Should We Defund the Police?

Defunding the police isn’t the right answer. It sounds good, but will work badly.

Before I proceed, know that I am for the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s right; it’s just. And I believe that law enforcement as a system and organization needs to be reformed, maybe even taken apart and restored piece by piece.

But I question the language that is being used now.

Defund the police” has been a battle cry in the protests. And I get it. Yes, police brutality is absolutely wrong and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

But to say we shouldn’t have police is something else entirely.

Complex problems can’t be solved with simple solutions. It’s easier to see problems than to solve them.

When I got married seeing that our marriage was screwed up was the easy part. It took years of work and conversations and working out my own junk and counseling and trust building to get our relationship to a healthier place.

If marriage is complex, race-based police brutality is even knottier. And if a broken marriage requires a multifaceted approach, what do you think this problem will require?

Or if you had some serious arteries blocked in your heart that’s a life threatening problem, but you would never tell a doctor to give you a heart transplant. That’s riskier than putting in stents, which is the typical procedure to save your life.

I could be wrong: But are we ripping out a heart by defunding our police? Is there a better way to incentivize officers to do the right thing and disincentivize racist unjust behavior? I think so.

For too long our justice system has protected officers, even the bad ones, killing blacks, using excess force.

But now the tide is changing. Justice is dawning.

Yet we still live in a world where break-ins happen. Murders happen. Carjackings, theft, assault, rape, stabbings, drug dealing, etc. do happen. What happens to those when the police get defunded?

Also, I wonder if we are equating police with slavery. Yes, does it perpetuate those power dynamics? Absolutely. That’s probably the reason the sentiment to abolish it has risen.

But as an institution, it is not inherently evil. It may be diseased, but it’s not lost. The intent of police, if it is to serve and protect everyone, is right. That means it needs to be corrected, or healed, not destroyed. It needs stents not a transplant. An amputation may even be necessary, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be killed.

There are no easy answers. I’m not saying we should not do anything radical. But we shouldn’t call for something radical without careful thought, a plan.

We want justice. We want someone to pay for the lives of all of these sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. And I pray that those who murdered George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others feel justice’s swift gavel.

But, must we sacrifice law enforcement in the process?

I’m not saying that I know what a stent looks like in the heart of policing. My point is that before we rush into weighty conclusions we need to pause and think about what the consequences will be.

Because justice should not mean lawlessness.

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What Is the Value of a Black Person’s Life?

What is the value of a human life? Or to be more precise what is it for a black person’s life?

Is it worth subordinating your agenda, your rights, your feelings, your privilege, your race?

Is it worth getting unfollowed, unliked, ghosted, canceled, hated, arrested, despised?

Is it worth protests, standing against police lines, facing your fears, being subjected to violence, losing property to looting?

If you’re a Christian, like me, you believe that all people—every tribe, tongue, nation, religion, race—has infinite value. Humans are created in the image of God. And to murder that bearer of God’s face is like murdering God.

That’s why ending a human’s life is so solemn, the heaviest of decisions.

But we know that.

The problem, I believe, isn’t that we’ve forgotten the value of human life.

The problem is this: We’ve never known the value of a black person’s life.

That. Must. Change.

It is time to see that black lives don’t just matter, they are valuable, just as valuable as our own, as our child’s, our mother’s, our friends’.

When we know that, the world will be transformed.

You will transform.

Peace Must Be Fought For

People in power don’t give up power willingly.

You don’t see them surrendering a seat of power unless it’s absolutely necessary. Kings must be beheaded, rebellions must be incited, and revolutions fought in order to unseat tyrants, despots, and dictators.

Isn’t that how America was born?

Now we live in a “free” country. It’s blessed, and rich—for some. But there are others who aren’t free enough.

Black people still feel fists, boots, knees, bullets violently thrusted at them, not by ordinary citizens, but by those mandated to uphold the law.

They use their authority to authorize unjust death sentences at a whim, in a moment of fury, rage, drenched in racism and tyrannical hate.

Will they relinquish their power easily? No. The murdering of blacks by those in power has been happening far too long.

The powerful must be held accountable, deposed from their offices, brought down by the strong hand of justice. That’s why people march, fight, protest.

Without it change would not occur.

Without it there would be no true peace.

To have peace, we must fight for it.