figured this out in the 60s as teenagers! HA! And from my viewpoint, it has only gotten SO much worse with each succeeding ‘election’ since Reagan.
And we thought we did so well getting rid of Nixon. Little did we realize what was coming! 40 years of freaking REAGAN!!!
I’m disgusted and demoralized and feeling very much like I’m in one of …George Carlin’s routines. But then, haven’t we always been?
Jim Parker: You blame others for a ‘lack of brains’ for talking about de-funding these authoritarian sociopaths? You think brutal enforcers actually ‘keep the peace’? Just exactly WHAT PEACE are you talking about? Or maybe I should ask ‘WHO’s PEACE?’ Ever been beaten for existing? Or for being ‘suspicious?’ Or for looking ‘different?’ Ever been tackled and slammed to the ground with a 200 pound assh*le on top of you as his buddies pile on?
And then you whine and denigrate with that “black lives matter and all lives matter” crap. OBVIOUSLY they don’t in this reality.
Since cops jobs don’t even make the US’s 10 Most Dangerous Jobs list but being an unarmed young black man does…your point is NOT taken.
Then out you come with your collective punishment mis-direction because of the deeds of the few. Well dude, that’s why there are laws about being ‘an accessory’ to crimes because ALL COPS REFUSE to testify against, or step in and stop, this violent murderous crap and always have. A teacher can be prosecuted and fired for NOT reporting child abuse. So why aren’t ALL COPS treated the same and FIRED for not reporting their ‘fellow’ cops?
AND then you come out with the VERY worn-out trite crap of LAW AND ORDER. CHAOS! DOOM! Give me a break.
And that the US military who continue to go in and destroy societies that our corporate masters and neoliberal politicians don’t like who are guilty of murdering millions of innocents and calling those broken dead bodies COLLATERAL DAMAGE???
I’m really tired of your stupid arguments and this is just the first time you’ve posted. At least under this name. Enough! You, dude, show a decided LACK OF BRAINS. Go get an education before you post again and make more of a fool of yourself. You have a lot of catching up to do on this society’s realities.
Enjoyed reading your cogent diatribe. From my perspective ( and I was politically too young and naive to realize it at the time) Nixon would become a choir boy compared to our insane leader Trump!
First let me state that, I am in substantial agreement with a lot of what is written in this article, and I have the highest regard for Medea Benjamin whose writings and whose courageous political work I have followed for years, and Nicolas J.S. Davies whom I am not as well acquainted with but who is associated with Ms. Benjamin. However, I must challenge the assertion that African-Americans are 4 times more likely to be killed by police than are Whites (and let me note that I have seen figures used elsewhere that claim that African-Americans are up to 7 times more likely to be shot by police than are Whites).
In a typical year about twice as many Whites are killed by police as African-Americans. When we factor out income differences we can try to see how many of these killings are really due to the class status of those killed by police, and how much is racial. Factoring out the class status vs racial identities is made more difficult, because U.S. census statistics do not particularly well distinguish between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Whites and African-Americans.
Here are some pertinent comparisons. Median income for major racial/ethnic groups in the U.S., as of 2015 in 2018 dollars, is as follows: Asian American $87,194, Non-Hispanic Whites $70,642, Hispanics (all races) $51,450, African-Americans $41,361, and I have seen figures that American Jews have a median income about the same as Asian Americans. The figures I could find right now were that in 2000 Jews had a median income of $72,000, at a time when Unitarians were second at $58,000 and Hindus were fifth at $51,000, and overall Americans had a median income of $42,000. Using a standard inflation calculator, to change the 2000 figures to 2016 dollars, those median incomes come out to $100,350 for Jews, $80,840 for Unitarians, and $71,080 for Hindus, and $58,540 for Americans overall. If you factor American Jews out of the overall figure for Non-Hispanic Whites that median income will fall somewhat. The highest median income for any specific ethnic of racial group was that of Indian-Americans at 132,746 in 2016, 3rd highest was South African-Americans at $90,517 (there we would have to wonder how much Elon Musk’s multi-billion dollar income pulled that figure up, minimizing that being why median and opposed to average income figures are used). (See " List of ethnic groups in the United States by household income", Wikipedia, at ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_the_United_States_by_household_income: “Wealth and religion”, Wikipedia, at ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_and_religion: " How income varies among U.S. religious groups", October 11, 2016, David Masci, Pew Research Center, at ~https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/11/how-income-varies-among-u-s-religious-groups/).
Another way of looking at these statistics is to see how many African-Americans vs Whites are in the low income groups, who certainly have more and more troublesome interactions with police. African Americans have 22.42% of their population, or some 6,575,870 that earned less than $15,000 per year in 2014, Non-Hispanic Whites had 11.02%, or some 17,535,480 people earning less than $15,000 per year in 2014. Similar comparisons can be made as we go up the income scale. The population of the poorest Whites is about 2.67 times the population of the poorest African Americans, and about 2 times as many Whites are killed by police as African Americans. This is not a perfect representation but it is closer to reality than comparing the more affluent Non-Hispanic White population in general to the poorer African-American population in general. (See, " Adult population by race in the United States", Kids Count Data Center, at ~https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6539-adult-population-by-race#detailed/1/any/false/37,871,870,573,869,36,868,867,133,38/68,69,67,12,70,66,71,2800/13517,13518: and " Distribution of Household Income by Race" Table, Infoplease, at ~https://www.infoplease.com/business-finance/poverty-and-income/distribution-household-income-race).
Are we to believe that upper income Indian American physicians or computer experts, or similar prosperous people among Asian Americans in general, Whites, Jews, or African Americans are stopped by police, and killed at the same high rates as those for poor people, of whatever racial or ethnic group. We all know that is not true. I would certainly agree that police can, and do, sometimes harass well-dressed prosperous African-Americans using the excuse that they must be drug dealers to own a nice car or expensive clothes; and that they do this more frequently than they do it to Whites, or Asian-Americans. But I still think this is primarily class-based. The fact that socioeconomic class is tightly related to racial and ethnic identity masks that fact.
The real outrage is the rate at which heavily armed American police kill the poor as compared to police killings in other developed countries. The rate of killings of members of the population per 10 million people was 46.6 in the U.S. in 2019, it was 1.8 in Finland in 2018, 3.9 in France in 2018, 2.3 in Holland in 2017, 2.1 in New Zealand in 2018, 1.3 in Germany in 2018, 1.3 in Hong Kong in 2018, 0.8 in Taiwan in 2018, 0.2 in Japan in 2018, and 0.5 in the U.K. in 2018/2019. The U.S. even has a higher police killing rate than many “Third World” countries. In Colombia the rate was 34.1 in 2017, in Mexico it was 30.0 in 2017, in Pakistan it was 25.2 in 2017, in India it was 1.0 in 2016, in Sudan it was 32.1 in 2019, and in Rwanda it was 31.0 in 2017/2018. So, while there are some chaotic places with higher police rates of killing members of the population the U.S. is pretty bad. Avoiding the politically charged countries listed we can note that Jamaica had a police killing rate of 472.7 in 2018, The Philippines had a rate of 322.4 in 2016/2017, Brazil had a rate of 293.2 in 2018, South Africa had a rate of 76.9 in 2017/2018, and Burkina Faso had a rate of 60.4 in 2017/2018. (See, “List of killings by law enforcement officers by country”, Wikipedia, at ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_by_country)
What kind of society do we want, one that resembles Japan and New Zealand, or one that resembles Brazil or South Africa. Wanton police killings are a sign of deeper socioeconomic and political problems festering away.
The protection and promoting of the traditional American values of “freedom and democracy” at home and abroad has become the empty Orwellian buzz phrase for the reality of imposing American hegemony and control of the natural resources of the countries of the Islamic and Third Worlds.
The following is a strongly contrarian view of how to best achieve American national security that rejects the warmongering of the neoliberals and psychopaths in Washington, DC, determined to create unquestioned and unquestionable American global hegemony — an American world empire — a mad policy that can only end in a disastrous nuclear World War III and the end of humanity on Earth.
American national security will be best served by closing our military bases in the Islamic world, withdrawing the troops and bringing them HOME, cutting the War Department budget DEEPLY, renegotiating our relationship with NATO, withdrawing our troops from Europe, ending the mad drive for American global hegemony, redefining America’s defense posture to protecting the Western Hemisphere, staying out of the internal affairs of ALL other countries, and beginning to FINALLY adequately fund and deal with the myriad internal problems America has ignored for decades.