|The Original Boogaloo Boy|
Okay, I digress, what I want to talk about today is defunding the police. When I first heard this I felt we had gone too far. But then, at a BLM protest the other day I found this oversized shotgun shell on the ground and realized it was the shell of one of the rubber bullets shot at the protestors here in Dallas, and so I had to know more about this Orwellian bullet.
The company who makes this Orwellian ammunition is called Safariland. They made over 500 million last year in profits and 133 million of this from police departments alone. Yes, profit from crowd control. This is not money well spent and wouldn't be necessary in a system that didn't send armed cops in war uniforms for calls such as Man Asleep in His Car, or, Man Uses fake $20 Bill to Buy Beer. All "Defund The Police" is is to take some of the money spent sending armed cops on every call, and diverting those funds to unarmed social workers, or community counselors who show up with prevention in mind. Most civilized countries don't Robo Cop every call. Then again, most countries don't have as high of an incarceration rate as we do here in the U.S. either. The U.S. has over two million people in prison; the next country behind us is China. That's right, we have more people in prison than China, the country that imprisons journalist and a poets they disagree with -- hmmm, is that where Trump gets his ideas?
Of course, no prison population talk is complete without remembering where it began: Richard Nixon's War On Drugs. Since most of the drug users without a doctor's prescription were Nixon's enemies: low income, long hairs, and people of color; Nixon used his War on Drugs to arrest us. Nixon sent in his Robo Cops at Peace Rallies and prison profits became a thing. After Nixon, Reagan came along with his Just Say No campaign which also gave us a the Three Strikes and You're F**ked law. The Three Strike and You're Out law meant you did felony time for any third offense. No matter if it was shoplifting or spray-painting your favorite Beatle lyric on a wall, you went to prison.
The last time I spent a few nights in jail I met a lot of guys in there on their way to the big house for their third strike. In one case the man had been originally given probation for writing a bad check his girlfriend had told him was good. It wasn't and he had his second strike. While on probation for the bad check they gave him a drug test and BINGO, he had had the evil cannabis in his blood and so was awarded a felony charge for breaking probation. Now, you are saying he shouldn't have smoked marijuana while on probation, so f**k him. Of course saying that would make you a Republican Boogaloo ass-whole, and more power to you if that is your thing, but you're wrong. The truth is when you are on the lower income ranks cheap enjoyments like cannabis and cigarettes are to us what a day on the golf course is for you, and if you notice, when White Collar Usually White Men go to prison, they get their golf course.
So, the first step in defuning the police is legalizing cannabis...
What were we talking about?...
Oh yeah, defunding the police.
Defunding the police is not doing away with them, it is taking some of their money and moving it to less confrontational solutions like counselors and drug treatments. It's what most countries do. To put it in layman/woman's terms: you don't call a dentist when you have the flu. The police shouldn't be sent to non-violent situations like family disputes, traffic violations, and non-violent public disturbances. To Defund the Police is to put the money back into the places it was before Ronald Reagan and the Republicans started cutting things like States Hospitals and After School Basketball programs and moving that money to tax cuts and privatized prisons. Defunding the police is putting the money back into the programs for our good not our imprisoning.
As our next Vice President said (you read it here first): "I think that a big part of this conversation really is about reimagining how we do public safety in America (Kamala Harris)."
Finally, this is not a Republican/Democrat thing. They both share in giving us this mess and will have to work together to fix it. A good start is the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 sponsored by Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Unfortunately, one of Cory Booker's political contributors is the Orwelian Bullet guys: Sarfarieland.
How can we go forward if we don't know which way we are facing?
~~ John Lennon.