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Defunding the police

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  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post
    Checking out the info on the BLM Canada website pointed me at a Defund The Police site. There's quite a bit in there. Can't say if it's got the nuance Doc is looking for, but it sure looks like a good start.

    Elsewhere I've found that the recent protests can be seen as the latest outburst of a struggle that is at least a 100 years old. For instance, check out this paragraph:
    "Bad policing practices, a flawed justice system, unscrupulous consumer credit practices, poor or inadequate housing, high unemployment, voter suppression, and other culturally embedded forms of racial discrimination all converged to propel violent upheaval on the streets of African-American neighborhoods in American cities, north and south, east and west. And as black unrest arose, inadequately trained police officers ... entered affected neighborhoods, often worsening the violence."

    CUT

    I'm getting a strong sense that policy solutions for problems such as systemic racism were identified long ago. My hunch is that those many reports and recommendations (and note that Canada has a history of them, too) do not lack for nuance.

    As for inconsistent messaging, I think that is inevitable given the conditions. If it somehow didn't happen, some crazy position would be invented and that would be the yardstick to measure all others by, or it would be put forth that only a robotic horde of communists or brainwashed cultists, or fanatics, could maintain such consistency. Or something. Nothing will ever be good enough.

    Finally, when it comes to the Constitutional Gambit, I can't help but think of Rule #3 from Masha Gessen's Rules for Surviving Autocracy: Institutions Will Not Save You.
    I’ve wanted to respond for a few days and didn’t get the time and mental space to be coherent. Haha.

    I think the idea that we’ve had effective
    policy solutions for awhile is spot-on. Courage and will have been lacking, and even LBJ’s efforts were driven by political pragmatism more than by courage and conviction.

    And the idea that nothing will ever be enough resonates with me so strongly. Much like some groups will never be “American” enough or “deserving” enough. The reflection of the constantly shifting benchmarks and raised bar for some groups is striking.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    This article on the militarization of police departments seems appropriate for our conversation here.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/09/13/mil...ought-us-here/

    Leave a comment:


  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    True, Heresiologist - "Institutions Will Not Save You". But the point is, cut the (assumed) legitimacy from under their feet. At this point, the Powers That Be have the (assumed) legitimacy of their current (unexamined) status. Institutions and those running them always have that legitimacy because of their status.

    If you question their status, casting their legitimacy into doubt, you're a good part of the way there; if you prove their illegitimacy because of their (proven) bad faith interpretation of what in intended to establish their legitimacy, you start sawing away at their status and begin the first steps towards changing the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heresiologist
    replied
    Checking out the info on the BLM Canada website pointed me at a Defund The Police site. There's quite a bit in there. Can't say if it's got the nuance Doc is looking for, but it sure looks like a good start.

    Elsewhere I've found that the recent protests can be seen as the latest outburst of a struggle that is at least a 100 years old. For instance, check out this paragraph:
    "Bad policing practices, a flawed justice system, unscrupulous consumer credit practices, poor or inadequate housing, high unemployment, voter suppression, and other culturally embedded forms of racial discrimination all converged to propel violent upheaval on the streets of African-American neighborhoods in American cities, north and south, east and west. And as black unrest arose, inadequately trained police officers ... entered affected neighborhoods, often worsening the violence."

    Sounds pretty topical, no? It's a summary from a recent article on the findings of the Kerner Commission of 1968. The ellipsis marks where I removed the phrase "and National Guard troops" in a, no doubt, misguided effort to make it less obvious it's about something from just over 50 years ago. Anyway, here's the article it came from: The 1968 Kerner Commission Got It Right, But Nobody Listened.

    After that I read this wider ranging article on the history of protests and the riots that seem to inevitably accompany them: The History of the Riot Report.

    I'm getting a strong sense that policy solutions for problems such as systemic racism were identified long ago. My hunch is that those many reports and recommendations (and note that Canada has a history of them, too) do not lack for nuance.

    As for inconsistent messaging, I think that is inevitable given the conditions. If it somehow didn't happen, some crazy position would be invented and that would be the yardstick to measure all others by, or it would be put forth that only a robotic horde of communists or brainwashed cultists, or fanatics, could maintain such consistency. Or something. Nothing will ever be good enough.

    Finally, when it comes to the Constitutional Gambit, I can't help but think of Rule #3 from Masha Gessen's Rules for Surviving Autocracy: Institutions Will Not Save You.
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 09-09-2020, 08:51 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post
    What I find appalling is that the basic theory of government as argued by the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution is that the power of life and death is to be strictly rationed, limited, etc. The Head of State and the Executive branch is to be constrained by constitutionality. And it is to be open to be contested. Or in other words, the power of life and death is not to be casually used.

    Fast forward to 21C and what do we see but the Executive branch using it casually, and in a highly biased manner.

    If I have any right to make any suggestions, it would be to the BLM folk to raise that issue in the courts of law and the court of public opinion. Once that has been aired, then I suspect the issue of "de-funding the police" would settle into place.
    if I knew I could get some of the veteran members out, I would have started this thread awhile ago. 🙂

    This is one solution to inconsistent messaging. The constitutional one. Of course, we know that even the constitution has become optional under Bill Barr. Having said that, it might be really revealing to have Barr’s Justice Department handle a case that confronts the unlimited power of the executive branch.

    Seriously, great to see that avatar.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by Heresiologist View Post

    Seeing as BLM is, more or less, the leading force in the protests and considering that one of the core demands is to listen and give space to people from the black community, why not just see if BLM, or any related groups, have made statements on what "Defund the Police" means?

    For instance, the BLM website offers: What defunding the police really means.

    Of course, that's pretty short and maybe left you with more questions. Well, I rather quickly found this Q&A with a Canadian BLM leader. It's got to be just as easy to find something from your home state or, at least, country.

    I also took a look at a few news/media sites and found that "Defund the police" explainers are quite popular. Searching on "Defund the police confuses me" unearthed What does 'defund the police' mean and does it have merit? from the Brookings Institute.

    For the most part, I'd say Doc's “diver[t] money from police budgets to social services budgets” is the primary message. Of course, given that BLM is not a centralized movement, and since it's not the only player on the field, there's a lot of other messages getting pushed. Of those that I've looked at I thought Campaign Zero looked interesting. Black Futures Lab, started by one the BLM founders, also looked interesting, but I couldn't find anything from them on defunding the police.

    Call me a radical lefty but you could say I am pro-BLM and pro-Defund-the-Police on principle, at least to a point. At the very least I'd like to see it get enough support that people in positions of power see a need and/or benefit to implementing some, or all, of that public safety reform most everybody else here favours. Because without a harder position to fend off, I don't see that stuff happening either.
    The lack of clarity in messaging is certainly linked to the lack of a centralized messenger. That’s one of the reasons that any grass roots movement has trouble amplifying a national or international message. It every movement has Fox (fake) News running point on all messaging.

    I support the basic sentiment, but wish we had nuance in the way we talk about it. Of course I wouldn’t sacrifice the grass roots effectiveness of BLM for centralized messaging (and I hope my support for BLM is a give ).

    I also realize it is too much to ask for nuance in today’s climate, but RdF has a great single sentence position that says more than many blowhards have said in hours of commentary.


    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by Reinart der Fuchs View Post
    I think sending the right people to do the right job is a worthy spend.
    .

    To your point. A story about a mother who called for a crisis team for her 13 year old autistic son. The police came, instead, and to the surprise of no one the child got shot.

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5...b67602f5fd7194

    And it is so great to see that avatar and the good dude behind it.
    Last edited by Doc; 09-08-2020, 02:33 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • In_Loos_Ptokai
    replied
    What I find appalling is that the basic theory of government as argued by the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution is that the power of life and death is to be strictly rationed, limited, etc. The Head of State and the Executive branch is to be constrained by constitutionality. And it is to be open to be contested. Or in other words, the power of life and death is not to be casually used.

    Fast forward to 21C and what do we see but the Executive branch using it casually, and in a highly biased manner.

    If I have any right to make any suggestions, it would be to the BLM folk to raise that issue in the courts of law and the court of public opinion. Once that has been aired, then I suspect the issue of "de-funding the police" would settle into place.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reinart der Fuchs
    replied
    I think sending the right people to do the right job is a worthy spend.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heresiologist
    replied
    Originally posted by Doc View Post
    ...
    “Defunding the police” has become an imprecise shorthand for a whole number of ideas and initiatives. It’s imprecision has unnecessarily made it a hotter button issue than it should be. Do people really mean “de-militarize the police,” “cut funding to police departments,” “diver money from police budgets to social services budgets,” or something else? ...
    Seeing as BLM is, more or less, the leading force in the protests and considering that one of the core demands is to listen and give space to people from the black community, why not just see if BLM, or any related groups, have made statements on what "Defund the Police" means?

    For instance, the BLM website offers: What defunding the police really means.

    Of course, that's pretty short and maybe left you with more questions. Well, I rather quickly found this Q&A with a Canadian BLM leader. It's got to be just as easy to find something from your home state or, at least, country.

    I also took a look at a few news/media sites and found that "Defund the police" explainers are quite popular. Searching on "Defund the police confuses me" unearthed What does 'defund the police' mean and does it have merit? from the Brookings Institute.

    For the most part, I'd say Doc's “diver[t] money from police budgets to social services budgets” is the primary message. Of course, given that BLM is not a centralized movement, and since it's not the only player on the field, there's a lot of other messages getting pushed. Of those that I've looked at I thought Campaign Zero looked interesting. Black Futures Lab, started by one the BLM founders, also looked interesting, but I couldn't find anything from them on defunding the police.

    Call me a radical lefty but you could say I am pro-BLM and pro-Defund-the-Police on principle, at least to a point. At the very least I'd like to see it get enough support that people in positions of power see a need and/or benefit to implementing some, or all, of that public safety reform most everybody else here favours. Because without a harder position to fend off, I don't see that stuff happening either.
    Last edited by Heresiologist; 09-07-2020, 03:35 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by Thanos Shadowsage View Post
    As much as I don't like the phrase "Defund the Police" I have to say it probably grabs more attention than "Reform Public Safety". So it's possible the movement wouldn't be as successful as it has been if it had a less controversial sounding phrase. Also, a lot of conservatives don't see things like mental health services and social workers to be a public safety issue. I don't want to sound like a Lefty shaming the Right but they've made passing social programs extremely difficult. It saddens me to think of the sort of societal improvements we could have if some of our Military and Police funding were shifted to more humane aims.
    I don’t want to derail the discussion, but the right in the US is certainly just oppositional these days. That’s all they care about. They stand for Trump and “owning the libs.” So of course they will oppose anything proposed by anyone left of Lindsey Graham out of hand. All of the supposedly pro military pro law enforcement talk has been shown absolutely to be a charade over the last few days.

    (And don’t forget things that used to be right wing issues like deficit spending and massive national debt are now perfectly acceptable because their team is doing it, to the nearly exclusive benefit of the richest Americans who will never have to pay part of the bill).

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by EverKing View Post

    From my understanding and from what I have experienced with members of Law Enforcement and the Military, I think you are correct about the stigma associated with mental health support. In the veteran community it has been slowly improving but from what I understand it remains a problem in active duty circles. I do think integrating mental health support into law enforcement, perhaps even mandating it to start (x hours per year to maintain licensing, perhaps?) will start to normalize it and reduce the stigma associated with it. After all, if everyone has to partake an individual is no longer "different" or "weak" for getting the support. You are right though, there is a lot to overcome in this area before we can start to see progress--but just because something is difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be tried.
    The stigma is real. The obvious part is a response to a certain standard of masculinity that easily becomes toxic. That fear of weakness is certainly part of the broad problem. But much of the stigma also comes from a fear of appearing like the people you’re locking up.

    The mandatory counseling that is a part of some post-trauma return to duty procedures is also often dismissed and certainly resented.

    Having said that, I agree that we need this. And they need it. It will really take a cultural shift, strong commitment, and strong leadership to make it happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • zlogdan
    replied
    Originally posted by Thanos Shadowsage View Post
    @zlogdan I don't want to derail yet another topic but I know Brazilian politics is a sticky situation as well. Come to think of it, from a leftist point of view, a lot of countries are taking an alarming stance of late. Is it just the pendulum swing of time or is there more to it? Without going into details I've hard things about the USA, UK, Poland, Brazil, and other countries leaning heavily right lately. Not just conservative right but seemingly dictatorship right. I'm willing to believe there is an element of extremism to those claims but its hard to ignore. This seems to be diverging from the main topic again. For that I am sorry. But I don't know how to respond without addressing a wider perspective.
    Well I explained the situation here

    https://www.multiverse.org/forum/the...s-vp-candidatehttps://www.multiverse.org/forum/the...s-vp-candidate

    In short, I explained why I voted for Bolsonaro. if I still support him? No.

    There has been a lot of exaggeration because in his government homophobia became a crime, activities to condemn racism were increased as well as the combat to violence against women became stronger. I just mention these because what they are saying is that now Bolsonaro runs concentration camps and even if it is not by his will, the above statements are true.
    If you ever find a Brazilian gay person afraid of going back to Brazil, this person is delusional.

    Bolsonaro speaks what comes to his mind. If he is provoked he answers even worse.

    I think he is not a guy that loves to stay among gay people, the footage I have seen seems to show him very uncomfortable. In the past, he was provoked because he was against a small guideline for a sexual life that should be distributed for kids of 6 and 7 years of age here in our schools. He described it as "gay kit" which made the press ( which continues free to provoke him even better now ) to go after him all the time asking "why you hate gays". After the second time, he has become increasingly irritated and from there have come all the pearls he has perpetrated about gay people which I admit are extremely rude. He is accused of hating women because once Maria do Rosario called him a "rapist" which largely infuriated him because he has been talking about this wonderful child here:

    https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caso_L...ipe_Caff%C3%A9

    ( a wonderful 16 years kid that rapped a 16 years girl for 5 days and then killed her ) and he defended a death penalty to him and he has answered the statement from Maria do Rosario with "I would not rape you" ( as in, you are too ugly )

    Now it is hard to support him because he continues to do the old politics, the very one he said to condemn. If this makes PT and Lula angels? I refuse to think that.

    About the left, unlike what I was thinking when I voted for him, is not a threat to democracy. It is just another type of thinking. For example, if the Democrats are "the left", I like them, especially Obama ( who I criticized stupidly ) . I don't even mind real communists like the Brazilian party PCO, who unlike PT, tell the truth about what they think. I am happy that we have so many social benefits and I hate the fact the right thought says these are the government's obligations. I think also, that unlike what I thought and heard from right-wingers here in Brazil, Trump is a clown.
    Ok, Cuba and Venezuela are the worst kinds of left and they are extremely connected to PT leaders.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thanos Shadowsage
    replied
    @zlogdan I don't want to derail yet another topic but I know Brazilian politics is a sticky situation as well. Come to think of it, from a leftist point of view, a lot of countries are taking an alarming stance of late. Is it just the pendulum swing of time or is there more to it? Without going into details I've hard things about the USA, UK, Poland, Brazil, and other countries leaning heavily right lately. Not just conservative right but seemingly dictatorship right. I'm willing to believe there is an element of extremism to those claims but its hard to ignore. This seems to be diverging from the main topic again. For that I am sorry. But I don't know how to respond without addressing a wider perspective.

    Leave a comment:


  • zlogdan
    replied
    My two cents. The Brazilian police are split between military and civil. The military handles the execution of the law whereas the civil handles investigations.
    From one side our beloved left wishes to demilitarize it, so, it might not be a good thing if it happens. I am actually happy with the distinction of roles although they are not strict.

    There are many cases of police force abuse.
    There are many cases of policemen being killed by criminals because the police cannot be more incisive or use lethal force in a death threatening situation.
    Of course, there are many corrupt policemen.
    Of course, there are many more decent policemen.
    Policemen are usually frustrated because they are not well paid for the risk they take. This leads many to corruption.

    The level of lenience our law today grants to criminals is irritating. Common citizens are more likely to suffer violence perpetrated by criminals.than criminals being punished.

    I know a bit more of the police crowd handling team here in SP because my brother used to be part of the team and he is a captain. My parents and my family are happy he is not doing fieldwork anymore. The crowd handling team is extremely well prepared and only uses violence under extreme danger. It is more likely that someone in the crowd to menace them than otherwise.
    Of course, the left parties have infiltrated people in the crowds to make things more extreme, and when it happens our beloved press, whose political orientation is far left, tries to create a huge issue.

    Of course, the police make mistakes here. Innocent people are affected.

    But I am rather supporting the police than criminals. And by criminals, I include also corrupt politicians. Sadly, a corrupt politician is nearly becoming a pleonasm.

    Leave a comment:

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