Journal of the Plague Year 2020: How You Get Yourself Defunded

Let me briefly draw the reader’s attention to this excellent discussion of police brutality by John Oliver. It’s one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen in favor of defunding the police.

Overall, I’m pretty damn skeptical of the idea. Or, at least, I was until Oliver played a clip of Tucker Carlson braying that people who want to defund the police are rich and privileged, and live in gated communities. Um, no. It’s people who are being murdered by the police, not those who can count on their protection.

I particularly enjoyed how Carlson pulled the far-right trick of feigning tender concern for rape victims. It’s a funny thing. Mostly Tucker and his ilk express chilling contempt for women who are raped or battered. But when he sees an opportunity to incite hatred against Muslims or undocumented immigrants, or to put more black men behind bars, he’s overwhelmed with chivalry. Watch it Tucker — you’re perilously close to suggesting that if police aren’t allowed to kill unarmed black men with impunity, white women will be raped. I know you would never suggest that, but it’s not difficult to twist your argument in that direction.

Of course, the fact that Tucker Carlson is an asshole doesn’t demonstrate that it’s a good idea to de-fund the police. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and he could be right for all the wrong reasons.

Other enjoyable highlights from Oliver’s jam-packed segment: An indignant protestor who broke into a Zoom call and used my personal favorite insult — one which I will repeat below — and the exordium, a barn-burning video of a woman saying ominously — and with perfect truth — that white America should be relieved that black people are seeking justice, not revenge.

Oh, and bonus points to the police officer who’s indignant that his city is paying $15,000 towards an official charged with ensuring trans rights. That amount is .008% of the police department’s lavish budget. The author, a trans man, essential worker and taxpayer who lives in downtown Tucson, will quote Korn by issuing this timely reminder:

Y’all can suck my dick and fucking like it.

You’ve seen me in this space arguing for compassion and love, and taking the side of institutions and the rule of law.

I will say, though: That kind of arrogance is how you get yourself defunded, my friend.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Arizona: 27,678

Current hospitalizations: 1,266

Deaths: 1,047

Recoveries: 5,639

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