Over a year into the manufactured consensus that George Floyd’s “murder” produced an entirely organic cycle of outrage and grief necessitating a “racial reckoning” dismantling your local police department and other things, a Kabuki consensus of cable news outlets no one watches and politicians no one trusts, I suspect we’ve reached the high-water mark on that phony consensus’ effect on genuine popular support. Which may not matter, as it hasn’t mattered up to this advanced stage of rapid and radical change. The rapidity of that change isn’t only determined by opportunity, but also by the uncertain half-life of popular acquiescence. Go fast and get as much done as you can before they come around, the Masters of the Megaphone must be telling their charges.
Of course, ideally they never come around. But you can’t count on it.
Fake it ‘ti you make it should be the consensus craftsman’s creed; maintain the illusion of “expert” and moral consensus until the population adopts it out of virtuous conformity. But reality remains, fortunately or unfortunately for you, and there are severe limits on how far this can go. It helps a great deal if you’re proposing, say, to invade or bomb some distant country, ruin someone else’s economy, kill somebody else’s children. Shamefully, they can achieve awful wonders like the Iraq War when the comfortable citizen feels zero risk for the gain of moral posturing and flattered national chauvinism. But the George Floyd consensus is starting to hit home, and it’s American cities providing the lurid imagery on the screen; it’s George Washington’s statue being torn down–using the same rhetoric with which they took down Saddam Hussein’s. It’s Americans who are the “terrorists”; it’s Washington, Roosevelt and Jefferson who performed the equivalent of “gassing their own people”.
What should be happening–though nothing that should happen seems to happen any more–is that resistance to this narrative and movement should be getting harder the closer it gets to home for the individual. I suspect we’re in a phase now were public acquiescence to the BLM movement has begun to lag behind its increasingly crazy career:
Abolishing the police — once a fringe issue — has become a mainstream, albeit minority opinion.
After a year of unrest that pitted Portland protesters against cops, around one-quarter of Oregonians now support eliminating their local police department and creating alternative teams of social workers, drug counselors and mental health experts, a new poll says.
A total of 27% of survey respondents strongly or somewhat support that proposal, according to research by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center — but 67% oppose it and 7% are unsure.
The seven percent unsure really shouldn’t be allowed to drive or use scissors, but it’s the hardcore 25 percent supporters, mostly young, who frighten me. Notably the BIPOC are only a little more likely to support police abolition than whites, and still a minority. Whatever happens now the police abolitionists have achieved real gains likely to remain behind if and when the tide flows out again, such as a bans on chokeholds and other tactics and the movement overall will have advanced as much in the past year as it has the previous decade.
OVBC polled 1,400 adult Oregonians from a curated online research group between June 8 through June 14. The margin of error ranges from 1.6% to 2.6%…
Support for law enforcement abolition is drastically higher among the young. About 45% percent of those under age 30 support the idea, compared with roughly 13% of those over age 55. Those who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color offer more support (34%) than whites (26%). Democrats (36%) similarly outpace Republicans (11%) and non-affiliated voters (28%) in liking the idea.
• A slight majority of Oregonians support reducing some police funding — rather than scrapping their local department — in order to pay for more public health, education and social services. About 53% support some police cuts, while 40% oppose it and 8% are unsure. Support is highest among the young (61%) but remains significant (39%) even among those older than 75.
• More than two-thirds (72%) of state residents support banning officers from using chokeholds, 21% are opposed to a ban and 7% remain unsure. College graduates (82%) offer a higher rate of agreement, compared to high school grads (63%).
• About 44% of all polled gave the thumbs up to a ban on police use of tear gas and crowd-control munitions, while 48% gave the thumbs down and 8% were unsure. Women (49%) evinced more support than men (37%).
• Some 63% support banning no-knock warrants, with 30% opposed. Likewise, 63% also support allowing police officers to be sued in civil court over excessive damages, with 29% opposed.
• Requiring police officers to intervene when other cops use excessive force garnered support from 88%, with just 7% not in favor of the proposal. Requiring police departments to release officer disciplinary records is supported by 71% of poll respondents, while 20% said no to that idea.
Before too many average citizens come around regarding what’s happening, some woke Democrats have come around themselves, at least as to the damage the chaos is doing to the Brand and the Cause.
“Police violence has gone unrecognized in my community,” said one poll respondent who identified as white. “White people had their eyes opened by (the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Another Democrat-aligned poll respondent disagreed: “‘Defund the police’ and similar rhetoric has turned many in the community off to the basic message of injustice.”