One has to question the corporate media narrative after looking at the cold, hard facts.
Policing has been under fire over the past year after the death of George Floyd. The typical talking point the chattering classes have put forth is that policing in America is “systemically racist.” Because of this, several radical leftist factions have pushed for the defunding and overall weakening of police departments nationwide.
However, many citizens, even non-whites, have not fully bought into this anti-police craze. According to findings from a USA TODAY/Suffolk University/Detroit Free Press Poll released at the end of July, residents of cities like Detroit are more concerned about public safety than police misbehavior.
By a margin of 9 to 1, Detroit residents would feel more secure with a stronger police presence on the streets. Similarly, the people questioned in this poll rejected the “defund the police” message that has become prevalent in certain urban leftist circles.
Susan Page, Dana Afana, Jasmin Barmore, Sam Fogel, and Janelle James noted that these kinds of surveys studying attitudes towards policing in urban centers are nothing new:
The Detroit survey was the second in a series called CityView, a project by the USA TODAY Network and the Suffolk University Political Research Center exploring attitudes of residents in major American cities toward policing, public safety and community. The first poll, which was taken in Milwaukee last month, found broad dissatisfaction with law enforcement practices there.
The specifics of this poll’s findings were rather intriguing. 19% of Detroit residents viewed public safety as the most pressing issue in the city, right behind education, which stood at 23%. Of the eight policy concerns studied, police reform was in last place, at 4%.
There was a notable racial gap in the question. For blacks, crime was the major concern, with 24% pointing to public safety as their primary issue, and only 3% being worried about police reform.
By contrast, white residents tended to be more worried about police reform than public safety, 12% as opposed to 10%. For white residents, education was the most important issue at 31%.
Overall, Detroit residents don’t back the slogan “defund the police” by a margin of 65% to 23%. Instead, residents support (at a rate of 49%-42%) marginal cuts to police departments which would then be diverted to social services.
Indeed, there’s no monolithic support for radical measures to defang political departments even among Democrats’ traditional constituencies. That said, restless minority interest groups can dramatically change public policy, which is something the Right cannot underestimate.
The Right must stand up for public order, promote lawful gun ownership among people in urban communities that are sick of crime, and also push for private and communal security arrangements that can complement current law enforcement structures. A proactive focus on public order and social stability is the best way for the Right to score points and keep the woke Left in check.