Former President, Barack Obama, arguably the best to ever do it, was quite visible towards the end of what turned out be the most dramatic year of our lifetime, due to the sudden and tragic arrival of a global pandemic, coupled with a prolifically contentious election cycle.
Obama’s influence is still quite impressive, based on the national receptiveness to his much-needed rallying, on behalf of a close family friend and former White House second-in-command, who was groomed to be the formidable competitor capable of toppling the rogue regime of Donald Trump.
The high-visibility of the first-ever Black Commander-in-Chief, who blessed us with his historic two-term presidency, continued after the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, with a press tour for his much-heralded memoir, “A Promised Land” where the celebrated author was featured on virtual late night talk shows and prominent podcasts.
During one of his many appearances in December, Obama spoke with Peter Hamby on Snapchat’s Good Luck America, where he made his infamous case against the controversial slogan “Defund the Police,” which far-right media outlets like Fox News consistently condemn, and cite as the reason main reason to invalidate the heroic pursuits of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Obama’s reasoning is embedded in the value of political correctness. He believes this should take precedence, when aiming to push forward a worthy mandate that can’t afford to get buried under public discord, over problematic messaging that diverts from a life and death issue.
“If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan like ‘Defund The Police,’ but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done.”
Progressive Democrats have been accused by their more centrist party members of taking things too far with radical premises about dismantling an oppressive system, that targets Black and Brown lives, which in turn scared away voters, resulting in a disturbingly tight presidential race.
For those who fundamentally disagree with the notion that “Defund the Police” is too graphic a term to use for the purpose of resisting the sugarcoating of what can only be deemed as a national emergency, Obama’s public criticism was a huge let down, and a timely reminder of how little was achieved during his years in office, in the realm of prison reform and attention paid to racial injustice.
Of course we will be remiss to not point out the combativeness of racist GOP leaders like Mitch McConnell, who giddily confessed to Sean Hannity that he took great pleasure in vetoing almost every legislative bill that Obama attempted to pass, including one similar to the criminal justice bill, that Trump signed into law, in honor of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s father, who was locked up for embezzling funds.
The biased judicial system favors whiteness above all else, and this extends to white cops, who are armed and dangerous when encountering unarmed Black victims, who don’t stand a chance against unprovoked violence, that almost always ends with shooting deaths, and the eventual acquittal of cold-blooded killers who have the law on their side.
Such was the case with the home invasion by plain-clothed Louisville police officers that left Breonna Taylor dead, after they broke down the door with the deadly “no-knock warrant” and allegedly didn’t announce themselves, which confused and frightened Taylor and her boyfriend, who were both woken up from sleep.
What ensued was the makings of a horror show with exchanged gun fire between invaders and Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor who injured one of the officers during the shooting spree that left a young Black woman fatally wounded.
The case is still being investigated, with the recent dismissal of two more officers who join Brett Hankinson who was immediately let go, and charged with the lesser offense of “wanton endangerment” for recklessly firing off shots that hit a neighbor’s apartment.
These ruthless, racists police officers haven’t been charged for the actual crime of manslaughter for the brutal slaying of Breonna Taylor, who was attacked in her own apartment at an ungodly hour, when she wouldn’t be coherent enough to avoid the deadly trap she didn’t see coming.
Summer of 2020 was ablaze with nationwide protests that went global in the name of George Floyd, and the gut-wrenching footage of a Black man being tortured to death by a white supremacist in uniform, callously ignoring the cries of his fading victim.
Weeks later, 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot in the back, a total of seven times by Kenosha police officers. The badged bandits were responding to a domestic abuse call, and encountered Blake, a Black man they deemed a threat because he allegedly had a knife, as he walked away, headed back to his SUV — opening the driver’s door.
Blake is now paralyzed from the waist down and it was recently announced by the Kenosha County District Attorney, that the murderous police officers who offloaded their guns into the back of their targeted Black victim will not be charged for their crimes.
There are countless more cases of police brutality against terrorized communities, populated with traumatized Black families that are still holding their breaths for justice, on behalf of loved ones, who were killed by the system that was constructed to cater to the welfare of white people, at the expense of lives that never mattered.
This is the basic explanation for why a viral slogan like “Defund the Police” can’t be classified as “extreme” or too “radical” for the “big audience” of white folks, who can’t tolerate implications of no longer being empowered to brazenly dial 911, for the unwarranted harassment of those they deem expendable.
Black bodies are constantly dodging bullets, and unknowingly walking into situations of extreme danger, due to how police officers are trained to shoot first and never ask questions.
You can’t conquer the beast by trying to reason with brutishness.
Instead of enriching the damned institutions that pledge allegiance to white supremacy, and dutifully carry out the instructions of domestic terrorism with the full support of a judicial system, that serves the nefarious interests of law enforcement — it’s absolutely necessary to defund these terrorist cells located across the country in order to restore law and order.
In a legally functioning society that adheres to the very definition of equality and justice for all Americans, regardless of race, religion and sexual orientation, the recommendation of redirecting funds away from police departments and towards lifesaving reform wouldn’t be necessary.
But unfortunately, police brutality by racist, white cops is a clear and present danger that will continue to kill and maim Black bodies, unless there are extreme steps taken to de-power badged thugs and their commanders, in the name of future Black lives, caught in the line of fire.
Defunding the police is supposed to be a scary proposition because what we’re suffering out here, in broad daylight and in the dead of night is pure hell, and blatantly inhumane, but most importantly, time is not on our side.
We don’t have forever to debate the most effective way to sound the alarm about the rampant cases of police brutality, that births newly-minted hashtags assigned to Black victims, whose killers will be spared appropriate punishment based on the currency of their whiteness.
Change can’t happen without a revolution orchestrated by selfless, fearless, relentless activists, who won’t politely ask for what has taken too long to achieve with the unbearable consequences of bereaved Black families, and pending justice on behalf of the dearly departed.
For those who argue that defunding the police isn’t a realistic goal for immediate implementation, and will lead to further division, especially within the fragile Democratic Party, we can also point to the fact that no solution to this epidemic of systemic oppression, will be seamless to enforce, so we might as well go as far as need be, to uproot the pillars of dysfunction.
There’s no nice way to deliver the truth of the matter, not when the police desperately needs defunding.