It seems as if every pressing issue in society is reflected through this problematic, partisan schism that reaps consequences for all involved. As we see Black Lives Matter finally enter the limelight, Republicans emphasize the "burning and looting" of cities whereas Democrats, for the sake of simplicity, embrace defunding or abolishing the police.
I fall somewhere in the middle, leaning to the Democrats. It is not effective to bring up the "burning and looting" as an anti-BLM argument. After centuries of systemic racism including slavery (obviously), Jim Crow laws, redlining, police brutality, and the NEW Jim Crow, people are angry, rightfully. It does not help when the President tear gasses peaceful protestors for a photo, either. However, hard-fast slogans like "abolish the police" and "defund the police" are often misconstrued by the other side. For that reason, we should not be so quick to jump to catchy slogans; instead, it is much more important to focus on upstream solutions.
Defunding the police, in essence, is a great idea. Diverting funds in order to tackle crime prevention will be great in the long run, but caution is advised. "Defunding the police" looks like education equity and infrastructure. Instead of defund, let us use the world reallocate or fund diversion. When Republicans see the word abolish or defund, we will make no progress, and with an issue this important, we cannot afford that.
Gracean Ratliff '23