Defund the Police

I don’t think defund the police is a bad slogan at all. In fact, I think it’s necessary, as I’ve explained several times in comment sections of TYT videos. But, I’m curious to know what you think, as TYT members

  1. It’s not bad because it’s necessary. I think we’re beyond reform. We have asked for reform for years and gotten extremely slow change. When we do see change, there’s no accountability. For example, policing choosing when to turn cams off; ignoring promises to end no-knock raids; using banned chokes and having only minor consequences. Police are fired for brutality or murder and can be quietly hired in another city.
  2. It’s not bad because every slogan is bad. We saw an example with AOC today to illustrate the point. AOC doesn’t engage in much defund talk, really. But they apply the idea to her, but that’s not all. In the ad they talk about “the soft-on-crime approach of the left.” That to me says everything. Any slogan we come up with that criticizes the police will be used in the same way as “defund” is now to signal to conservatives, centrists, and apolitical people that means “soft on crime” or “against the police.” Tell me I’m wrong.
  3. It’s not wrong because as progressives we need to make our case as to what is right. We don’t let polls dictate our agenda. Much of what we support on the left gets characterized as communist and is bastardized/caricatured by lies from the right. These end up polling poorly because they’re not well understood and don’t have the mainstream platform of the establishment. Many of these issues remained misunderstood until we had the popularity of Bernie Sanders to let America know what’s up. We were able to make the case, and those ideas begin to poll better when the truth got out. That hasn’t happened for Defund the Police and I think it needs to. Except no one with much of a platform has been allowed to fully make a case Police are part of the establishment - TYT talks about this all the time: they won’t air (or will try not to) things fundamentally opposed to their agenda, and police protect safety and property of the wealthy.

OK, so what is Defund the Police?
I think it’s too new of an idea to have a fully formed definition, and I want to contribute my thoughts to it, and invite others to consider what I’ve surmised from my readings of various ideas put out there, and figure out what could be possible so a definition can emerge.

To me, chants of defund or abolish have always meant a gradual decrease in both funds and responsibilities from the police departments. So, we eliminate SROs and all funding associated. We remove non-violent conflict and mental health emergencies from police responsibility. Remove certain traffic incidents, stops, and control and remove funding related. As years pass, we continue removing until there is nothing left, except the better agencies with experts in those fields taking care of every police responsibility. When it comes down to exact details, I don’t have those, but would love to be part of the discussion when it comes time.
For those asking why I want criminals roaming the streets without deterrent; I don’t. I fully expect right-wing terrorists to go on a killing spree if law enforcement ceases to exist; along with school shooters and other terrorist activity. This is why I feel that we need law enforcement for this, and a few other, very specific expected crimes (especially in the decades to follow the change - investment in community will not take effect over night. I expect it to be a long term solution to a lot of crime, which is why I’m so upset about the SF DA case). So, what I want is a fully rebuilt law enforcement agency that is not called the police but essentially takes their place. It is formed by thoughtful, responsible experts in crime, justice, and safety who are from a variety of lived experiences, backgrounds, etc. I feel the same about jails/prisons; these can also be abolished and rebuilt with ideas of how/why they should be used. I’ve given less thought to this, but think about it in a similar way. Defund to abolish, then rebuild.

Finally, I’m really tired of hearing Cenk and TYT fans talk about “the geniuses” who came up with the “defund the police” slogan, as if a small group of people came up with it in a meeting room and decided it would be the rallying cry. Like most slogans, I think, it rose up through various protest/activist movements as it connected with the people involved. So, every time I hear people criticizing the inventor of the slogan, or the person who is responsible, I take it personally. The first time I saw “defund the police” it was at a George Floyd protest - one of at least 6 I attended. It resonated with me, as I described above. I believe in it, and believe it’s the appropriate ask, despite the hate to the “slogan,” as if it was intended to be the rallying slogan around police reform.

I hope some of you will see this with an open mind and discourage the vitriol around it, and maybe even come around to the idea I propose with some of your own ideas. I am by no means attempting to be an authority on this, and am always happy to be convinced I’m wrong. So far, I’m just not by Cenk or other commenters on TYT’s videos on this subject.

Take Care,

I think that most people see that our justice system is not working and needs change. They have been giving more and more money to the police my entire life and the complaints are still the same. We should probably stop doing the same thing and expecting different results.

It would create a void if we just shut down the police and start a new group on the same day. So building a new group while the police are still working that would naturally make the police obsolete or taking steps to reform the police over time are better methods in my opinion. I would agree with people calling for steps in the correct direction, even if we don’t agree on the final destination.

As for slogans, I think of the big money groups that have names that make them sound great. So I don’t put much stock in what people call themselves instead I look to see what they are doing.

But if you are in the business of getting people to the movement you have to think about slogans and how most people are going to react to it. Defund the police gets press and people used to say there’s no such thing as bad press. Cenk and Anna’s rants against defund the police get hits. What I’m saying is I have no idea how to win the hearts and minds of the people.

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