Williams warns of "political Valentine!"

TUESDAY, JUNE 9, 2020

Bender "dismantles police:"
Last night, Brian Williams began his initial panel segment with these remarks:
WILLIAMS (6/8/20): I heard Democrats today call this a straight-up "Valentine," politically, to Republicans. We've seen the fruits of that already, today and tonight.

I have heard Democrats reassure people that this isn't what it says. And I've seen a lot of complaints on social media what when you use the phrase, explain the phrase.
To what formulation did Williams refer? What phrase is now functioning as a political Valentine to Republicans?

Needless to say, he was referring to the tribally pleasing, revolutionary phrase, "Defund the police." According to Williams, Democrats are now assuring people that the phrase "doesn't mean what it says."

So we ever actually say what we mean? Do we ever mean what we say? At any rate, so it can go when our flailing tribe attempts to conduct public discourse.

As of yesterday morning, the fraught phrase had taken on a new, even more revolutionary form—"dismantle the police." In Minneapolis, members of the city council had said that's what they were planning to do. And they don't seem to be backing down from their alleged Valentine to the others.

Where had Williams already seen the fruits of this verbal folderol? Yesterday, an interview on CNN was being widely played on Fox. It featured Lisa Bender, president of the Minneapolis City Council, saying that she stood behind the peculiar-sounding pledge.

Bender was interviewed by Alisyn Camerota on CNN's morning program. For our money, Camerota is one of cable's sanest and soundest performers. Her first question went like this:
CAMEROTA (6/8/20): Joining us now is Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender. Ms. Bender, we're so happy to have you this morning, because the move by the city council certainly got a lot of people's attention last night, and we're so happy to have you clarify this.

So what are you trying to do?
Are you hoping, by "dismantling" the Minneapolis Police Department, that you will be getting rid of the police department?
In short, do you actually mean what you've said? Do you actually plan to "get rid" of your city's police department?

When Bender failed to provide a direct answer, Camerota asked again. That's when the nightmare began taking shape:
CAMEROTA: But to be clear, you're not talking about reform. The word "dismantle" is intentionally different than "reform."

This is more than reform. This is dismantling. I mean, activists who support this are calling this a police-free future.

BENDER: Yes. And, you know, a lot of us were asked if we could imagine a future without police back in 2017, when we were running for office. And I answered yes to that question. To me, that future is a long way away and it would take an enormous amount of investment in things that we know work to keep people safe.

I mean, for a lot of folks in our community, stable housing is a safety issue. Having access to healthcare is a safety issue. And so, having—you know, I think one thing folks are asking is to stop investing so much money in this militarized police force and instead invest in the things that our community really needs.

So, you know, I know the statement was bold and I stand by that bold statement, but the work ahead of us will be long...
According to Bender, she does indeed "imagine a future without police!" That future is a long way off, but that's where she says she's heading.

At this problematical moment, Camerota questioned Bender for the third time. It's the following Q-and-A which has been airing on Fox:
CAMEROTA: Do you understand that the word "dismantle," or "police-free," also makes some people nervous, for instance? What if in the middle of night, my home is broken into? Who do I call?

BENDER: Yes, I mean, I hear that loud and clear from a lot of my neighbors. And I know—and myself, too, and I know that that comes from a place of privilege. Because for those of us for whom the system is working, I think we need to step back and imagine what it would feel like to already live in that reality where calling the police may mean more harm is done.
On Fox, Bender's answer is sometimes cut off at the point where she says the desire to call the police at a moment of danger "comes from a place of privilege." Sometimes, the fuller response is aired.

In any case, this is one part of the political Valentine to which Williams referred. Bender says the desire to call the police if your home is being invaded "comes from a place of privilege." She has "imagined a future without police" for at least three years!

Alas! This is what happens when our tribe invents distinctive new language and starts to blab it around. It can reach the point where the desire to avoid being killed in your bed "comes from a place of privilege!"

In that gift to the other side, what did Bender actually mean? Quite literally, Bender said the following:

The current, traditional system is working for people like her. Rather than seek a way to extend that benefit to everyone, she would "dismantle" her city's police force. Since everyone isn't being fully well served, she wants no service for anyone.

Or something! Who knows what this actually means? (Williams sees it as a Valentine, and he's probably right.)

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our human skills are highly limited.

Being of a certain age, we've seen our tribe melt down in this manner before. This time, it seems even dumber.

Way back when: Way back when, the joke, and the bumper stickers, went like this:

Don't like the police? Next time you're in danger, call a hippie!

That fifty-year old joke is being refashioned on Fox. "Call a social worker" is being offered as the new punch line.

79 comments:

  1. "As of yesterday morning, the fraught phrase had taken on a new, even more revolutionary form—"dismantle the police." In Minneapolis, members of the city council had said that's what they were planning to do."

    John Oliver devoted his entire show last Sunday to examining issues of police brutality, including historical context and previous efforts at reform.

    Oliver said that some police forces had been entirely dismantled. He said that this was done not to eliminate policing but to permit a city to change the entrenched police culture on the existing force. By making police officers individually reapply for their jobs, they could examine their records and choose those who did not have complaints or excessive force problems. The officer who killed Floyd had 12 such previous incidents on his record.

    Defunding the police also permits eliminating the militarization that has crept into policing by purchase (or government donation) of military equipment that has no place on civilian streets in our country. What existing police force will get rid of such gear once acquired? A reconstituted police force can decide what belongs and what does not.

    Politically, making a fresh start from the ground up is more reassuring to an angry public than promises to reexamine procedures with the same officers in place at the top. It has been customary to replace the Chief of Police, but that hasn't resulted in sufficient change.

    Dismantling the existing police force IS the way to extend the benefits of policing to everyone. Somerby doesn't see that precisely because the force works for him. If it didn't, he would more readily appreciate the benefits of starting over with a different approach. And if Somerby cannot see these advantages, how could you expect the existing staff of a police force to appreciate the need for changing themselves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last line of Oliver's show was chilling. A black woman who was among the protesters said:

      "You should be glad black people are seeking to be treated equally and not seeking revenge..."

      Somerby displays no sense of understanding how urgent and important this issue is to the victims of police abuse of power. Nor that this group includes everyone who is not white, not just an occasional criminal. We live in a nation that will soon be majority minority. Treatment of minorities will change because it must.

      Delete
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  2. "This is what happens when our tribe invents distinctive new language and starts to blab it around."

    Ah yes, dear Bob. Zombie-speak. We're aware.

    However, we here fully expect the police force to be dismantled - literally, without scare quotes - in all zombie-controlled cities. After all, in a democracy people should have what they want, and this one is very easy to do indeed.

    The laid-off officers will be quickly absorbed by suburban and rural communities - they will sure need them.

    And let the fun commence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True that.
      Suburban whites love white supremacy.

      Delete
    2. Perfect example of the way the right is using its trolls to stir up dissension. Suburban whites aren't voting for Trump, so they can't be loving white supremacy all that much.

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    3. Meh. I sure love "white supremacy", zombie-speak for "law and order".

      And you zombies, at this point in time, love riots and mayhem ("protests" in zombie-speak).

      And that's fine: to each his own.

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    4. You have it backwards, hitlerian repubot.
      "law and order" is police speak for "white supremacy".

      Also, it's obvious that the police have been the rioters FAR more times, regarding theses protests.

      Right-winger liars often confuse things on purpose to support their strong, strong love of the status quo.
      Pretending they don't, doesn't change that.

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    5. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

      Shouldn't you be out 'protesting' somewhere, dear dembot? Battling 'white supremacy'?

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    6. I'm waiting for a bus to take me, because I do't want the police to slash my tires for exercising my First Amendment rights.

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    7. Colbert showed videos of police knifing protester water bottles and destroying a medical supply station too.

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    8. Whoa. Knifing a water bottle is a real white supremacist atrocity. Go and resist, dembot.

      What are you doing here while your sistahs' water bottles are being murdered by 'em white supremacists? You dirty traitor you...

      Delete
    9. Mao is sweating the end of white supremacy.
      The Establishment might cut him off, if the status quo disappears.

      Tough break hitlerian repubot, you might have to find honest work.

      Delete
    10. There's always the old cubicle at Sputnik.

      Delete
  3. "Being of a certain age, we've seen our tribe melt down in this manner before. This time, it seems even dumber."

    I guess this is how old people become conservatives.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The right has been playing a hoax on small towns all over the country, several here in California where I live. Today, there is an article about how the local militia with its guns came out to guard a local business (euphemism for saloon) with their weapons in plain view (we are not an open carry state), because someone told them antifa was coming. The local police did nothing about them.

    But the right is doing its best to provoke armed conflict between these protectors of local property and a group that doesn't exist (antifa), invented by the right as an excuse to jeopardize the safety of protesters and whip up fear of the left among its base.

    I haven't seen a single comment here from Somerby about this organized effort that is surely more dangerous to our nation than the phrasing of lefties calling for change.

    Here we see Somerby's priorities. He has a certain amount of time and energy left in his life and he chooses to spend it knocking liberals. He is making poor choices, and yes, it is his right to do that, but ignoring the clear provocation by the right in favor of language policing the left doesn't make any sense for a man who says he is a liberal. It only makes sense for someone who spends too much time with Rush and Tucker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In addition to ignoring the armed activities of right wing militias, the cops have been videotaped slashing the tires of protesters and reporters, and stealing the masks of protesters. In a few cities, right wingers have been arrested with bombs and plots to kill protesters, which is good, but no attention has been paid to these other activities organized and funded by the right. Perhaps the cops believe, along with Somerby, that allocated policing only to the privileged is what cops exist to do, and that if those protesters want to be protected, they should go home and shut up. Anyone marching deserves what he gets, because he is probably a member of antifa, like the 75 year old who was shoved in the chest, fell and was seriously injured for talking to a cop.

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    2. Don't kid yourself. Somerby cares very much for the racism of the police.

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  5. "Restructuring" is the word I would propose. Republicans are used to associating this act of creative destruction with many positive things, including profits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I’ve been reading that this sort of restructuring was done in Camden, N.J. some years ago, and has been a success.

      Delete
    2. Yes, they abolished their police force and started over. They didn't just rearrange the boxes on a staffing chart, as occurs in "restructuring".

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    3. I think David Stein’s point is that term is more marketable than “defunding “ or “dismantling”.

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    4. Yes, but framing should influence the debate was well as the course of action.

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    5. Which again suggests that the right is full of snowflakes who cannot hear the truth.

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    6. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/majority-americans-oppose-cuts-police-department-funding-poll-shows-1509620%3Famp%3D1

      You’re going to persuade more people than conservatives, bro.

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    7. Why, oh why, are Republicans so much better at selling their ideas? Death tax! The list is too depressing. Where is George Lakoff?

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    8. Agreed.
      "Fund the police through bake sales" has a much better ring to it.
      Who doesn't love cake?

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    9. I for sure don't know what the upshot of all this will all be. I hope it's for the better, but who knows? "Defunding" and "dismantling" sound like abolishing the police. I don't know how much thought goes into this. Why in the world wouldn't you just say "reform" or "restructure?" I suppose it never occurs to some that the left can possibly be irrational, just as we so clearly see is the case with the right. After all Trump did get elected, and no one wants to look in the mirror about how that happened - couldn't be because, at least in part, his opposition comes off as getting way too flaky. There's a lot of hyperbole, and herd mentality going on, it seems to me.

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    10. BLM is trying to fight the reason Trump got elected.

      Delete
    11. "...it seems to me"

      'It seems'?? You know what to do, when in doubt, dear dembot: go take a knee.

      Delete
    12. Since AC/MA's peddling false equivalence yet again, he/she/it should just kneel.

      Delete
    13. Melania, my dear, I'll take your keen observation into consideration, to the extent it deserves.

      Ailecec, what "false equivalence?"

      Delete
  6. " This time, it seems even dumber."

    What is different this time is the ubiquity of video. We are seeing the abuses of power as the police attack peaceful protesters and that is generating more anger than hearing stories does. There is impact when you see something happening for yourself on video.

    Somerby reacts to this by calling it dumb. Who does that? Seeing people beaten, shoved and hurt makes the protest dumber than ever before?

    I suspect that Somerby has even less empathy than Trump. He has ignored making even pro forma acknowledgements of the unfairness of Floyd's death, instead rushing to defend the poor rookies. He clearly doesn't care what police are doing and have done for a long time now, since before those earlier protests, going back to their roots as a means of controlling black people in the Jim Crow South where organized policing began.

    "dumb" Somerby says but the better word for his reaction is cold, cold as Floyd's body as they laid it in the ground today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If your life is in danger and you have to call the police...it's too late for you. You'd better hope that a hippie will stumble along and help you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Somerby’s main point here is to emphasize the media’s (and right-wing’s) framing of what Bender said.

    She tried to have a nuanced discussion of a complex issue, whereas Camerota wanted to focus on a particular word that Bender used. When Bender tried to go into more detail, Camerota made it into a political football by wondering how this helps Trump.

    Time was when TDH readers might be given an analysis of the way this media behavior serves to trivialize and undermine liberal attempts to discuss complex issues.

    Today, he bypasses this type of consideration to just label liberals dumb. Thus, he buys and/or promotes Camerota’s (and Fox News’) framing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. “Quite literally, Bender said the following:

    “The current, traditional system is working for people like her. Rather than seek a way to extend that benefit to everyone, she would "dismantle" her city's police force. Since everyone isn't being fully well served, she wants no service for anyone.”

    Bender does not say these words in the interview with Camerota. It is a false paraphrase by Somerby. She does not say she “wants no service for anyone.” What kind of person would claim she said this, let alone that she quite literally said this?

    In fact, she did say this, “quite literally:”

    “so in the very immediate, we have to lean in to whatever changes we can make in our existing police department. You know, I think we look to cities like Camden, New Jersey, that completely restructured their department, as we build up systems.”

    And this:

    “And now the hard work begins for us to rebuild systems that really work to keep all of our communities safe.”

    ReplyDelete
  10. I predict that the current anti-police rhetoric and feeling will lead to thousands of dead black Americans. We've been here before. In 2014, the so-called "Ferguson Effect" led to around 2000 excess black murder victims in 2016 and 2016.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was reading about the Freddie Gray incident in Baltimore.

      According to David Simon: “What Mosby [the chief prosecutors] basically did was send a message to the Baltimore police department: ‘I’m going to put you in jail for making a bad arrest.’ So officers figured it out: ‘I can go to jail for making the wrong arrest, so I’m not getting out of my car to clear a corner,’ and that’s exactly what happened post-Freddie Gray.”

      "Simon’s theory is borne out by arrest numbers: they have plummeted from more than 40,000 in 2014, the year before Freddie Gray’s death and the subsequent charges against the officers, to about 18,000 thus far this year. This happened even as homicides soared from 211 in 2014 to 344 in 2015 – an increase of 63%." (this is on 2017).

      Hey, incentives work, no surprise there.

      Delete
    2. David,
      Yes. Sadly the police will try to blackmail all of us to abandon holding them accountable.

      Imagine if we let everyone do that?
      Would be a shame if the school bus full of kids I'm driving went off a cliff. Better to not hold school bus drivers accountable for their actions.
      -----------
      Your point about how the police are the criminals, however, is well taken.

      Delete
    3. David and Mao choose "submit", not "fight".
      Anyone else?

      Delete
    4. The "Ferguson Effect" has been debunked because it's stupid. It doesn't surprise me that our resident village idiot will not let it go.

      Delete
    5. @1:50 if it makes you feel better to call ordinary psychology "blackmail", you're free to do so. But, your use of that word won't save the thousands of additional blacks from being murdered.

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    6. mm -- People who don't want to believe the Ferguson Effect pretended to debunk it. But, it's real.

      And, it's not at all stupid. Suppose you lived in a high crime neighborhood. Is it stupid to believe that you'd be safer with aggressive, effective police protection than with passive, ineffective police protection?

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    7. The thing about high crime neighborhoods is that there isn't aggressive, effective police protection. You only get that in low crime neighborhoods with high property values. That's the whole point of the protests.

      Delete
    8. What part of "blacks shouldn't be murdered by cops" do you not understand?

      Delete
    9. I hate blacks and Jews.

      Delete
    10. @7:38 Everyone believes police shouldn't murder blacks. But, a lot more blacks are murdered by other blacks than by police. Consider this tweet from a black doctor:

      Dr. Tyrone Wilson
      @DrTyroneWilson1
      ·
      Jun 8
      In 8 years of residency and attending as a trauma surgeon, I've had 67 young black men end up on my operating table from gunshot wounds.

      I CAN'T MAKE THIS CLEAR ENOUGH

      NONE OF THEM ENDED UP THERE AT THE HANDS OF POLICE OR A WHITE PERSON.

      NONE OF THEM....ZERO

      https://twitter.com/DrTyroneWilson1/status/1270122814754848768

      Delete
    11. A thousand more black people will die if you don't let cops choke-out unarmed black men, may not sound like blackmail to you. But that's because a thousand more black people dying isn't a negative to you.

      Delete
    12. David,
      The reason we shouldn't worry about terrorism killing Americans, is because of the home-grown violence.

      I don't remember that stopping the Bush Administration from spending trillions of dollars on a "virtue-signaling" campaign to fight terrorism.

      Delete
    13. David,
      Remind me of the number of American school shooting deaths caused by ISIL?

      Delete
    14. David, you fascist prick, that isn't the logic.

      It's also stupid because it isn't supported by the data.

      By the way, how's the "Trump Effect" working out?

      Delete
    15. Fine. So is also understandable if we loot and burn and throw Blue State administrations out of power over black on black crime?


      Delete
    16. Cecelia,
      Protest peacefully. Leave the looting and burning to the professionals in the riot gear and badges.
      But, don't be surprised if the boys in blue blame you for their rioting. It's what they do.

      Delete
    17. Even better, Anonymouse 9:27pm, let’s settle for demanding the resignations of the politicians in power. We can do it by black murder rate per percentage of population.

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    18. Imminently fair between red and blue states.

      Delete
    19. Why don't you start small, Dixie.
      Stop fucking around with their right to vote.
      Your "concern" for black on black crime is duly noted. How do you feel about white on white crime?

      Delete
    20. This addresses the concern of everyone over the black murder rate of blacks people, whether the perp is black, white, or a cop.

      Start demanding the resignations of politicians in control. See what a difference that may make.

      Delete
    21. Well stop voting for maniacal pussies who tell cops to bash people's heads in. It might help.

      Delete
    22. Meh. Actually, the solution is obvious: deport the opponents of law and order (aka 'white supremacy') to Democratic Republic of the Congo.

      As far as I'm aware, Democratic Republic of the Congo has zero 'white supremacy', and ample, ample opportunities for 'protesting'.

      But wait, there's more: they can even take the relics of their patron saint George with them!

      And voila - we all go happily about our business.

      Delete
    23. “Well stop voting for maniacal pussies who tell cops to bash people's heads in. It might help.”

      I don’t vote for anyone in Minnesota.

      Delete
    24. Or New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, New Orleans, Atlanta.

      Delete
    25. Dixie, is there a statistically significant difference between b on b crime vs. w on w crime? I wonder why you would mention b on b crime then? Nervous tick?

      How's voter suppression working out?

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    26. Because that was the context of the conversation started by David.

      I refocused when the Anonymouse brought it into a larger context.

      Delete
    27. "Because that was the context of the conversation started by David."

      Well, if the inveterate racist says that's what the discussion should be about, who are you to question it?

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    28. Black on back crime?

      All Crime Matters

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    29. Mao's "export the free-marketers to Somalia, if they like deregulation so much" idea is a winner.

      Mao, when do we start?

      Delete
    30. “ Well, if the inveterate racist says that's what the discussion should be about, who are you to question it?”

      Especially, when the parties opposing David were doing so within the context of the issue of black on black crime not being a reason to distract attention from cops killing blacks.

      I said “better yet” let’s concentrate on all black murders per percent of pop.

      You can go get your daily quota of calling others racists somewhere else now.

      Delete
    31. "You can go get your daily quota of calling others racists somewhere else now."

      Right-wingers hate "political correctness", right up to the point you tell them the truth about themselves.

      Delete
    32. How can anyone think the party that woks overtime suppressing the votes of black people is racist?

      Delete
    33. It’s not like you’re going to call Democrats racists even when they are directly in charge of these cities.

      Delete
    34. May Cecelia's call for Democratic Mayors to defund the police echo through the City Halls throughout the nation.

      Delete
    35. "It’s not like you’re going to call Democrats racists even when they are directly in charge of these cities."

      Meh. They will, and with the same exactly phony righteous indignation, as soon as it's in their list of talking points.

      Delete
    36. Mao is sweating the end of white supremacy.
      The Establishment might cut him off, if the status quo disappears.

      Tough break hitlerian repubot, you might have to find honest work.

      Delete
    37. It’s not like you’re going to call Democrats racists even when they are directly in charge of these cities.

      In fact, Dixie, some of these local officials are black themselves. So no, I would not call them racist.

      But when you have the Acting President calling on NFL owners to beat the shit out players kneeling in silent protest and telling gatherings of police departments to beat the shit out of suspects, the police might feel somehow emboldened and empowered to abuse their authority. Do you think that might be part of the problem, Dixie? Cause I do.

      Delete
  11. "Your point about how the police are the criminals, however, is well taken."

    This (and the fact that we live in a capitalist society, so socking people in their wallets is leverage) is why defunding police departments is an idea whose time has come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "defunding police departments" - don't be a pussy, dembot.

      No Gods No Country No Masters Against All Authority!

      Delete
    2. Mao is sweating the end of white supremacy.
      The Establishment might cut him off, if the status quo disappears.

      Tough break hitlerian repubot, you might have to find honest work.

      Delete
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