Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Defund the Police? Seriously?

The Black Lives Matter movement seems to be coalescing around one big policy goal---to defund the police.

It is front and center on the BlackLivesMatter.com website.

You can see it as well in Washington, D.C. where Mayor Muriel Bowser used taxpayer funds to paint Black Lives Matter along the length of a two-block street leading to The White House.

Credit: https://mymodernmet.com/black-lives-matter-street-mural-dc/

Members of Black Lives Matter DC criticized the action by the Mayor and made it clear in a tweet that Black Lives Matter wants to defund the police in that city.

“This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community,”  “Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.”

The activists took matters into their own hands to alter the "art".

In a “fixed that for you” moment, activists tweaked the mural on Saturday, June 6, during the protests. Using yellow paint and paint poles, they painted their own message: “Defund the Police.” They also added a line below the D.C. flag. When complete, the full street art read “Black Lives Matter = Defund the Police.”

Credit: DailyMail.com

The Minneapolis City Council has already taken the first step to that goal with a veto-proof majority of that left-wing group (12 Democrats, 1 Green Party) stating that they intend to "dismantle" and "abolish" the city's police department and replace it with an "transformative model of community-led safety."

The President of the Minneapolis City Council, Lisa Bender, was asked by Alisyn Camerota on CNN this week that if the police are dismantled and abolished what was a person supposed to do if someone was breaking into their home in the middle of the night? You might think that making that call would stem from being scared or panicked that your property and life was in danger. No. Making that call shows your privilege on display according to Bender.
“Do you understand that the word ‘dismantle’ or ‘police-free’ also makes some people nervous, for instance. What if in the middle of night my home is broken into. Who do I call?” Camerota pressed.
“Yes, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors,” Bender replied. “And I know — and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege.”

The mayors of New York City and Los Angeles have also indicated that are interested in reducing funding to their police departments in reaction to the demands of Black Lives Matter activists.

Defund, dismantle and abolish the police? Seriously? How much crazier can it get?

Which group of people do you think would be most harmed by defunding and dismantling the police?

Without a doubt it would be the very "Black Lives" that "Black Lives Matters" claims to be concerned about.

St. Louis has the highest rate---65.8 per 100,000

Baltimore has the second highest rate---55.5 per 100,000

What do these two cities have in common?

We have seen high profile scrutiny of the police in and around both of these cities in recent years. As a result, both cities have seen police patrols relaxed in the city and police have backed off in many neighborhoods. Police officers, knowing that their every move and step is going to be put under a microscope, are increasingly looking the other way.

It is important to remember that the vast majority of crime is committed against people of the same race. Crime is a function of proximity and opportunity. I detailed a great deal of crime data in a post in 2013 right after the tragic George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin events and the trial that captured so much media attention. These charts are from that post but I doubt much has changed.

The fact is that Blacks are arrested at twice the rate that Whites are. Critics argue that this is due to unequal enforcement of the law. That could be a factor but does it account for the entire difference?

Who are the victims of crimes? Blacks are almost twice as likely to be a victim of a crime as Whites.

It is even worse when it comes to murder victims. Your chances of being murdered are five times greater if you are Black than if you are White.

These are not murder victims at the hands of the police. These are largely murders at the hands of another African American.

In 2018, 89% (2,600 out of 2,925) of Black murder victims were killed by someone of the same race according to the most recent FBI crime statistics.

Murders by Race--Victims and Offenders

Among Whites, 81% of murder victims were from offenders of the same race.

The facts speak for themselves on who the biggest victims will be if we defund the police.

Notice as well that the focus is on "defunding" the police. This suggests taking the money and spending it elsewhere. The suggestion is that it should be more "community-based". It escapes me how a police department that is funded primarily by local taxes and is managed by locally elected officials is not community-based but that is another matter.

The objective of all this seems to be to take that public safety money and spread it around to activist groups in some way. You can be sure that those groups will not be as concerned with public safety as they will be with their special interests. The argument will be made that if more money was spent on the root causes of poverty and mental health much of what the police are involved with would be unnecessary. What does a city look like if an organization like ACORN or Black Lives Matter (or Antifa for that matter) is part of that "transformative model of community-led safety"?

Of course, we know what the result is when a police presence is absent in a society. We see it all the time in third world and worn torn countries when formal public safety protocols break down. People in all societies crave security and safety and when a vacuum forms because of the absence of law enforcement it is filled by other forms of security---the mafia, cartels, gangs, armed militias and the like.

Of course, these forms of safety and security are far less accountable and even-handed than the police. You end up with a protection racket where your security and protection becomes akin to a commercial transaction if I may put it so kindly.

I remember being taken to a Detroit Red Wings game by my father in the 1960's which were then played at a venue called Olympia Stadium which was not in the best part of town. We paid to park in a parking lot a couple blocks away and were approached by a rough looking guy as we got out of the car. He said to my father that we were in a bad neighborhood and suggested that it might be a good idea for him to keep an eye out on our car while we were at the game. Five dollars later my father had "protection" for our car. I also had learned a lesson on the reality of the world as it has existed for ages.

 John Daniel Davison has an excellent article in The Federalist on this subject entitled "Abolish the Police Is A Slogan For The Destruction of America". He claims that abolishing the police leads to situations just like what my father and I experienced in inner city Detroit over 50 years ago. When the police stand down, look the other way, or are abolished, it becomes a power game on the ground. 

What we learn from those places is that people who know they don’t have police protection will seek protection from whomever wields power, which is why even now you see businessowners whose stores have been looted and burned out expressing support for BLM and the ongoing protests. Often they are simply trying to establish their bona fides and insure against future property destruction by the rioting mob. They are afraid, but they also know who wields force in their community, and they are responding rationally. The BLM posters in their shop windows might as well say, “please don’t ransack my business, I’ll say and  do whatever you want.” This is what happens when the police stand down. It isn’t new, it’s old.

What was the toll on the community when security and safety broke down in Minneapolis and St. Paul  recently? I suggest you read this Star Tribune story that details the damage. 570 buildings vandalized or looted. At least 67 others destroyed completely by fire. These were businesses that also, by and large, served the Black community.

Are there things than can and should be done regarding police reform? Absolutely, however calls to defund and abolish the police is not reform according to Davison.
...calls to abolish the police are not about police reform. They are not about fighting for dignity and equal treatment for black Americans. They are not about ending the violence and disorder now gripping our cities. They are not about preserving or restoring an open and liberal society.

They are about power. And once the police are out of the way, those who called for abolishing them intend to wield it.

We already see forms of this occurring already. Businesses are being asked to make "contributions" to the Black Lives Matters or other social justice organizations or risk being branded as racists.  

Some people are being attacked on social media for simply not saying anything. It is now considered insensitive and racist if you are silent.

It used to be said that silence was golden. 

No more.

A popular slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement now is that silence is violence. However, to see how quickly things have changed take a look at the t-shirt this guy is wearing compared to the sign he is carrying.

Credit: Reddit.com

Of course, if you speak up and try to be measured and thoughtful in what you say, but do not speak in exactly the way you are supposed to speak, you take enormous risks.

Ask Grant Napear, the play-by-play announcer for the Sacramento Kings for 32 years, He was asked what he thought about Black Lives Matter. He responded that "All lives matter. Every single one." Wrong answer. Napear was fired the next day.

Ask Drew Brees who was asked whether NFL players should kneel during the national anthem when the NFL begins play this fall. Brees states that "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." Wrong answer.  It didn't even matter that Brees cited his two grandfathers who fought under that flag in World War II.

I won't even try to explain what Mitt Romney was doing in a Black Lives Matter march this past weekend.

I will give Romney the benefit of doubt that he wanted to pay respects to the memory of George Floyd and to show his commitment to improving race relations in this country by marching.

However, did he really need to take a selfie and post it with a reference to Black Lives Matter?

Is Mitt Romney in favor of defunding the police which is at the top of the Black Lives Matter agenda?

Does he have any idea who or what Black Lives Matter really believes?

How about the fact that Black Lives Matter wants to "disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

That is a direct quote from the Black Lives Matter section on "What We Believe".

I found it interesting that in that entire section there are references to "comrades", "allies", "Black trans folk", "Black trans women", "transgender brothers and sisters", "cisgender", "mothers" and "parents".

There is not one mention anywhere of a FATHER.

In that over 70% of black children are born to unwed mothers don't you think that having fathers around the family might be of some importance considering the horrendous murder statistics involving young, black males (both as offenders and victims) year after year? 

Does Black Lives Matter really believe that things are going to improve in our society by defunding the police and "disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family"?

Black Lives Matter=Defund Police.

If that is the case then this is sure to follow.

No Fathers + Defund Police=Total Anarchy + Chaos.

It is hard to believe that defunding, abolishing and dismantling the police could be taken to be a serious policy position by anyone. The fact that we have elected officials embracing this idea should put a chill up anyone's spine.

I don't say that because the elected officials are doing it. I am saying it because of why they are doing it. Politicians don't take positions or do things that they believe are counter to the wishes of their constituents. When you do that you do not win elections. If you don't win elections, you have no power.

The fact that we see this being done tells you everything you need to know. 

People ultimately get the government they want. It has also been said that people get the government they deserve. In our system, the people are sovereign. No politician is going to do something counter to the will of the people for very long.

Defund the police? Seriously? Is this what the people of Minneapolis, New York City and Los Angeles really want? 

If so, I guess you can say they will get what they deserve.

If you don't think you deserve this, I suggest you consider your vote very carefully this year.

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