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How do we think about institutional racism in the American police force?
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Defunding police will disproportionately harm ethnic minorities

Reducing police numbers will create disproportionate negative consequences for those the movement is trying to help. It will create a two-tier system of justice, whereby wealthy white communities and businesses will invest in private local and personal security. Meanwhile, underprivileged groups will be left without this protection. Across the US, minorities are much more likely to be victims of violent crime. This system will therefore leave them more vulnerable to attack, and deepen racialised inequalities tied into law and order. Proponents include San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

The Argument

Although Defunding the Police is a very nuanced concept, essentially the most important factor of this argument is that it would cut police budgets. This would mean reducing the number of police officers, and also cutting the funding that would be required to implement programs to systematically better these departments.[1] In South Africa, the police were essentially disbanded after the apartheid regime. After this disbandment, private security became a major business and many wealthy white neighborhoods were able to purchase this security. Unfortunately, the demographic that disbanding the police was meant to help, was hurt the most. With no money for private security and no functioning police, many poor and middle-class black people in South Africa are suffering[2]. If America is allowed to make the same mistakes as South Africa, it will only worsen the suffering of the black Americans that this policy would be trying to protect. According to a Gallup Poll, 90 percent of black Americans would like to see reform in police training and 81 percent were against reducing police presence in their communities. Beyond all of this, In urban areas, only about 19 percent of black residents own a gun, many are completely reliant on police protection in a dangerous situation.[3] If there is going to be a solution to the question of whether the government should defund or reform the police, it should be found from the communities most affected by police violence. These communities have given their answers loud and clear: the answer is reform.

Counter arguments

Many supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement disagree with the idea of police reform. Because the police unions wield such political power, they are often times able to effectively block any legislation that they disagree with [4]. This has caused many to become disillusioned with the prospect of reform and opt for a more powerful change, such as defunding.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 05:16 UTC

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