Progressives: Defund Security For Thee, But Not For Me

For many months now, some members of the House of Representatives dislike-America Squid-Kids (sorry, the term “Squad” is reserved for those dedicated to protecting America) have been calling for the “defunding” of our nation’s police departments (they don’t much like our stellar Border Patrol or ICE agents either).  For the Squidites, we need to “re-imagine” law enforcement, meaning reduce or even eliminate police officers in favor of, by one tactic, sending unarmed social workers, psychologists, pastors, etc. to handle things like domestic disputes in an apparently more civil, non-white-supremacy way.

Most recently, it seems, Representative Cori Bush (D-Missouri) has been the most out-spoken on the defunding issue.  Said she, reportedly: “It’s not a slogan.  It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive.  Defund the police.”  Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts) is reported to have said: “I support a radical re-imagining of community safety and public safety, which means reallocating and not further investing in a carceral state.” That word referenced also by Representative Ocasio-Cortez, progressives seem to enjoy using rare or mysterious words when speaking, elevated well above our woeful heads, to members of their select elitist cloud-chamber.  “Carceral,” you see, derives from the ancient Latin word “carceralis,” meaning ‘prison’ and refers today to incarceration and “predictive policing,” said to be a system aimed by white superiorists at minority communities.  So, in non-elitist speak, Ms. Pressley apparently refers to the reallocation of funds to community safety efforts apart from traditional carceral state entities (jails, prisons, police).

Meanwhile, back to Planet Earth language, Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) is on record as saying that our current policing system is “cruel and inhumane” and “can’t be reformed,” leaving as the only alternative to “defund the system that’s terrorizing our communities.” Spoken like a true anti-carceralist.  And along with these activist elected Representatives, it’s been noted in the news that about 20 of America’s mayors, too, have gone on record calling for the defunding of their police departments.

But what about all of the protests, rioting, looting, and burning within some of those same cities during the summer of 2020?  Cities within some of which whose Democrat mayors gave the impression of simply sitting back and letting the mayhem occur, almost as if, passively, approving of it.  How could they even think of letting violent rampages destroy parts of their cities, not to mention the loss of small business facilities, even those often minority-owned?  Well, while most rational Americans viewed this destruction as criminal, some of the elites apparently have a totally different view of crime.

In his eye-opening article titled, “Why Democrats Don’t Care About Crime,” writer Paul Krause explains the irrational thinking that motivates at least some Progressives and seems to justify, to them, criminals’ illegal actions.  So, what about all of those destructive center-city fires? Well, “American cities must burn,” concluded Krause, “because they are a residual reminder of white institutional evil and majoritarian oppression.”  Please note, Krause doesn’t support that theory, he’s just explaining it. “Progressives say, very clearly, that law and order is ‘white privilege.’ By undoing the rule of law, defunding the police, and ignoring crime, anti-American progressives are undoing – in their mind – three centuries of institutional and cultural oppression and tyranny.”  Which led the writer to this very unsettling elitist reality:  “The criminal, you see, isn’t a criminal.  The criminal is just a person exploited by the institutions and values of white superiority.  To press charges against the criminal would be to reinforce white supremacy and racism.”  Which explains, from the irrational elitist viewpoint, why last summer, and continuing in some cities even today, “criminals” were too often booked (or not even that step) and back on the street very rapidly, often with no bail, because, you see, all crime is historically the fault of whites and white oppression.  So, then, to reach the desired outer-space conclusion, we must get rid of white, rule-of-law conservatives and then, apparently, crime as we know it would disappear, say those hanging on to the International Space Station from the outside.  This appears to be a part of the elite’s blueprint for America’s future, as something quite different from the free America we and the world knows and respects.

OK, now that we’ve provided the solution to the crime problem, beginning by defunding the police, and blaming all whites for everything, here comes the incredible hypocrisy among leftist politicians, prominent activists, some big-city Democrat mayors, liberal entertainers, and perhaps at some point, even white-supremacy-is-the-source-of-all-evil academics.  You see, many of those riding the “Defund the Police” Express now spend tens of thousands of dollars (or much more) in campaign, government (i.e., tax-payer), or heaven forbid, personal funds for continued private security services!!  Defund protection for all of we little people, but heavens no, not for those of the extra-special, cloud-riding, anointed elite.

For example, Representative Cori Bush is reported to have spent “$69,120 in campaign funds on personal security services from April 15 to June 28, 2021.”  One would assume that figure will continue to grow as she seems to continue to stand out front on the “defund” cry, while many others have gone silent on the issue, for obvious reasons to come.  Now, for some big city mayors, who either sat back or preached rationales while their cities experienced mayhem, the tax-payer funded private security dollars became huge.  San Francisco’s mayor, for instance, for all of 2020, her total private protection funding reportedly hit $2.6-million.  While in Chicago, for the security of ‘unnamed city officials,’ metropolitan taxes paid out there in 2020 totaled $3.4-million.  In Chicago, especially, no doubt, those expenses have continued.  For elected folks, and the entertainer-types, gated residences, technology-assistance, in-person home, and personal security are all a part of their safety plan daily existence.

And there’s a second important aspect to the “defund” hypocrisy.  While prominent advocates, elected or otherwise, call to reduce or disband police departments, protected personally by paid security, by reducing police protection, which communities are then left most vulnerable by the resulting reduction in protection?  Minority neighborhoods, where much of the big-city crime is typically committed.  Often it is liberal non-whites crusading for reducing police forces, resulting in non-white communities forced into increased crime vulnerability.  Up there on the self-centered media soapbox, perhaps they didn’t think that drive through for the real people down below them left to face even more criminal activity.

Post-Summer of 2020 big-city destructive mayhem, and the calls from several to defund law enforcement and “re-imagine” policing, perhaps to be expected, at least among rational citizens, crime rates, including violent crime, have shot up (excuse the expression) in several key metropolitan areas. In Chicago, last Saturday night (August 7, 2021), reportedly 45 people were shot, in just one night(!), with a total of 86 shot and 13 of them killed over the entire weekend.  The dead regrettably included Chicago Police Officer Ella French.  Killed by a motorist gun shot during a traffic stop, having just returned from maternity leave, with a two-month-old left at home.  She was the first department officer killed there in over two decades.  Overall, within 32 major U.S. cities (ranging in size from Norfolk, VA to Los Angeles), murders in the first quarter of 2021 are up 24% over the similar period in 2020 (Council of Criminal Justice study).  Among other forms of violent crime, vehicle thefts increased 21% (carjacking does seem to be increasingly in the news).

Well, citizens living within at least some of these increasingly violent crime-ridden streets have had enough, calling, now, for less “re-imagining,” and more actual police presence and protection.  Portland, Oregon, a familiar “defund” location, did cut $15-million from its police budget last summer and did away with its 38-person Gun Violence Reduction Team, in hindsight, a ridiculous, totally politically-driven move.  Now, with the homicide rate “soaring” there (53 killed already in 2021 vs. the 70 full-year homicide record back in 1987), the city now wants to re-establish the gun violence unit, calling it now the “Focused Intervention Team.”  Nice political camouflage, but there’s only one problem, and a major one.  They aren’t attracting officer applicants.

Other than this Democratic-run city having purposely chased police officers away last year, the new “Team” comes with political strings attached (imagine that).  Yep, there’s now a ‘citizen advisory board’ to oversee the team’s actions, while courageous officers are out there on the very ‘mean-streets’ dealing with gun-toting, likely non-class-valedictorian civilians.  Oh, and those signing on, if they can attract enough, will find among the listed qualifications their willingness and ability “to fight systemic racism,” a Democrat Progressive concept that exists in leftist minds, but not in the reality of our American society.  Remarked the head of Portland’s police union: “They’re demonizing and vilifying you, and then they want to put you in a unit where you’re under an even bigger microscope.” And, paraphrasing the assessment of a Portland assistance chief: “…applications to join the unit have dwindled partly because of prior criticism and how the unit interacts with the committee (i.e., citizen-advisory board).”  We wish Portland well with its uphill climb, both to recruit replacement police officers (with tripwires in place for those in the replacement special gun violence team), and to reduce its alarming violent crime rate.

Violence is up in Seattle, as well, with a metropolitan police force that’s lost 250 officers (including its police chief!) over the past year and a half. Anti-police sentiment, at least in some quarters, has turned and recruiting efforts are underway.  Said the new Seattle Chief: “I need more officers,” and with city support, we’re “making it clear to officers, current and prospective, that they will have our support, financially and otherwise, to do this job well and know they will not be laid off due to budget cuts.”  Best wishes to Seattle’s recruitment efforts, as well.

Meanwhile, In Minneapolis, a state court judge has ordered the city to hire 730 additional police officers by next summer.  Why a court order? Because this Democrat-dominated city government wants to “replace the city’s police department with a community-focused safety initiative.”  If the city can overcome the court ruling, its “community-focused” initiative will be on the fall ballot to be voted on by Minneapolis residents.  It will be interesting to see the result, and if approved, the crime reduction statistics resulting from their “re-imagined” policing alternative.

In Philadelphia, by court order, a three-month pilot law enforcement program is now in progress.  With their hands now somewhat administratively-tied, officers there must now, “first, engage only in a mere encounter with the individual and request the individual to stop engaging in the prohibited behavior.  Offenders will be free to leave and will not be detained.  If the individual refuses to comply with the ceased and desist command, then officers can proceed normally.”  OK, swell, now listen to a sample of the offenses that are subject to the passive “engagement” between officer and individual: “spitting, public urination or defecation, defiant trespassing, and prostitution.”   A three-month pilot program.  If this hyper-liberal program continues past the trial period, one would think it might erode, at the very least, an officer’s self-respect (and perhaps his/her oath).  Not to mention that, once known among potential offenders, it might actually encourage those offenses.  Just stop it, and no citation or penalty!

The “defund” movement has lost its fire and support, as increased violent crime has focused citizen attention on the need for police protection, and even more of it.  In a late-July 2021 Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll, 75% of respondents supported the need for more police on America’s streets.  Only 25% felt that no additional officers were needed.  Important to note that those 25-percenters weren’t calling for fewer police officers, just that they felt we had enough now.  Additionally, 52% support “stop-and-frisk” which has been done away with in most cities.  And 56% of those polled support having cash bail, again, done away with in certain major ultra-liberal cities, putting criminals quickly back on the streets.

Refreshing to see sanity return to the vast majority of Americans, on the subject of police presence and protection, if in fact, for most, it had every left.  Thankfully, it now appears that the collective force behind the once-prominent ‘megaphone’ of Representative Bush and her “defund the police” ilk, has been significantly diminished.  Time now, instead, to Re-Fund, not defund, America’s police departments!

ADDENDUM:  Talk about timing.  Just this afternoon (8/12/21), this news article showed up: “Armed Private Security Now Patrolling Portland’s Downtown After City Slashed Police Funding”!  On top of the increased violent crime in Portland that we discussed earlier, “the city is also reeling from an extended spate of demonstrations, a 100-day streak of protests that caused an estimated $23-millionj in damages.”  With the sizeable number of police officer resignations and retirements, to help counter the protection void, it seems that Portland downtown business owners, in the city’s ‘central entertainment district,’ have now hired private security from “a private military contractor – the kind of firm that operates in war zones.” One of those contract guards hired, a 6-foot former Navy SEAL, calmly stated: “My job is to get you home safe…unless you’re the perpetrator.”  So, it seems that the law enforcement issue in Portland continues to the point where, now, in at least one section of town, it is private security that’s on duty to help protect the public!
(Bush, Pressley, Bowman quotes via, Spencer Brown, 7-24-21; “Democrats Don’t Care About Crime” quotes via, Paul Krause, 7-28-21; Personal security expense stats via, Adam Manno, 7-27-21; Chicago violence stats via, Greg Norman, 8-9-21; Murder rate increasing stats via, Audrey Conklin, 7-30-21; Murder rate in major U.S. cities stat/Portland police union comment via The Wall Street Journal, Zusha Elinson, 8-3-21; Police assistant chief thoughts via, Hank Berrien, 8-2-21; Seattle police recruitment effort via, Andrew Mark Miller, 7-28-21; Minneapolis experiment via, Danielle Wallace, 7-27-21; Philadelphia pilot program via, Brianna Lyman, 7-30-21;  Pro-police poll data via, John Nolte, 8-5-21; Portland businesses hire private security via, Emily Zanotti, 8-12-21).