On the New York city council, demands from progressives to defund the police have run into opposition from black politicians worried about crime. NY Times:
With New York City on the cusp of cutting $1 billion from the Police Department, a city councilwoman, Vanessa L. Gibson, told her colleagues that enough was enough.
She acknowledged that some Council members, spurred by the movement to defund the police, were seeking to slash even more from the department’s budget. But she pointed out that her constituents did not agree.
They “want to see cops in the community,” Ms. Gibson said.
“They don’t want to see excessive force. They don’t want to see cops putting their knees in our necks,” she said. “But they want to be safe as they go to the store.”
Ms. Gibson is not a conservative politician speaking on behalf of an affluent district. She is a liberal Black Democrat who represents the West Bronx, and her stance reflects a growing ideological rift over policing in one of the country’s liberal bastions. . . .
Laurie Cumbo, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn who is majority leader, compared calls to defund the police to “colonization” pushed by white progressives. Robert Cornegy Jr., a Black councilman also from Brooklyn, called the movement “political gentrification.”
It strikes me that this is the latest blow-up in a long battle between black leaders and white progressives, as we saw for example with the Sanders campaign. Black leaders routinely criticize white progressives for living in a fantasy land made possible by their privileged position: rich white people can afford to indulge in ideological flights of fancy, but black people and especially poor black people cannot.
I am not posting this just to roast progressives who annoy me; you can easily see how this streak of black conservatism could impede progressive change in a nation where the left needs 90% of the black vote to make any headway. I am just doing my usual thing and pointing out that the world is complex. This is the political reality, and this fight once again points out the political naivete of American progressives, who enjoy striking bold progressive poses much more than they enjoy building coalitions of voters.
And, yes, "defund the police" does annoy me, because it pretends that we have only one problem and solving that one will magically make the others (shootouts between drug gangs, rape) go away.