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    • An additional definition for “defund the police” that I have seen is to decrease significantly police budgets. Mariame Kaba in Friday’s New York Times op-ed:

      “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 equals fewer opportunities for them to brutalize and kill people. The idea is gaining traction in Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles and other cities.“

      Kaba also believes that the monies cut should go towards increases in housing, education and other social services. (Note: I feel at times uninformed, ill-informed or disinformed on this issue and therefore do not have any conclusions to share or opinions to express.)

      Further reading

      From Philadelphia Inquirer editorial writer:

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    • My concern is that recent events have been hi-jacked by serial malcontents that exist simply to agitate, cause dissent, and anarchy. They are not particularly interested in the specific issue; it is just a good cover story by which to incite unrest.

      It is depressing how many people feel the need to "signal" their particular feelings whenever a social issue arises. One of the problems of social media is the ease with which people can drop a comment that connects with so many others. Note that the problem is not that we can reach many people - the problem is that it is too easy to do so. Given the laziness of people in general this gives rise to badly thought-out information (or misinformation) and comments widely dispersed.

      I am troubled by the rise of "virtue signalling" in general. In many cases the aim is not to cure the problem, but solely to burnish the social credentials of an individual. The signalling has no practical effect outside this. What difference does it make to race relations in the US to know that Tracy from Rochdale thinks it is bad? None. She is not suggesting solutions. But it makes Tracy feel better that she has shared her viewpoint with the world. How self-absorbed does that make the gesture?

      I am aware these are complex matters of cause and effect, and I cannot do them full justice in the space and time available. But I am sure I am not the only person wondering whether we are at all ready for the kind of communications that social media allows us.....