Franklin Countys First News

Politics & Other Mistakes: Defund this

Al Diamon

Conservatives are upset because Black Lives Matter demonstrators have been demanding, “Defund the police.” Conservatives hate it when outsiders intrude on their space by calling for cuts in government spending.

Of course, right-wingers wouldn’t be nearly as upset if agitators (none of them wearing masks) took to the streets chanting “Defund the schools,” “Defund welfare” or “Defund Gov. Janet Mills.” But defunding the cops is one bit of budget slashing they won’t tolerate.

To give the reactionaries a little credit, “Defund the police” is a crappy slogan. Like Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey” or Melania Trump’s “Be Best,” it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it signifies. Some advocates of police defunding say it means transferring money and responsibilities for societal problems currently assigned to the cops to other agencies better suited to deal with them. Issues like mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse and people sleeping in the Wendy’s drive-thru should be handled by skilled workers in those fields, leaving the 5-0 free to deal with serious crimes. But other DTP supporters claim it means just what it says: Get rid of the fuzz, and let a revamped society breath freely.

So, it’s confusing. Alternative A would likely cost more money, at least in the short term, and wouldn’t necessarily fix the underlying problems. Alternative B would work for about six seconds, after which we’d have chaos.

Police misconduct must be addressed, but in doing so we need to recognize that it’s merely a symptom of the real disease. Law enforcement didn’t become a deadly institution for certain of our citizens without the consent – or indifference – of society as a whole.

There’s a nasty term for that: racism.

Yeah, I know. You’re not a racist. You just don’t like looters or thugs or antifa or the scum who take a knee during the national anthem. It’s not your fault a lot of those creeps are black. The way they behave it’s no wonder Portland police arrest them at more than twice the rate their percentage of the population would seem to indicate. It’s their own responsibility if Maine statistics show they’re three times more likely to test positive for coronavirus than upstanding white folks. They must be doing something wrong if they’re the first to be laid off and the last to be rehired.

None of that could possibly be caused by racism. More likely it’s statistical anomalies. Sure, that makes perfect sense. If by perfect, you mean white.

You can defund the police, destroy Confederate statues and de-pant Portland City Manager John Jennings, but none of that really gets at the core problem. A smaller police force will still kneel on black men’s throats. A public square with an empty pedestal won’t convey any useful message. And the sight of Jennings running down Congress Street clad only in his boxer shorts adds nothing to the discussion, except some mild entertainment value.

To solve the problem, we first have to acknowledge the problem exists. But Mainers seem reluctant to admit the truth. When public officials in Hancock County and Brewer were caught posting racist memes on Facebook, they claimed their accounts were hacked. When a school superintendent in Kennebunk was discovered to have downplayed racist behavior in the classroom and ignored its impact on a minority teacher, she got a cushy job in the state university system. When a Boston newspaper reported that racial incidents at an Auburn high school “have become commonplace,” local education officials brushed it off, telling the Lewiston Sun Journal they run “safe and respectful” institutions for everybody. When every Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat made disparaging remarks about immigrants, but suffered no political consequences, there’s a serious disconnect somewhere.

As slogans go, “Pretend it’s OK” is far stupider than “Defund the police.” But neither of them gets us closer to solving the institutionalized problem of Maine’s racism. To do that, we need more openness, more honesty, more common sense.

Then, we need more action.

If you think this column should be defunded, you should talk to the publisher. Otherwise, email me at aldiamon@herniahill.net.

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11 Responses »

  1. Well said. Thank you.

  2. Al:

    Alternative A outlined above seems like a step in the right direction and has little to do with race. Case in point: Treating "standoffs" more as a mental health issue and less as a chance for the State Police to dress up like they're invading Poland. My guess is that most cops would also like assistance with domestic disturbances as well. I believe these calls are a leading cause of police injury and death..

  3. Al,
    Give it a break with the “poor blacks”.being Singled out for arrest. It’s an old excuse that no longer rings true. Didn’t you watch the recent black sponsored looting and burning.

    Blacks are incarcerated at a higher rate because they disproportionately get busted for committing crimes. Remember Governor LePages binder with drug traffickers bring in large quantities of crack, Fentonal and other opiates into Maine. Is this just an anomaly that all these drug traffickers were black. Also note the secondary distribution levels that included the white “ Maine girl friend“ as a willing distribution agent. The felony list goes on with retaliatory shootings, kidnapping charges etc. Don’t kid yourself, these folk aren’t coming here for lobster rolls and lighthouses, there is a full on criminal enterprise.

    Ask your friends in LE why the DAs office doesn’t bump the charges up to federal interstate transportation, put these guys away until they are very old. Two studies you should review, one is the percentage of blacks in federal prison and the percentage in Warren. Maine is essentially a white state, yet our Maine (state prison ) has a disproportionately large amount of blacks serving lengthy sentences. The fed mirrors this same proportion. No conspiracy just plain old fashion crime man. Remember this when you see the Maine bone heads that overdose on a regular basis. Maybe we can the do nothing legislature to give put Narcan dispensers in the high schools.

  4. Black Americans in the U.S. have a longevity of four and a half years less than white Americans. Those who paid into Social Security will receive four and a half years less benefits. If we're going to apply the law fairly, African Americans should be allowed to receive their full Social Security benefits four years earlier than whites.

  5. Max we should consider that right after we treat the Eskimos like that... and in the meantime do away with Eskimo Pies..

  6. While Hallucinating on Liberal Kool Aid,,
    Al Writes,,

    "To solve the problem, we first have to acknowledge the problem exists. But Mainers seem reluctant to admit the truth.
    UM,, "WHO" EXACTLY IS RELUCTANT TO "ADMIT" THE TRUTH HERE...
    (U WANT THE TRUTH,,,YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRU... (oh never mind).)

    "When public officials in Hancock County and Brewer were caught posting racist memes on Facebook, they claimed their accounts were hacked"
    WELL EVERYBODY KNOWS THEY'RE LYING,,,,BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE.

    "When a school superintendent in Kennebunk was discovered to have downplayed racist behavior in the classroom and ignored its impact on a minority teacher, she got a cushy job in the state university system."
    OH YES WE ALL KNOW THE COLLEGES STRIVE FOR AS MANY RACISTS STAFF AS POSSIBLE

    " When a Boston newspaper reported that racial incidents at an Auburn high school “have become commonplace,” local education officials brushed it off, telling the Lewiston Sun Journal they run “safe and respectful” institutions for everybody. "
    AGAIN,,,LILY WHITE MAINERS THAT MUST BE LYING.

    "When every Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat made disparaging remarks about immigrants, but suffered no political consequences,"
    DID THEY OR?? NO DEMOCRAT HAS EVER................GOTTEN A PASS.

    " there’s a serious disconnect somewhere".
    NOW THIS LITTLE STATEMENT RIGHT HERE,,,,,IS ABSOLUTELY "TRUE".

    Al,,, you really should wash the Liberal Kool Aid out of your beard.
    The fumes are very bad for you.
    Koo Koo.

  7. Al, To admit racism exists is nothing, to stand and scream that it is somehow institutional or systematic is just plain wrong, because it is neither. A couple teachers posting "racist" memes, is no different than some person of color posting redneck memes, and yes they do it. The real heart of the problem has little to do with racism and more to do with the double standards, equality in which the left wants it, is a myth and will never happen even under the best of circumstances, because fact is, people just aren't equal in any sense of the word. Our rights however are equal. A US citizen has no more or less than another US citizen. The left being the fascists that they are, want everybody to play by their ever changing standards. Black Lives Matter and their supporters have been rioting and looting across the country unopposed. Imagine what would happen if a group of 4000 Klansmen or Neo-Nazis had done the same thing every time a black person kills a white cop, the police or military would be called in to force an end to it, but instead what happens, Seattle just gives up 6 blocks and city hall to a bunch of thugs. A group of cattle ranchers took over a building in the middle of nowhere Oregon, the ATF, FBI, and state police were right there the whole time, but now with people destroying things and hurting people...nothing from federal law enforcement.

    A while back, I watched a documentary about a nearly dead neighborhood in Detroit, the reporter asked if he could get a tour of the area, two blacks, males 29, 31 offered to conduct the tour, but they all would have to put white shirts on, or risk being shot by rival gang members . As they rode down the street the blacks pointed out deserted schools and boarded up businesses, empty houses, telling tales of how some of the bullet holes got into the front of houses. The reporter then asked, if they felt racism played a role in the condition of the area, without missing a beat the older black man said, " Not at all, we did this, the crime and violence got so bad that the people who could afford to leave did."

  8. Until anyone in this country figures out its brains and hard work not brawn and fighting police officers thats going to get them where they want to be its not going to go well for them. We here in Maine are leftovers from generations that if you did not take advantage of the relatively short growing seasons you did not eat. This sense of urgency in what we done was looked at by many in warmer areas of the country as "good work ethics". To us it was "getting ready for winter". We look at people that dont have that sense of urgency as lazy. What I am trying to say is there are many factors in the judgement of people other then the color of their skin. Anyone that moves in to our area sits on their as- all summer and is not ready for winter is looked down upon. Welfare,tin cans and foam meat packages from the big meat packing plants have slowly changed some of this but its prevalent enough to form many opinions. Politics can not change the fact that if its not working for you maby you were not meant to be here. Where you come from or the color of your skin really does not matter at all. Its all about changing your way of life to fit the area your in.

  9. Deep As A Dime (right here),

    "other agencies better suited to deal with them. Issues like mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse and people sleeping in the Wendy’s drive-thru should be handled by skilled workers in those fields, "

    DEFUND AL DIAMON and create an agency that is better suited to write intelligent material, ,,,
    Intelligent Words Matter!!
    Sorry Al.
    Maybe start a Lemonade Stand.
    (Not Kool Aid).

  10. Defund public indoctrination system and higher indoctrination. Eliminate the department of Education in D.C.

  11. BLM is demanding Cash Reparations,,,
    Ok then BLM can Pay To Repair The Damages They Have Caused To Innocent People.
    This balances out to, BLM OWES about $$80 KATRILLION BUCKS as a result of their lawless thug behavior.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

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