Another top Democrat has come out slamming the activist call-to-action “Defund the Police,” and it is none other than beloved former President Barack Obama. In an interview on Snapchat’s Good Luck America, Obama equated “Defund the Police” to a “snappy slogan” used in marketing practices most seen among shoe companies, musicians releasing an album, and other pop culture avenues.
“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,” Obama said.
While the former President is echoing the rhetoric of other more moderate leaning Democrats, nitpicking over what to call criminal justice reform, slowly, progressives are leaning more into reallocating funds from police departments to more community oriented social services, mental health services, and alternatives to imprisonment.
In Los Angeles County, for example, one of the nation’s biggest cities, passed Measure J, rebranding “Defund the Police” to a more PR pleasing “Reimagine Los Angeles,” a measure that requires that 10% of “locally generated revenue” must go to community investment. For a city the size of Los Angeles, 10% can mean anywhere from $600-$900 million annually being reallocated for the betterment of communities, particularly communities of color that have long been overlooked.
Perhaps the Democrats who feel threatened by the use of “Defund the Police” need a lesson from MTV on what the phrase actually means: