We've all seen the chaos, violence, and killing that his transpired as police presence in Liberal cities has retreated.
Yet for some reason, the mega-rich, multi-millionaires that propably don't live in these neighborhoods keep calling to "Defund The Police."
There is an open letter to do just that, which has been signed by countless rich celebrities.
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Celebrities including Lizzo, John Legend, and Jane Fonda have signed an open letter pushing for a decrease in police budgets and reallocation of government funding to community programs.
The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of black-rights groups, released the petition as part of their "week of action" from June 1 to 7 to combat racism and police brutality in the US.
The letter points to the deaths of individuals like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor along with the black communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The letter states that police brutality and the disease are "connected and consequential to each other," noting that the American government has chosen to invest in police and military rather than healthcare.
"Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer," the letter reads."
Variety spoke with BLM Co-Founder, Patrisse Cullors, to find out just exactly it is this movement and letter are meant to achieve for minority communities:
How can the music industry help support the community and work toward positive, both on Blackout Tuesday and after?
I think it’s so powerful that the industry is taking a pause tomorrow to honor the movement in this way, it’s a really huge show of support. We’re also in a moment where many people can really examine how law enforcement is impacting the community, and what they can do specifically to create a new way of being when it comes to law enforcement — and what I mean by that is, one of our central demands right now is defunding law enforcement, reallocating those monies that it has received throughout the years and giving it back to the communities. Here in Los Angeles alone, the City Council spends 54% of its budget on the LAPD — that is an exorbitant amount of money going toward one agency, especially when other agencies’ budgets either don’t increase or are cut every year.
When you say “defund,” you mean lowering its budget, not doing away with it entirely?
Yes, a demand to defund essentially means, what places does law enforcement have money that is unnecessary? Law enforcement should not be the first responder for mental-health crises, they shouldn’t be the first responders for drug and alcohol abuse; there are a significant number of public health crises that law enforcement are forced to be the first responders to but should not be, and we could actually reallocate those dollars and give them back to the community. I’m talking about renegotiation of where we prioritize our money. Right now it’s mostly prisons and police, and we want to reallocate those dollars and put them into the community.
What can the music community do to help with these initiatives?
They need to be following the work of the local organizations. In L.A. you have groups like Black Lives Matter L.A. and Justice L.A. and Reform L.A. Jails that are on the front lines in challenging the police and the prison state. These are the groups that are going to be working with the people who are [demonstrating] and expressing their hurt and pain now, and showing them how to organize. But those are just a few — pick an organization and put your money where your mouth is.
We’re looking at all the black musicians who are showing up and standing up — like Lizzo, who I just had a phone call with yesterday. She’s excited about joining, and [last week] she was up in Minneapolis protesting outside the fourth [police] precinct. There are a lot of folks — we’re really close with Boogie, from Compton. There are a lot of musicians joining our movement and showing up in an authentic way.
But we need every single musician —black, white, Asian, whoever — to show up right now. We’re not going to change what’s happening between law enforcement and black people until everybody shows up to change it. I just got a call from the general manager of Motown Records, and he wanted to support the work that we’re doing. That’s one of the first organizations or companies that has contacted us directly.
Anything more you’d like to say?
We’re going to be launching a website for the movement for Black Lives, a collation of organizations across the country, and also “Five Days of Action” that is starting later today. We really want to direct people to ways they can take action every single day, and we’re really excited to continue to provide leadership in this moment."
If this isn't simply about a massive transfer of public wealth from the general benefit to all taxpayers to the cherry picked BLM approved organizations, why exactly don't these people just give up their own money?
Why does BLM need taxpayer money to defund police and fund their preferred groups?
There must be hundreds of millions...maybe billions of dollars of private equity held by all these self-righteous celebrities to fund whatever projects they want to, anywhere they want to.
But they'll never do that. They want your money to fund their political activities, and they want to strip the protection from communitites they couldn't live further from.