There are more flavors of “defund police” than ice cream at Baskin Robbins, each of which claims ownership of possibly the worst slogan ever. A group called Project NIA put together a video to pitch their version of “defund police.”
It’s a curious effort, indulging in stereotypes, ahistorical claims and grossly simplistic “truths,” which are only “truths” because they want them to be. On the other hand, it makes some valid points about many of the intransigent problems in policing and society.
What’s right? What’s wrong? Is it persuasive or not? Putting aside the misbegotten slogan, what of the seeds of ideas that form the basis for changing the relative dedication to policing, not to mention its cost both in terms of money and social damage?
Maybe you think we would be better off without police at all, or maybe you’re of the view that if less money was spent on policing, we would have more money to spend on more socially beneficial services like education and healthcare. Would it matter? Could it be done? Or is this a naive, pie-in-the-sky notion that ignores the reality that people do bad things and, love them or hate them, cops are a necessary part of the landscape.
After all, black people, more than woke white people, want to maintain at least the level of police presence in their communities as currently exists. What do they know that the unduly passionate do not?
And finally, has the “defund the police” cohort poisoned the well for serious reform by its varied, excessive and simplistic demands? At a time when many in America are more open to reform than they’ve been in many years, if not ever, has this blown the chance to get real things done?