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Media Acknowledge Drive to Defund Police—But Seek to Blunt Its Radical Edge

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/12/media-acknowledge-drive-defund-police-seek-blunt-its-radical-edge

Media (concentrated power) cannot be trusted to help reform problems with law enforcement (concentrated power). Sorry folks, this ain’t going to be easy.

According to an ABC Ipsos poll, the notion of “defunding the police” only garners 34% support. Even when softened to reallocating funding, support only rises to 39%.

Democrats and any media figures who want to see Trump lose are right to run from this recklessly worded slogan. To embrace it would be, in the words of Charlie Cook, “the most boneheaded political move” of the year.

I shudder to think how low the support would drop if activists had elevated the phrase “abolish” instead.

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The term “violent crime”, and what causes it is, again, the result of an impoverished society.
As people begin to unite across differences be VERY PREPARED for the activities of provocateurs. Violent crime is the medusa where transnational drug cartels, war on drugs and its entire swamp, the weapons industry and NRA and the fetishization of private arms stashes instead of human beings organizing together - and demonization of that horror ‘socialism’ - increasingly can be defined as anything that breaks away from the cycles of predatory capitalism strategies of colonize, divide and conquer and extract.

In terms of the ‘defund police’ movement, it might be worth always providing the definition of ‘radical’ as meaning ROOT. This is, in my opinion, particularly important right now because the entire financial system under the FED is rootless and flapping in the breeze.

I’m mostly inclined to agree with the caveat that polls can change as they have when people are polled about their support for Black Lives Matter. I’ve been an advocate here as have a few others for not using the term defund which is too easily understood to mean get rid of. Or at least give a percentage like defund 25% (or more, but not 75%).

This is far from the only topic that my side goes against the polls on. Sometimes I appreciate it (certainly in any kind of anti-war effort, I would never support giving up because we don’t have support of the polls yet), and sometimes I consider it unwise. I’m reserving final judgement on this one for now as things have already moved in ways I wouldn’t have guessed.

I would argue their poll is skewed. The two links below show higher numbers in distrust in the police, white and African Americans. Both links are from 2014, so they don’t use the wording “defund the police”, that’s a relatively new term, but the police killings have increased dramatically since then, there’s no reason not to believe the % of distrust of police hasn’t increased also IMO.

(h)ttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brick-brick/201409/what-happens-when-we-dont-trust-law-enforcement-0

(h)ptts://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/25/usa-pew-poll-police-tactics-military-equipment/14561633/

Biden’s calling for MORE police funding, so no need for hand-wringing about Trump. Democrats can always find a way to campaign to the right of Trump on yet another issue… Victory is Assured!

[h]ttps://theintercept.com/2020/06/11/defund-the-police-joe-biden-cops/

[h]ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4zi5yJUMsY

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Regarding the “abolition of police and prisons” - which I presume means abolition of law enforcement personnel and penal systems, I will be all for it as soon as I see it successfully implemented in another country.

But as far as I know, even the most progressive, and even anarchist, forms of governance - from Cuba to Norway, to the libertarian socialist Rojava Kurds at the most extreme end - have law enforcement personnel and some kind of penal system (albeit much nicer and effective ones than the brutal ones in the USA).

So i remain highly skeptical. And if I, an anarcho-syndicalist, am skeptical, i’m afraid to think of what a typical USAn thinks of this idea. The whole things seem to be product of a cloistered self-preaching insular exceptionalism among American left-activist and academics. Have they asked fellow leftists in other more open-minded progressive countries about the idea?

Kettling the conversation

I deeply district the police - particularly at the municipal level, they are nothing but a fascist clique and wish people would start calling them “pigs” again. But do I want to abolish the use of law enforcement personnel - which is what Ms. Hollar seem to be proposing? Nope.

Where the US is now is partially a result of Media perversion. The media is part of the problem, not of the solution!

For any kind of real change I think the current system must be burned to the ground, then rebuilt without any of the current personnel. Todays dept.'s are rotten to the core, they won’t hire you if you score above a certain level, and if you do get hired, and won’t embrace their “warrior” culture, they push you out. It’s not a few bad apples any more, the whole dam basket is rotten. Can we live without any type of law enforcement? Probably not, at least not in most major cities, but any new departments that rise out of the ashes must be under the peoples thumb, with oversight boards with the power to fire cops for good when they get out of line, and all suits won for improper conduct comes out of their budget, or the offending cops pension. No more military toys, no more SWAT teams, no more drug task forces, and no more military uniforms.

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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, even if it is in the opposite direction

Be prepared for the politicians opposed to the idea to make speeches assuming that the worst possible definition is the one everyone means.

If you want more people to agree with you, either add a definition of what you mean by this word, or rewrite what you want done to avoid mentioning that word.

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It has been done - check out “China’s largest open air prison”. You’ll get articles and youtube vidoes galore. It’s how the Chinese government has used facial recognition techology, cameras on every single streetcorner, drones carrying cameras, ‘contract tracing’ apps, AI algorithms to effectively lock up Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities without need for prisons or police.

How? Using technology for monitoring and surveillance of your every move, your every conversation, every little corner of your life. Right to privacy? Gone - but all in the effort to keep everyone safe.

And in my considered opinion, the only thing left is developing the AI robot ‘responder’ to whatever calls may be made to the ones who are behind the computer, monitoring your every action. AI robots can’t be called racists - they are only robots after all.

Do be careful and PRECISE about what you ask for. Reallocting budgets away from humans and arms to more technology is not going to result in anything good.

And if you think what happens in China can’t happen in the US, well then, you have learned nothing from history and are well beyond the ability to think critically and rationally anyway.

We need policing in rural areas too. What about motor vehicle laws? Don’t you think that highways and roads will become extremely dangerous? When I was young it was only fear of police that prevented me from driving recklessly and killing poeple.

And when confronting fascist terrorists like that New Zealand Mosque or Pittsburgh synagogue killers don’t you thing we are going to need SWAT units?

This whole thing is starting to sound like the Chinese Cultural revolution…

Who said that I was for the distopia you describe? I was just saying that there are no examples - even in small scale of tribal societies, where everyone did the right thing all the time and there was no need for laws.

It is unfortunate that the word “defund” has been settled on to represent the call for “pronounced reappropriation” of existing funds to support roles and services away from bloated police budgets.

Anyone who thinks the police are meeting the needs of the public for public safety is simply clueless.

This isn’t just a racial issue, it’s also an issue for special needs persons of all races and income levels.

Modern policing is police safety centered and promotes a climate of fear for personal safety among the officers. The ridiculous notion that we can violence our way out of social problems is absurd.

If we fail to go bold on this issue, fascism will become the de facto social system within a very short time period of not immediately.

Think long and hard on this people. Choosing wrong here will end anything resembling a democratic republic for generations in the former United States of America.

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Absolutely no SWAT units, SWAT team mentality is a major factor of how we got here in the first place, keep them and you fix nothing. Look at their history, they accomplish nothing of value to the public that regular police couldn’t provide. An example, I know a young cop on the local sheriff’s SWAT team, who had been sent to the Marine Corp’s Sniper School, and knowing my military background, bragged to me that he had been set up to take a shot at a fleeing suspect on a rural road near my house. The suspects crime…failing to yield to blue lights. When I asked him who the hell appointed him judge, jury, and executioner, his ego deflated real quick. I advised him to read the constitution before I turned and walked away.
As far as rural police, society’s going to have to answer that as it comes up, but it can’t be a return to what we have now, the true story above, proves that IMO.

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