A White Person’s Abbreviated Guide of the Demand to Defund the Police
today at 7:47 am
Defund the police is a demand that was created by Black organizers and activists. It’s not a new demand. It may be new to us as white people, but just because we never heard of it until this summer doesn’t mean it didn’t exist (see-Columbus and his “discovery” of America).
Defund the Police means to divert funding from police departments to communities. If society invests in the communities that need it instead of policing then that would help everyone.
Like schools, Chicago’s Black and Brown communities, while never invested nearly enough to begin with, have also been defunded. The theft of TIF funds earmarked for one community that needs it, but then given to communities that don’t is an act of defunding. Closing mental health clinics is defunding. Banks not giving loans in Black neighborhoods is defunding. Our schools and communities have been defunded for generations, we can easily understand this concept of defunding.
Happening simultaneously to these examples of defunding schools and communities is the record increasing of the Chicago Police budget. The city always finds money for policing. When intra-community violence occurs, instead of realizing the root causes of violence, the city’s response is more policing. Even when the Chicago Police Department, as it far too often does, harms Chicagoans on the street or even in our schools, we say let’s reform the police. Reform is just another way of giving police even more money. Defunding the Police is a response to all of that, it says reform and more policing have been tried for generations and have failed. Instead actually listen to organizations in the communities and fund the communities.
I hear far too many white people say, “I wish they would call it ______ instead of Defund the Police.” Let’s be clear, the semantics of a demand does not matter. It would seem that Black Lives Matter is a basic and obvious demand but clearly white people argue that.
As white people it’s not our job to argue if the term Defund the Police is effective or not. It’s our job to learn about the demand. Once we educate ourselves, we then need to amplify the demand while educating other white people as to what the demand of Defund the Police actually means. All these statements ideas and topics can be researched, you know we love to Google. We just need to do that work.
Defund the Police.