Black Lives Matter is absolutely adamant about stripping our nation’s police forces of funding.
And who are some of the biggest supporters of Black Lives Matter?
Why, the Hollywood elite!
What’s truly infuriating about this is that it’s the mega-rich Hollywood stars that will suffer the least from defunding police departments.
Beverly Hills and Bel-Air can afford to hire their own security forces.
Well in the following interview with CNN’s Angela Rye, Will Smith tries to assure us that defunding the police isn’t scary like it may seem:
Billboard reports that Smith alleges he was a frequent target of the Philadelphia police when he was younger:
Will Smith may be a Grammy-winning artist and blockbuster movie star, but he's experienced racial prejudice too. The rapper-actor opened up during the "On One With Angela Rye" podcast Tuesday (July 7) to share his experiences growing up in Philadelphia during a conversation about the current Black Lives Matter movement that followed George Floyd's death at the hands of police in May.
"I grew up under Mayor [Frank] Rizzo in Philadelphia. He went from the chief of police to becoming the mayor, and he had an iron hand," explained the star. "I've been called a n----r by the cops in Philly on more than 10 occasions. The police, when I was growing up, moved with impunity in Philly."
The actor, now 51, also talked about how he felt about law enforcement when he was growing up. "I understand what it's like to be in those circumstances with the police, to feel like you've been occupied -- it's an occupying force," Smith said. "White kids were happy when the cops showed up, and my heart always started pounding. There's a part of this that people who don't grow up in that -- you just can't comprehend. You just can't comprehend what it feels like to feel like you live in occupied territory."
Here's the latest tweets on Smith's interview:
Of course defunding the police wouldn't be scary at all to someone like Will Smith.
He has an estimated net worth of $350 million!
His bodyguards will protect him.
But who is the average American supposed to look to without the support of personal guards and no police?
While Smith may try to spin the "defund the police" narrative as harmless, a New York Times opinion piece shows that absolutely does mean stripping police departments of significant funding:
The uprisings in response to the killing of George Floyd are far different from anything that has come before. Not just because they may be the largest in our history, or that seven weeks in, people are still in the streets (even if the news media has largely moved on). But also because, for the last few years, organizers have been thinking boldly.
They have been pushing demands — from “defund the police” to “cancel rent” to “pass the Green New Deal” — that would upend the status quo and redistribute power from elites to the working class. And now ordinary people are, too; social movements have helped spread these demands to a public mobilized by the pandemic and the protests.
These movements are in conversation with one another, cross-endorsing demands as they expand their grass-roots bases. Cancel the rent campaigns have joined the call to defund the police. This month, racial, climate and economic justice organizations are hosting a four-day crash course on defunding the police.
Each demand demonstrates a new attitude among leftist social movements. They don’t want to reduce police violence, or sidestep our environmentally unsustainable global supply chain, or create grace periods for late rent. These are the responses of reformers and policy elites.
Instead, the people making these demands want a new society. They want a break from prisons and the police, from carbon and rent. They want counselors in place of cops, housing for all and a jobs guarantee. While many may find this naïve, polls, participation in protests and growing membership in social movement organizations show these demands are drawing larger and larger parts of the public toward a fundamental critique of the status quo and a radical vision for the future.
Consider the appeal to defund and dismantle the police, championed by almost every major social movement organization on the left, from the Black Visions Collective to Mijente to the Sunrise Movement, and echoed on the streets.
Defunding, part of a strategy to eventually abolish the police, challenges the prevailing logic of police reform: the idea that police brutality is caused by individual bad apples acting without sufficient oversight and training. This idea undergirds the familiar panoply of reforms: body cameras, community policing, implicit bias workshops. If officers are properly equipped and controlled, there will be less violence, its proponents argue — despite no significant evidence to back that up.
Defunding suggests the problem is not isolated, nor is it a result of a few officers’ attitudes. It challenges the power, the resources and the enormous scope of the police. Whether they are responding to a mental health emergency or deployed to a protest, their training and tools are geared toward violence.
The demand for defunding suggests, as the police and prison abolitionist Rachel Herzing often says, that the only way to reduce police violence is to reduce police officers’ opportunities for contact with the public. The protests have forced us to rethink state-sanctioned violence as our default response to social problems, to reconsider the hundreds of billions of dollars we have spent on prisons and the salaries of more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers.