Well, I’ve just about heard it all now! Get ready. Freshman Congresswoman, Democrat from Michigan, Rashida Tlaib wants to defund the police and close all prisons. Have you ever heard of anything more ridiculous in your life? If that were to happen, what do you think it would do to the crime rate in this country? Would all of those murderers, rapists, child molesters and other violent criminals just magically become good citizens and good neighbors you’d want living next door? What about the drug addicts, drug dealers and other types of criminals? Think they might form gangs and terrorize the country, especially if there were no police to stop them?

People like Rep. Tlaib support what is called the BREATHE Act. Never heard of it, you say? Here are a couple of quotes: The BREATHE Act is “legislation that would strip federal law enforcement to the bone, disband the DEA and ICE, end federal funding for police, and "develop a time-bound plan to close all federal prisons.” The official summary of the act says it would involve, “Establishing commissions that design reparations of mass criminalization—including the War on Drugs, the criminalization of prostitution and police violence; border violence; and the systemic violation of the U.S. Government’s treaty obligations to Tribal nations.”

Here’s a little more from an opinion piece by Mariame Kaba, an organizer against criminalization, that appeared in The New York Times: “I’ve been advocating the abolition of the police for years. Regardless of your view on police power —whether you want to get rid of the police or simply to make them less violent —here’s an immediate demand we can all make: Cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half. Fewer police officers equal fewer opportunities for them to brutalize and kill people. The idea is gaining traction in Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles and other cities.” Apparently, the author hasn’t given much thought to how many people in places like Chicago are killing each other every day…I wonder how many would be brutalizing and killing each other were it not for the police? Of course, there are bad police out there, but their numbers are miniscule compared to the bad people committing violent crimes in this country day after day! Without the police, there would be anarchy in this country and the destruction of civilization! Here’s part of the author’s solution: “When people, especially white people, consider a world without the police, they envision a society as violent as our current one, merely without law enforcement —and they shudder. As a society, we have been so indoctrinated with the idea that we solve problems by policing and caging people, that many cannot imagine anything other than prisons and the police as solutions to violence and harm.”
“People like me who want to abolish prisons and police, however, have a vision of a different society, built on cooperation instead of individualism, on mutual aid instead of self-preservation. What would the country look like if it had billions of extra dollars to spend on housing, food and education for all? This change in society wouldn’t happen immediately, but the protests show that many people are ready to embrace a different vision of safety and justice.”

The solution, according to the author, is as follows: “We can build other ways of responding to harms in our society. Trained ‘community care workers’ could do mental-health checks if someone needs help. Towns could use restorative-justice models instead of throwing people in prison.”
Spending money on things like health care, housing, education, good jobs, all lumped together, aren’t bad ideas. But it’s the implementation of those ideas that are another matter entirely. Of the four broad areas of reform, the key is education. More public housing, more free healthcare, and more good jobs all have, at their foundations, more and better education for inner-city kids. But even more than that, the decline of the two-parent household goes to the very heart of all the problems cited that are being overlooked. Both parents need to be there to ensure that the children they bring into the world get that good education, for starters! Morals, values, and ethics also need to be part of what children need to be taught at home and in school. Turning out good citizens should be the goal of all the parties involved, not defunding the police or closing prisons. Until the day comes when people simply behave themselves, we will continue to need police and jails.

There are plenty of good jobs already out there and there are plenty of federally funded job training programs –right here in Rushville –for people to learn the soft skills people need to get and keep the good jobs already waiting for them. It doesn’t take a college education to learn to do things like show up on time, not miss work, and be prepared to do a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wage. Until the day comes when the majority of people understand how important a good education is and quit expecting a hand-out instead of a helping-hand, we’ll still need the police and jails for those who can’t or won’t do anything to help themselves.
That’s—30—for this week.