Holyoke officer who exposes police corruption in video gets suspended

Who do you think the stakeholders are? They’ve voters. Most don’t support “defunding” by a fairly large margin: How Americans Feel About ‘Defunding The Police’ | FiveThirtyEight

This is outright ridiculous, you’re personally attacking a person who (probably) agrees with what you’re trying to accomplish.

This isn’t tone policing (which is typically baseless nitpicking), there’s a good amount of evidence that how this is talked about makes a big difference in garnering support.

From Exclusive: Most Americans, including Republicans, support sweeping Democratic police reform proposals - Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters

Yet the Reuters/Ipsos poll found that support varies based on how it is defined.

For example, 39% of respondents supported proposals “to completely dismantle police departments and give more financial support to address homelessness, mental health, and domestic violence.”

But 76% said they supported moving “some money currently going to police budgets into better officer training, local programs for homelessness, mental health assistance, and domestic violence.”

So I guess you’re right if you view “defunding the police” as the elimination of police, but my understanding (which has been backed up by others in my community) has always been that “defunding” means promoting radical changes that don’t involve completely eliminating the police… but put much of the funding to better use (better recruiting, oversight, deescalation training, community programs for mental health assistance, homelessness, and domestic violence).

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There’s a whole thread on this, so maybe you should do some reading there before this goes too far off the rails in this thread.


It feels like you’re having a different argument than I am. I agree with the concept of defunding the police as expressed throughout that topic.

I’m saying that most voters don’t support the phrase “defund the police” despite actually supporting what “defund the police” means beyond the banner. That seems like an important detail to pay attention to.

I’m not going to continue infighting about it. I’ll continue supporting moving money away from the police and into social services no matter how its worded and I hope it succeeds.

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My point is that the stakeholders are not “voters,” the stakeholders are the people in the communities who are being abused by police. And while that’s predominantly people of color, more and more it’s anyone who opposes their power and privilege. And those people reject the word “reform.” It’s just another word of oppression.

So my suggestion is not to use it. It is used to cater to police and their adherents who are always going to oppose anything that takes their power away. Trying to win them over to help take away their power is worse than pointless.

An even better word than “defund” is “abolish.” It definitely puts some people off, but for the people who matter in this fight (and it is a fight), “abolish” has meaning. It has power.

So, again, as one ally to another, if you want to be seen as one, don’t use “reform.” That’s moving the wrong direction.


The experience I’ve had from talking to people in my immediate neighborhood is much more nuanced than this, and it certainly isn’t homogeneous, but points taken regardless. I’ll keep these things in mind.


In case it was missed in the Defund the Police thread linked to above, here’s a more detailed explanation of why suggestions to stop using that phrase are met with resistance and/or hostility. There are several great links provided by Michael Harriot in the section of the article where he wrote this:

I could go on an extended rant about how the idea of moderating one’s message in the hope of appealing to white moderates will always be an exercise in futility

This is also a painful reminder of how “Black Lives Matter” was deliberately misinterpreted, twisted, and appropriated (by police and their supporters). We do not want to go down that road again (and again, and again - read the article). This is why, when members of the Black community get unsolicited suggestions about renaming movements that we started, the answer tends to be…



Yes, this is an abbreviated complete sentence.


so voters are against, and for, defunding the police, depending on how we ask them leading questions

but either way we’re only talking about this because somebody said “defund the police”


Well, arguably DC, and the capitol specifically, is a different case. You can’t do community policing if you have no community and no amount of social workers on the streets of Washington DC will stop a white supremacist terrorist from flying in from elsewhere.


yeah, but giving the don junior - or whomever heads up the lollipop guild next - direct access to a new federal police force with special powers and rapid deployment teams is not a good solution

dc, the national guard, dhs, and the capitol police were able to present an overwhelming show of force against peaceful black lives matter protestors

the problem as far as i can tell is not a lack of available resources but the will - and ability(*) - to use direct those resources against white supporters of a sitting president

nothing about that will change with a larger force. it will only enable the next guy to do even more damage when it’s their turn

[ edit: re. “ability”: it’s already pretty obvious someone at the pentagon ( remember how trump cleaned house the last few weeks of his presidency? ) delayed the national guard on purpose. still remains to be seen who exactly did that ]


That’s fair


Exactly. By the end of the day, we need to strongly rework our entire approach to policing and be a support to affected communities. Spending all our time hand-wringing about which word or phrase is silly, because our current system is really focused on wasting actual organizers’ time arguing about phrasing and tone policing, rather than paying attention to their policies.

There’s no phrase innocuous enough that we can’t saddle it with baggage, such as Black Lives Matter. We also are really good at retrospectively blaming such things for our own failings. “Defund the police lost votes” isn’t the strongest argument when BLM was the single most trusted political group in the US for quite awhile while pushing for it. We’re biased to framing outcomes in terms that make us most socially comfortable.

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I’m under the impression that commissioners are often in the habit of lumping all the “good guys” together in the same precincts so that they don’t have anything to complain about. You can take a guess about where the “good guy” precincts tend to be.

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J. F. C.


This is as if Schoolcraft’s tormentors wrote the [Kentucky-state] language that would broadly allow LEOs to attack just about anyone, anywhere.


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