Far be it from me to see the infamous Reverend Al Sharpton as a voice of reason. However, even a blind mouse finds a piece of cheese occasionally. While Sharpton may be blind to a lot of things, one thing he does see fairly clearly is his own neighborhoods. And what he sees has given him cause to take up talking about defunding the police.
Now, if you are familiar with Sharpton’s usual racial antics, you just might be a little surprised at this one. According to him, only “latte liberals” would think up something so incredibly dumb as getting rid of our police forces.
The conversation started on an appearance of Morning Joe on MSNBC, where Sharpton and the host spoke of the seemingly ever-increasing violence happening in New York City, where Sharpton is from. It was also noted that a disproportionate amount of that violence, including a rise in shootings of as much as 166 percent last month, takes place in black communities.
So the question is, why would anyone want to defund the police?
Well, according to Sharpton, most black residents don’t.
He said, “We’ve always heard about the tale of two cities. One the side of the city that I come from, which is blacker and poorer, we’ve seen more in terms of gun usage. I got a lot of attention when I did the eulogy for George Floyd’s funeral, but I also, a month later, preached (at) a 1-year-old kid’s funeral in Brooklyn who was killed by a stray bullet.”
This and the continued violence he sees in NYC give him cause to believe that not much has changed since the cries to defund the police or at least limit their presence were first made.
Due to these constant cries, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio and his city council decided to cut the 2021 police budget by $1 billion. In addition, they are “reducing the size of our police force by not having the next recruit class. We are reducing our overtime levels. We’re shifting functions away from police to civilian agencies.”
So they have done what the left has demanded, and yet the violence and chaos still continue.
Take the shooting that just happened over Labor Day weekend at a festival in NYC, where six people, including a child, were shot. Or the fact that the murder rate in the Big Apple has increased by a whopping 47 percent this year so far. And we still have four months left to go.
If anything, Sharpton says these are why black communities want more, not less, police presence.
He said, “We need to reimagine how we do policing. But to take all policing off is something a latte liberal may go for as they around the Hamptons discussing this as an academic problem. But people living on the ground need proper policing.”
Basically, what he is saying is that it’s white elitist progressives who are pushing the notion of defunding the police. People like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who recently tweeted that he went for a run in the Big Apple and “saw very few black-clad anarchists. Also, the city is not yet in flames.” Or CNN correspondent Josh Campbell, who noted that he was able to eat a breakfast burrito outside in “wonderful Portland, where the city is not under siege, and buildings are not burning to the ground.”
These guys, like Morning Joe’s co-host Willie Geist, don’t see the danger because they aren’t living in the “blacker and poorer” areas of town where the majority of the violence happens.
Instead, as Sharpton says, they are the privileged few who think they stand for the masses.
But as it turns out, they really don’t have any idea what the masses want.
Take a recent Gallup poll, for example.
According to questions asked of black Americans, the majority, or 61 percent, said they wanted police presence in their neighborhoods to remain about the same. And another 20 percent said they wanted an increased police presence in their community. Only 19 percent said they would like to see fewer police on their streets.
I hate to say it, but Sharpton is right, for once. Who’d have thought I’d ever be saying I agreed with a guy like that.