Roy Exum: ‘Refund,’ Not ‘Defund’

Sunday, June 20, 2021 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

Enraged activists disrupted the Nashville City Council this week when a budget that included a $10.5 million increase for the police department was finalized. Arrogant members of The Nashville People’s Budget Coalition, inspired by Black Lives Matter and other similar organizations, repeatedly shouted down the council members in what led to a 45-minute delay and accomplished exactly nothing.  Oh, the circus increased angst in the city, and heightened community revulsion for the miscreants, and the public good took quite a tumble.

But … wait … it enabled the Coalition to post on Facebook, “Just to tell you all know they passed an appalling budget, we shut down the City Council … here is a thread of footage just in case the media chooses to repress the People’s will further.”

My aching petunia! The “People’s will” believes Nashville would be better if the police were completely defunded and the money used to enforce laws for community alternatives like violence prevention and interruption, as well as areas like affordable housing, education, social services, and the arts.

Unfortunately, the coalition types are as devoid of America’s reality as they are of common sense. Any fool knows that after last year’s “Defund the Police” debacle the same liberal cities that fell for the insane clamor are rushing to “Refund the Police” after a 25 percent increase in homicides. To date, New York City is said to have a 60 percent increase in street murders this year, which is why Mayor Bill De Blasio – after last summer’s photo-op - has already refunded $92 million. Of course, this is after 16 shootings and six homicides in NYC just last weekend.

Don’t take it from me, Google “murder” and then insert Baltimore, Minneapolis, Oakland, Portland, or – heaven forbid – Chicago. That’s where homicides are up 33 percent in the first three months of the year compared to 2020, while shootings are up nearly 40 percent for the same period year-over-year.

All of the Democratic-controlled cities want their 9-1-1 comfort calls back, this as three-quarters of Americans are secure in their belief violent crime is rising exponentially in our country. No one can dispute the fact that in the first three months of this year, at least 63 of America’s 66 largest cities had significant increases in violent crime over the same time frame in 2020.

In Baltimore, the liberals cut $22 million from last year’s budget yet the new one demands a $27 million increase. Then again in crimes per capita, Baltimore is now the No. 1 ranked city, according to FBI fact finders.

CNN reports: “Major American cities saw a 33 percent increase in homicides last year as a pandemic swept across the country, millions of people joined protests against racial injustice and police brutality, and the economy collapsed under the weight of the pandemic -  a crime surge that has continued into the first quarter of this year.

“Sixty-three of the 66 largest police jurisdictions saw increases in at least one category of violent crimes in 2020, which include homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, according to a report produced by the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

The CNN report included, “It's nearly impossible to attribute any year-to-year change in violent crime statistics to any single factor, and homicides and shootings are an intensely local phenomenon that can spike for dozens of reasons. But the increase in homicide rates across the country is both historic and far-reaching, as were the pandemic and social movements that touched every part of society last year.

"The people in our communities are not desensitized to violence," said Ray Kelly, the lead community liaison for the Consent Decree Monitoring Team and the director of the Citizens Policing Project and lifelong resident of West Baltimore. "Every incidence of violence potentially destroys families, and we cannot confuse people's perseverance and willingness to survive as tolerance or complacency."

Kelly’s words belong today more than ever before, regardless of zip code. Sabotaging a program, a monthly meeting, or resorting to personal attacks simply prolongs the inevitable and results in far less than ever intended. The huge majority instead clamor for the good, the positive, the moving ahead.

In short, the Nashville People’s Budget Coalition did not make any inroads into Nashville’s hierarchy and accomplished only ill will on Wednesday night. And I’ve got the results of 66 of our nation’s beleaguered cities to prove it.

royexum@aol.com


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