Barack Obama: ‘Defund the Police’ is a ‘snappy slogan’ which loses a big audience

USA - 2020 - President Barack Obama drive-in rally in Atlanta

In the immediate wake of the election, there was a lot of bickering back and forth online, on social media, about the takeaways from the election, specifically in regards to the messaging from far-left figures. Personally, after the year we’ve had, I’m all for Defund the Police movements and I think there are so many police departments around the country which need to be demilitarized, constrained and yes, defunded. But the “defund the police” label got stuck to Democrats across the board, and there’s evidence to suggest that the label hurt a lot of good Democratic candidates in more moderate states or congressional districts. Now Barack Obama is discussing “defund the police” and whether young activists should really embrace that label. Obama spoke to Vanity Fair’s Peter Hamby, and you can read the full piece here. Here’s the part about youths and Defund the Police:

Whether young people are too combative politically: “Well, you know, Malia and Sasha, my daughters, we talk about this. Malia’s 22. Sasha’s 19. And it’s interesting. Even they, and among their friends, notice that sometimes because you’re responding so quickly and trying to be clever or snappy that they sometimes feel as if we’re not really listening to each other as much as we should. We’re just trying to score points. And I think the one thing that I’d like to see all of us do—and shoot, old folks are worse than young folks in many ways about this—is to use social media to make initial contact. But then at least post-COVID, once we get through this pandemic, try to have conversations with people face to face afterward.

On Defund the Police: “We take for granted that if you want people to buy your sneakers, that you’re going to market it to your audience, right? We take for granted that if a musician drops a record, that they’re going to try to reach certain audiences by speaking to folks where they are. It’s no different in terms of ideas, right? So if you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like Defund the Police, but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done. But if you instead say, Hey, you know what? Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly. And not just in policing, but in sentencing, how can we divert young people from getting into crime? And if there was a homeless guy, can maybe we send a mental health worker there instead of an armed unit that could end up resulting in a tragedy? You know, suddenly a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you. So the key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? And if you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, then you’ve got to be able to meet people where they are. And play a game of addition and not subtraction.

[From Vanity Fair]

He’s not wrong? He’s speaking like a man who won two national campaigns built on appealing to the hopes and dreams of the widest swath of Americans. He’s not even saying he disagrees with the larger arguments of the Defund the Police movement, he’s just pointing out that a lot of people will immediately tune out the Defund the Police people out of hand because the branding is seen as “too radical.” Joe Biden is the same way – Biden’s branding is Reform the Police, and he’s promised to adopt most of the policy positions the Defunders want anyway. So it’s an argument about branding more than anything else. That being said, I also sort of agree with the far-left people that we can’t just reject Defund the Police as a policy/movement simply because Republican strategists and Fox News are using it to terrify old people. So, yeah, Socialist Twitter is yelling at Obama today. Just a heads up.

Biden-Harris Election Eve Drive-in Campaign Rally

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

180 Responses to “Barack Obama: ‘Defund the Police’ is a ‘snappy slogan’ which loses a big audience”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Angel says:

    People are going to be mad at him but he is 100% right.

    • Carol says:

      @angel – I completely agree. I know quite a few people who are turned off by the slogan but when explained that reform instead of punishment is the focus, then they are on board.

      • LightPurple says:

        And the reform part, which is most critical, is lost in the slogan. The slogan just sounds like people want to cut funding but doesn’t say where else the money will go.

      • Mac says:

        People want to reimagine public safety. If police reform worked we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    • Dani says:

      I wasn’t always in agreement with Obama but 100000% back his opinion on this. He IS right.

    • Betsy says:

      I’m not mad (I’m not who he’s talking to, either, but still).

      I *want* a police force. I *like* feeling safe in my house. I *like* knowing that with three numbers on the phone, help will come.

      What I *want* is for EVERYONE to feel this way. I want my fellow black, native, Asian, trans, immigrant citizens (and non citizens) to feel that when they call for help, they will get it, and that they will not be targeted or killed. If I see someone having a complete mental breakdown, I want to call and get someone with training and experience in dealing with that, not someone who will tase the person in crisis.

      I want the police reformed and rethought for the benefit of all, not abolished.

    • Shocked says:

      No, this argument is wrong. It’s a complete distortion of how social change works. You ask for what you want. With deeply entrenched issues like systemic racism -which the vast majority of people frankly don’t understand that well – that ask is going to seem radical at first. Just as demands for all civil and human rights seem at first. And listen, frankly, let’s be real, Obama deeply messed up health care reform by starting from an incredibly moderate place, just like he is here, and being dragged far rightwards and become way less effective. And then havBig the Republicans reject it anyhow. I was there. In Dc. Working on healthcare reform and saw it firsthand. He did this when he actually had a fully Democratic Congress, too. If you live, breathe and study change like I do, you know that idealistic, radical pushes are necessary to move forward and that initially more. Iterate proposals are adopted but over time you really do need the visionaries to get where you want to go. And eventually the visionaries are seen as right and incrementalists like Obama don’t come off so well.

  2. Case says:

    I’m fully with Obama on this. The slogan is misleading and frankly scary to a lot of people who simply read it and react. What we actually want to do – reallocate some funds that go to police and put them into other necessary services that are currently underfunded and might be able to provide services the police shouldn’t be doing on their own – isn’t explained well in “defund the police.” I consider myself a progressive liberal and even I was taken aback by the slogan until I educated myself on it. To get the support we need to make this happen around the country, it needs to be better explained. I understand what socialist Twitter is saying, but the fact is this is politics and we won’t get anywhere with a slogan that is misleading and confusing to people (not just Fox News watchers, either). We live in a culture where people read headlines and not the article. The headline matters.

    • Noodle says:

      @case, you make a really compelling and solid case here. Headlines matter. Black Lives Matter. The challenge is creating the headlines that amplify the need (and solutions) for reform.

    • Noodle says:

      @case, you make a really compelling and solid case here. Headlines matter. Black Lives Matter. The challenge is creating the headlines that amplify the need (and solutions) for reform.

    • megs283 says:

      I agree, and I felt the same way, until I read more about it. I explained “Defund the Police” to my mother – and she started to come to my side. There are some (white) people who will ALWAYS side with the police when they feel like the institution is being threatened. “Defund the Police” raises their hackles and blocks rational thought from appearing. While we shouldn’t have to tiptoe around people, if we want people to vote, we need to speak so they will listen.

    • Esmom says:

      Yeah, Trump even did an ad about this where someone called 911 and an automated phone system told people to press 1 for rape, 2 for murder, etc, and that the wait time to reach an operator was 5 days. People believe that this is literally what would happen — some even think for some reason it has already happened, it seems — and I do think it hurt Dems in the election.

      Funny how people who claim not to get “defund” have no problem understanding defunding schools. Schools didn’t go away. Although that’s a a whole other discussion for another day.

    • Mac says:

      The defund/decarcerate movement has existed for decades. It broke into the mainstream because of George Floyd’s murder. It isn’t about reallocating funds, it’s about dismantling the racist structure of policing and incarceration and reimagining public safety and restorative justice. To call it just a slogan belittles the hard work of thousands of activists and community organizers.

    • Poisonella says:

      I agree- the goobers are scared to death of defund the police. I think the money used on all this pseudo military gear I see the cops strutting around in would be better suited to in depth psychological testing of applicants and extensive communication education. There has to be community outreach too, but that will take effort and years to accomplish.

  3. miss shell says:

    I agree with Obama.

  4. Bettyrose says:

    I’m so glad the Obamas are back and speaking up. We’re a better world for it. Yes this slogan has been problematic from the start, and I know plenty of radicals who don’t think they should ever have to tone down the rhetoric for others’ comfort, but it’s the wrong hill to die on. Progress is progress even if it requires more centrist terminology.

    • NewKay says:

      Radicals? I love how anything to do with equity and the actual safety of Black lives is radical. Ugh

      • Bettyrose says:

        I understand where you’re coming from in the Faux news culture, but I’m not labeling anyone as radical. I’ve been repeatedly told by left leaning people in my life that they resent the term liberal and consider themselves radicals. So I’m using their chosen word.

  5. g says:

    if you have to explain a slogan it is not a good slogan

    • Sam the Pink says:

      THIS. This is it. All day, right here.

    • Becks1 says:

      Exactly what I came here to say .

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, and unfortunately I think he’s right.
      When the movement started, I looked into it to understand what “defund” was truly trying to achieve, and I agreed with it. But a LOT of people didn’t go beyond the slogan, and took it as “abolish” instead of defund.
      I agree with the message, but the messaging itself was off enough to turn some people away, and gave way too much ammunition to the GOP.

      But I also understand Cori Bush’s position, and know that her perspective is worth listening to here too.

    • Nuks says:

      Yes! Thank you. Who is the slogan for? The chorus? The ego? It’s supposed to be a bus everybody can climb on.

    • JanetDR says:

      It generated so much blowback (at least on my Facebook page) because people didn’t understand it. Hell, I didn’t understand it at first either but I have a need to understand things, so I did a little research. And it is a great idea with a slogan that seems to be designed by a person who hates the idea.

    • Annabel says:

      YES. Thank you. I was shocked by this slogan, so I educated myself on it and found I broadly agreed with a lot of what its proponents were saying—yes, by all means, let’s divert funding away from police and towards social services so the police don’t spend half their time responding dangerously to mental health crises!—but even now I hear that slogan and I just think “anarchy.”

    • Ladyakweley says:

      Black Lives matter is a slogan that had to be explained to a lot of people. Does that mean it’s not a good slogan?

  6. Sam the Pink says:

    He isn’t wrong. Gallup has consistently found that defunding police is a extreme minority position – in fact, only 22% of African Americans are in favor of it. (Here’s a link:

    And I know a lot of people who will say “It doesn’t actually mean defund, it means reforming and diverting resources!” But then, which not just SAY that? People are going to take you at your word when you say something. To me, it speaks to a an issue within the progressive movement that favors slogans and soundbites over substance too often.

  7. Snuffles says:

    I agree with Obama too. I don’t think saying REFORM the Police instead of DEFUND is going to change what actually will be done. I believe the goal is to change how funding is used. Less arming the police to the teeth and more community development, mental health services, better training to teach the police how to de-escalate a situation instead of shooting first and asking questions later. To stop seeing members of the public as the enemy like they’re soldiers at war.

    Because you’re right, Defund the Police is scaring white people. During the election campaign I saw the most RIDICULOUS commercials from Trump about Defund the Police which was basically saying if it happens your peaceful suburban existence will turn into The Purge and the ethnic youth are coming to get you! It was the most absurd thing I’d ever seen but you can bet a lot of white people bought it.

    • Jess says:

      I agree completely, Reform the police sounds better and wouldn’t immediately scare people out of the idea. We know defund the police is the same thing, but we also know that a lot of people only read headlines and don’t research further.

    • CC2 says:

      It’s not even just white people. POC lives have been affected by crime too. I live in another country where I feel pretty safe walking home at 4am (woman here), and the fact that Americans of any colour have to be armed in order to do that shows that this is simply not the language you use to speak to the country.

  8. Chloe says:

    I’ve thought this the entire time. AND I think it’s a big reason that Trump almost won- he immediately started his “Law & Order” campaign in response. Most people don’t research to figure out the “real” meaning of things, so that slogan is a fail imo. Plus, it caused more outrage, when in reality, it was just calling for law enforcement reform- which I think we can ALL agree needs to happen asap. But yeah, the “kill all police” shit almost lost us this election. To clarify, I’m an extreme leftist when it comes to political beliefs and I STILL thought the verbiage being used hurt our cause.

    • Darla says:

      I have NYC yellow dog democrats (would NEVER vote R) who were very upset about the defund the police thing, and were very worried it would happen. I had to explain what it actually means. But I don’t have that many friends you know? I can’t explain it to everyone.

  9. souperkay says:

    Nope, I’m with Cori Bush, she has lived the experience, I will not change her words. She knows of what she speaks and deserves to be listened to without trying to make her message palatable.

    Obama saying this completely tracks with the tension in his marriage BTW, would Michelle ask Cori to change her words?

    • Darla says:

      Do I want to feel good and morally superior or do I want to feed hungry children?

    • Athyrmose says:

      Agree, Soup.

      I have no opinions about his marriage. Will point out that his brand is quelling Black resistance (recent quashing of successful NBA strike being a recent example).

      • souperkay says:

        What I am trying to say by highlighting the tensions in his marriage is that Obama is failing test one of intersectionalism and anti-racism: he does not listen to BIPOC, especially in this case Black, Women.

        All these comments need to start with lesson number one: Listen to BlPOC women, I mean really listen.

    • MissMarierose says:

      Wow. That’s so out of line to tie a former private marriage issue to a current political debate.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Cori Bush can hold whatever view she pleases. The problem is that the GOP is going to grab her and hold her up (along with those like her) as the face of the Democratic Party and its going to work to turn off swing voters. It behooves the Democratic Party to state repeatedly that Bush holds an extreme, minority position and that she is not representative of the party as a whole. The sad thing that Cori Bush, while sincere in her views and advocacy, will probably be a greater boon to conservatives that to her own party.

    • MsIam says:

      But if nobody listens to or understands your message @souperkay, then it’s just words in the wind. I’m all for holding the police accountable to the community they serve and also for reviewing the regulations on use of deadly force and restraints. And yes redirecting more dollars to serving the community instead of simply arming the cops more. But I don’t see how shouting “Defund the police!” will accomplish that.

    • cer says:

      Changing the slogan (s) isn’t changing the goals.
      And as already pointed out, if you keep having to explain your slogan (s), then you need a better slogan.
      Purity in your slogans isn’t going to help anyone if they don’t work and get people elected.

    • Olivia says:

      That’s quite a blanket statement. He doesn’t listen to BIPOC women? And that somehow connects to tensions in his marriage? I’m still not following you. Both he and Michelle have spoken about about hard times in their marriage and none of them seem rooted in him not listening to her. Differences in goals, objectives, personalities maybe, but I’ve never picked up on he doesn’t listen to her or BIPOC women as a failing in his marriage or his ability to view issues with an intersectional lens. The crux of your argument seems to be Cori Bush and I’m failing to see where Barack Obama is not listening to her or dismissing her. There’s more diversity even amongst BIPOC women on this issue for her statements to be the final word. Her view is valid, I’m just not following your logic that Barack Obama is dismissing specifically her and therefore not intersectional and this is also why his marriage has had rough spots. I’m trying but I’m really not getting it.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        I completely agree with your post, Olivia. No where did he state he wasn’t listening to Cori Bush. How she conflated his opinion on Defund the police to his marriage troubles is quite the stretch.

  10. Darla says:

    Yeah he’s right. We definitely lost house seats over this. Maybe a senate seat. If the R’s flip the House in 22, and they are very close now, well…it won’t go well. And the fact that Mcconnell still has the gavel = millions of homeless and hungry Americans, including children.

    I would like to see the left, whom I largely agree with, be more strategic and less interested in personal brand-building and social media clout. I don’t think they should go full Obama, because he was too much the other way IMHO, but they need to cut this my way or the high way self-righteousness out. The FACTS are that the squad underperformed Biden in their own districts, which are heavily democratic weighted. These facts remain inconvenient, as facts will.

    • Case says:

      I agree Darla. I’m very left-leaning with my politics and it’s like people in my party fail to recognize that if we’re not elected into office, in reality we can’t change sh!t. That’s why I can’t understand why ridiculous Bernie Bros would rather vote for Trump than Biden. Biden, while more centrist, is still pretty progressive and ON OUR SIDE. He will work with more progressive Democrats on our ideas. I don’t get why that is so difficult to understand.

    • salmonpuff says:

      Agreed. I am a big ol’ lefty, and I’m happy that we have other very left people coming up in politics. I support the Defund the Police movement, and I think it says a looooottt about cops that they refuse to embrace the movement’s very good ideas that would improve their jobs and their communities immeasurably.

      But I don’t know if the lefties understand/want to acknowledge that you simply can’t take a country from what we have now to a social democracy in one or two election cycles without sparking big unnecessary fights. The work they want to do is valuable and it will take a LOT of time. Defund the Police is revolutionary talk — and I think a lot of people on the left have this very romantic idea of sparking a revolution. But revolutions kill people and tear countries apart. It’s not a guarantee that they can be rebuilt post-revolution, either.

      Obama’s caution often frustrated me, but he is a shrewd politician and knows how to get things moving in the right direction.

      • salmonpuff says:

        I should add I’m talking primarily about white leftists here. Black activists have been working on this issue for decades while white lefties ignored it completely. I commend their work and am sorry I didn’t pay attention sooner. Defund the Police is a fine internal slogan. But it doesn’t play with people who are just catching up now and who maybe aren’t spending their evenings reading anti-racism literature.

    • Bevbimsely says:

      Don’t agree that Obama “went too far the other way.” The only reason he won reelection is because he moved towards the center and showed a willingness to work with Republicans.

      I am honestly hoping Cori Bush gets primaried ASAP before she loses her seat. Black voters don’t want her calling out Obama and moderates don’t want police reform let alone abolishment. Biden is increasing police budgets, so who does she even represent?

  11. emmy says:

    It’s just not a good slogan if the concept behind it is constantly misunderstood. It reads as let’s get rid of the police altogether and that’s not what it means. Yelling at Obama on Twitter doesn’t improve that. What’s the deal with people never being able to say “Yeah, okay, maybe we weren’t spot-on the first time.”?

  12. Leah says:

    He’s right.

    The police need reform, not defunding and abolishment. They need to get rid of the killer cops and replace them with well vetted and educated people with four year degrees who have taken courses in criminal justice and psychology. When I was in college, critical thinking was one of the “golden four” that you had to take to transfer on to a four year. You couldn’t go to a UC or CSU without it. I don’t know how it is in other states but I would assume with the required courses in english, math, history, government, science and speech there is a critical thinking requirement in there somewhere.

    I consider myself to be on the left and I didn’t agree with just abolishing the police and having nothing to replace them with. So if your store gets robbed, who did they think was going to show up? Who is going to investigate the crime and when caught, who arrests the suspects? Where do the suspects get locked up? It was not a well thought out idea and it should have never been brought to the table.

    • NewKay says:

      The police was created in the US AND in Canada- literally as bounty hunters to catch escaped slaves. Any institution with this history is racist to the core a d needs to be abolished.

      • Darla says:

        ^^^See right here, you never know if you’re talking to a twitter rose or a right wing plant.

        But definitely follow this advice if you never want another Democratic Prez, long for a Republican House, and LOVE Mitch McConnell’s social Darwinism.

        You will get fast tracked straight to your utopia.

        But if you don’t like any of those things, call it police reform, and stand a chance at actually, well, achieving reform that will save real lives. All while feeding hungry children! I call that a bargain at twice the price

      • Leah says:


        Go back and look at your history. Laws, enforcement and punishment existed long before the United States and Canada ever came into being. Google: Draco 620 BC. We got the inspiration for our government from the ancient Greeks. Most of the western civilizations did. Why do you think the model of Lady Justice wears a toga? Before them, the Egyptians had laws regarding law enforcement and justice so it goes back a long way.

        The word “draconian” was inspired by Draco btw, it means unreasonable laws.

        You cannot have a society without laws and punishment. Without laws there is chaos. Without laws and consequences of actions, anyone can come into your house and take what they want without repercussions. Anyone can steal from your bank account without repercussions. Anyone can steal your car, without repercussions. On and on.

      • Chris says:

        That’s just not going to happen. No matter what the history is. You’d be hard pressed to find an institution in the US that isn’t founded on racism. The US itself is. Activists can be idealistic, but politicians have to be realistic.

      • Chris says:

        @NEWKAY only 22% of black Americans polled support abolishing the police. So who would abolishing the police please besides far left progressives?

      • MsIam says:

        So what is the answer, then go back to the Wild West where anything goes? Here in Detroit we had a terrible problem with police response time. It could take hours for the cops to come, if they did at all. I didn’t hear anybody then say “Defund the police!” it was more like “Where are the police?”. So we need reform and more oversight yes. But your crazy if you think people, other than criminals are looking to abolish police departments.

      • Darla says:

        Exactly Chris. Anyone immersed in black twitter knows this. The radicals (and also the ratf*ckers, because I want to point out you are seeing here people claiming to be POC and claiming they won’t vote in GA because of white moderates, we have no way of knowing who we’re talking to tho. they may be POC, they may live in GA…) will to go other places on the internet, and many are white btw, but there are some who aren’t, I’m not making accusations, and pull this, meanwhile if they try it on twitter they are reamed by black twitter. Badly. And further, a lot of black twitter blames white people, the rose whites, for defund the police.

        But what they do count on is people who aren’t EOL, especially on Twitter, not knowing this. It’s a silencing tactic and works very well in certain spaces. they know it, and they don’t try it in other spaces.

        And I’m not a white moderate. But I do know who swings elections.

  13. CC2 says:

    He’s absolutely right. The people who clapped back thinking bringing up “yes we can” honestly think they did something.

    He wasn’t speaking out about slogans in general, he was speaking out about problematic slogans. Yes we can, heck, even MAGA are feel good slogans to the uninformed person. (same reason why I’m with her isn’t a good slogan, because it points back to the candidate and not towards an optimistic future).

    If you need to explain and explain the slogan, then you’re doing it wrong! Young people make the mistake of thinking that everyone is on twitter and everyone will be willing to learn. Reform has always been a better choice. It has nothing to do with Fox news, but rather the general public.

    Wrap a gold bar in shit stained toilet paper and nobody will bother to see what’s inside.

  14. Abby says:

    I agree with him 100% on this. I think this slogan mischaracterizes what the movement is actually after, in a sensationalist way that immediately turns off nuance where people on the fence would be willing to listen. I fully agree with reapportioning funding to a broader umbrella of professionals. I have found whenever “defund the police” comes up with anyone not all in on BLM, once you explain what is actually meant, we can have a conversation and find common ground. But we have to get past the inflammatory tag line first.

    • MF1 says:

      Yes, agree. I think Defund the Police is a slogan that’s particularly hard to swallow for people (often white people) who’ve never had a bad experience with the police. They saw the murder of George Floyd and thought, “Well, that’s awful and something needs to change” but the idea of defunding (which sounds like abolishing) the police seems too radical to them. It’s knee jerk reaction to the slogan, not the actual policy ideas behind the slogan.

  15. Iris says:

    Eye roll. Glad that Obama broke his silence to hit at a progress slogan. He is incredibly lucky that Trump came after him or there would be some serious re-examining of his “progress” presidency.

    • Olivia says:

      Read his book. He’s pretty upfront and transparent about it being a more a pragmatic presidency than a progress one. He was never a progressive candidate or espoused explicitly progressive ideals. He was and is your traditional liberal, oxymoronic as it sounds, with all the good and bad that goes with that. Express disappointment if you want, but his presidency wasn’t a bait and switch. He speaks about a lot of this expectations being placed on him though this progressive lens he didn’t ask for. The work and process of governing is vastly different than the political rhetoric to get there. His series of chapters describing the negotiations around the ACA are an excellent example of this reality .

      We can’t alter the role of the police until enough people with those views are elected into power to make those changes. And the reality is the slogan Defund the Police isn’t going to achieve that end given how many people it alienates.

      • Bevbimsely says:

        Agreed. Even with a majority and historic election there was very little Obama could do. “Yes we can” was never about reform or progressivism it was about bringing back good sense

  16. jules says:

    I think it’s absolutely the wrong way to say what the intentions behind this message are. So many Trumpers hear it and think “yeah!! Lets get rid of the police!”. The message is to use funds appropriately and send the properly trained people to deal with complex cases involving mental health and other issues which shouldn’t necessarily involve the police. Also to allocate some of their budget to give them training in how to more appropriately deal with complex calls in more sensitive ways. The word “defund” is automatically making some of the iditols out there assume it means abolish.

  17. Courtney B says:

    I can see his point and I’m pretty liberal. When I first heard the term this summer, I was like ‘wtf are they talking about?’ Because defunding sounded like just that—taking away funding. Which meant no cops at all which is crazy. But I took myself off to google and actually looked up what if meant and realized that’s not what it is at all. And it sounded pretty reasonable and a good idea in many instances. That there are studies from places that have done it in the past that show it’s effectiveness. ‘Like NYC taking $500 million and moving it to community initiatives, having a hiring freeze, and taking police out of positions that don’t need them, etc) There was one article I read that talked about how a vet with ptsd used to call the police multiple times a week. And they can’t not respond. Hours would be spent talking him down and it was a small community which left them at risk of not being able to respond to other 9/11 calls besides them being totally unqualified to handle it. Some of the cops were traumatized because of fears they’d show up too late or this would be the one time they weren’t successful. But taking money out of the budget and allocating it to full time social workers who would respond first actually significantly improved the situation and the police chief who’d been against it came out strongly in its favor. And this happened in multiple cities around the country. But there are going to be tons of people who hear it and shut down and not just conservatives. Look at the misunderstandings about kneeling for the flag, Black Lives Matter not meaning ‘only BLM’ and ‘BLM more’, hell, we’ve talked on here about how many otherwise liberal people think feminism is somehow anti-men, etc That’s partly what always happens with slogans, there’s no nuance and people have biases which will lead them to interpret things which fit them.

  18. STRIPE says:

    If your slogan leads to fundamental misunderstanding of your goal, it’s a bad slogan.


    And when you refuse to hear very obvious constructive criticism, you are now not only alienating people who misunderstand you in the first place but allies who are trying to help.

    It’s frustrating to see the progressive left cut off their nose to spite their face over and over again. Or should I say, cut off all of our noses.

    • Chris says:

      I think the issue with the progressive left is that some of them don’t realize that they can be politically pure to the point that they lose elections and it doesn’t effect them. In VA the blackface Northam situation resulted in the black caucus forgiving him publicly and urging people to move on. Progressives outside the state were demanding Northams head on a platter. Local Black politicians and groups understood that if he was removed and subsequently the lt governor who had a sexual assault scandal, we’d get a Republican governor who would pass regressive policies. Minority voters can’t afford not to be pragmatic unfortunately. If you don’t have to suffer the consequences of elections, you can be morally righteous all day.

  19. FC says:

    I’ve been saying this exact same thing. It’s a bad tag line. During the campaign, Kamala and Joe were saying this on on repeat, struggling to make people understand the true meaning behind the movement — not to defund, but to reallocate resources. Where I live (a conservative rural area of a swing state), that slogan absolutely turned off voters that loathed Trump but have family members who are police officers. And in these smaller towns, everyone knows someone who is a police officer.

    • Dee says:

      Totally agree. Another thing that a lot of people seem to forget is that quite a lot of POC’s are or have family members who are police officers themselves. These people are allies that agree with you, and vote with you most of the time, telling them you are coming after their jobs and pensions won’t endear you, even if they do agree reforms are needed. We also need to remember the maxim that all politics is local. What works in a D+29 district absolutely will not work in a D+2, or R+6 area. People have to build coalitions. I’d rather have someone that agrees with me 70% of the time, than work to please people who agree with me 100% of the time and get nothing done.

      • FC says:

        “I’d rather have someone that agrees with me 70% of the time, than work to please people who agree with me 100% of the time and get nothing done.” — 100%

  20. Busyann says:

    Yeah, I completely agree with Obama. There’s a tone to “defund the policy” that a lot of people dont want to hear even if they support the substance of the reform. I’m one of those people I guess. I’m a down ballot democrat, but that type of rhetoric really had me thinking…how progressive am I? I don’t think my reaction is all that different from others and probably added to the bleeding of the house seats. I get the progressive movement, but honestly is our country ready for some of the rhetoric? Policy change, yes, absolutely, but the rhetoric behind the policy, I’m not so sure.

    It’s the reason I cringed after AOC came out aggressively after the election. There’s a time and a place, and sometimes change needs to be eased into. I think that’s Obama’s point and the reason Biden is approaching this….softly. Same end goal I think, but softer.

  21. detritus says:

    I mean yes, if your goal is to *appeal* to the largest audience, which as a presidential candidate is necessary.

    It also smacks of tone policing, and I wonder if Obama has lost anyone to police violence. Advancement in society for social justice will always be unpopular, no matter how it’s branded, because it pushes back on the status quo.

    The right never gets these small talks about improving tone. Obama’s not here talking about how MAGA was divisive, or how maybe republicans shouldn’t use violence, racism and sexism in their platforms.

    No, it’s – Democrats, do better to appeal to the worst. He’s campaigning against defund the police at this point and his voice will be used as proof the movement isn’t good.

    • Case says:

      “No, it’s – Democrats, do better to appeal to the worst.”

      I have to disagree with this. The MAGA folks and Fox News viewers of the world will never agree with progressive policies, but look in this thread. Most if not all of us consider ourselves to be left-leaning and many of us were confused by the messaging “Defund the Police” and had to research it. But not everyone, even liberals, will research it, and those people will just reject it. I don’t see how changing it to “Reform the Police” – something that is far more accurate to the actual goal of this movement – diminishes what we’re trying to accomplish, or disrespects those who have been killed due to police brutality. I think it honors those we’ve lost MORE if we’re actually able to strategize in a way that gets the ball rolling on real reform and reallocation of funds. If that starts with changing the slogan to be more straightforward (not more palatable, literally just less confusing), I don’t see the harm in this. At the end of the day, our focus should be on ACTION. If different verbiage helps more people understand and get on board with the cause, that’s literally all that should matter, no?

      • Busyann says:

        1000% agree

      • Fredy says:

        I agree with this. I researched it, I took time to discuss it with friends who were doing the same, I explained it to less politically-engaged friends (including a police officer) who actually fully agreed! We’re in Canada and my police officer friend agreed with reallocating resources to social supports. The idea makes sense to a lot of people, but not everyone will research like I did or have a progressive friend who is going to insist on explaining it. I read someone suggest “Re-imagine public safety” is more accurate – it’s positive and less intimidating. The problem is that the word “reform” has a negative connotation among activists who insists that reforms don’t work. And the truth is, as much as we say “they don’t mean abolish they mean reallocate” – some activists really DO mean abolish. This is going to be an ongoing discussion but I do think it needs more clarity and differentiation among the ideas. The idea is bigger than reform, it truly is about reimagining.

    • Pilot says:

      Completely agree, Detrius. What Obama is doing reminds me of those people a few years ago who suggested that feminists should instead adopt the label of humanism so that more moderate or right wing people are not being put off or misunderstand the intention.

  22. Louise177 says:

    I agree with Obama. The majority of people don’t know what defund the police is. I thought it was get rid/decrease the police force not restructure/redistribute their budget and responsibilities. If it was explained better even the police would probably agree. It doesn’t take a SWAT team to relocate a homeless person.

  23. Athyrmose says:

    I’m seeing a lot of commentary here from people that really need my Black a** to vote in the runoff on January 5th.

    Please do enjoy your opinions and political discussion. Please also consider that we are watching these discussions, accurately predicted that you’d engage in them, and it almost cost you this election.

    I am personally going to stick with “ACAB”, and “F*** 12,” because those are easier “slogans” for y’all to understand.

    Orange man should have lost in a landslide, didn’t, and you STILL don’t understand why.

    You need Black women to win your elections, and have lost many of us. You’ll continue to lose our participation, in large part because of these terrible views, but go off.

    Thank you for warning me about the white moderate, Rev MLK.

    • detritus says:

      Sorry you had to see these. Not everyone feels that way, but too true the privileged white moderate strikes again.

      I’ll stand with you. ACAB. And for the white women, – why should we pander to a group that started as slave hunters and now still acts like that’s their purpose? Why should we, as women, promote a group that abuses wives and children? Have we forgotten Brionna so quickly? The silent victims that have no help from their abusive police partners? It’s been decades since Rodney King, decades of playing nice and using logic and pretty pleases, and that hasn’t worked. What has worked? Mass protests about defunding the police.

      So pardon me, but I shan’t be moderating my tone to appeal to those who support abusers and state sanctioned racists with gun.

      • Athyrmose says:

        Thank you, detritus. <3

      • Olivia says:

        No we haven’t forgotten Breonna, or how to spell her name. I think everyone on these threads looks to be on the side of defunding, reforming, altering, or abolishing the police. But it can’t happen until the electoral strategy is there, and the phrase “Defund the Police” is not striking electoral gold. Like it or not that’s the reality.

        Have the mass protests about defunding the police worked? I’ll agree this has been a year of increased and sustained attention on the deep racism and issues in policing, but what specifically has changed policy-wise as a result of these protests?

      • detritus says:

        This is the first year that policing budgets have been cut or frozen.

        Now, I won’t hold my breath for the actual needed change (increased social supports, dedicated mental health workers etc), but it’s a start.

      • Pilot says:

        Also @Olivia: ‘No we haven’t forgotten Breonna, or how to spell her name.’
        Are you kidding me???!!!

      • Olivia says:

        @pilot no I’m not kidding. If Breonna Taylor’s name is going to be used in this argument she is due the respect of spelling it correctly.

      • detritus says:

        Prime tone policing.

        Have you ever considered how grammatical corrections are often based in classism?

        But go off, my points are obviously invalid because of autocorrect.

    • Darla says:

      eh, I don’t even want to bother. there’s no winning engaging with this.

      • Athyrmose says:

        You used think of the children, and false equivalency logical fallacies in your response to soup upthread, so definitely do not bother. I have no interest in engaging with anyone that is intellectually dishonest. Hope that clears things up for you.

      • Darla says:

        I used facts, but facts are like radiation to the rose family.

      • detritus says:

        Then why leave a snarky comment?

        If you truly didn’t want to engage, you’d move on. Silently.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      Only 22% of Black people (according to Gallup) support the defund movement. Are 78% of African Americans sellouts? Or are they just realists who get that simply slogans and ideas don’t work?

      • Darla says:

        Well, she’s hoping no one here knows that so she can blame “white moderates” . If she pulled this on twitter, black twitter would kick her arse from one end to the next. She’s counting on people here not knowing that.

      • detritus says:

        And fewer than that percent are the percent of women who identify as feminists.

        Mass reluctance to accept a term doesn’t mean it’s the wrong wording.

        Also, she didn’t say black people. She said black women.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        But what makes you think a majority of black women support it? The opposition to defunding among Black Americans is 78% -that number is so high, it would statically include a majority of Black people of both sexes. So I ask again – what does that say to you? Are more that 3/4s of Black Americans turncoats against their own race? You are dodging the question. Why do they oppose? Could it be that maybe they have a better view of the situation than you do? If we are being told to listen to black people, do we need to listen to the 78%?

    • souperkay says:

      Thank you!! All these comments on this thread go back to the most basic and important lesson for non-BIPOC: LISTEN TO BIPOC WOMEN!!!!!!

      What are they saying?
      Why are they saying it?
      Does what they say cause discomfort?
      Why do their statements cause discomfort?
      Is my non-BIPOC discomfort important in this moment?

      Then forget all that and LISTEN TO BIPOC WOMEN

      • Rapunzel says:

        Souperkay- I’m a white woman who has been staying out of this because it’s not my place to critique or critique a critique of black activism. I always abide by the “listen to BIPOC” rule as a white woman.

        I listened to “defund the police” and thought defund meant “get rid off”- I’m actually fine with that stance and am willing to listen to it.

        Then, I looked into the movement more carefully, and discovered it was way more nuanced than the slogan led me to believe. I’m fine with that too and am still willing to listen. But the slogan and actual goals are saying two different things. I think that’s all most people are saying here- which is not ignoring what BIPOC women are saying, but instead saying “I listened, and the slogan doesn’t convey the nuanced ideas as well as it could”

        In short, I can say as a white person who knows white people, that many whites are turned off by that slogan and it’s resulted in them tuning out BIPOC voices. Black activists can do whatever they want with that info, but please don’t shoot white allies for pointing it out. It’s basically all we can do- tell you what white folks are thinking.

      • souperkay says:

        Okay, let me try again.

        A Black woman is served a cup of coffee. She states: “This coffee is too hot”
        A non Black woman looks at the cup of coffee and declares: “Coffee is supposed to be hot, how else would you describe it?”
        The Black woman does the work and gets a thermometer and indeed the coffee has been served too hot, it is 250 degrees F, about 50 degrees over safe service temperature. Again she states: “This coffee is too hot”
        Again the non-BIPOC person inserts: “It’s only slightly over temperature, say that instead.”

        This is what Obama did, this is what all these comments on this thread are doing: taking something said by Black and BIPOC women that is factual, police are overfunded in their communities while social services are non-existent, and want different words because the words are too upsetting. Marketing and sloganing happened to MLK JR, boiling him down to “I have a dream” but he’s still murdered and in the ground. Defund the police is being weaponized by non-BIPOC people because the facts behind Defund the Police aren’t something the inherent white supremacy really wants changed. Giving BIPOC communities what non-BIPOC already have is why our social services are non-existent.

        Just because you feel discomfort does not mean your discomfort is valid. I hate heights but generally skyscrapers, ladders, lighthouses and other structures of height are safe. My discomfort is just that, discomfort, does not mean that no one should be banned from building a tall thing, does not mean that I should try to stop the next super skyscraper.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Souperkay- I have no discomfort re: defund the police. I’m all for radical action. That is why I listen. I want change. I’m not tone policing- I personally don’t mind the slogan.
        I’m just explaining how white folks are reacting. And why they’re not down with DtP. If that sounds like tone policing, it’s cause the tone of the slogan has been weaponized by the Right. So the right’s vilification of DtP is tied up in the tone. That’s why this vilification is so insidious. Because you can’t fight it without changing tone. But I’m not saying the tone should change, just explaining how the tone was seen.

        Again, activists can care or not care about this reaction. It’s up to them. I’m not telling them what to do. I’m down with whatever changes they think is best for their communities. All I’m trying to do is give insight into white reaction. And that’s all Obama’s doing, imo. The harsh truth is tone and word choice are using against BIPOC by whites, in a way that creates a problem for black activist trying to get white support.

        I get the frustration of feeling like everyone is telling BIPOC to alter their tone to appease white folks. To be honest, I think if defund the police had a different slogan, white folks would probably find another reason to be dismissive. But I wouldn’t feel right saying the slogan wasn’t problematic for white folks. It wasn’t for me, but it was for a lot of white folks around me. I can’t ignore that.

      • detritus says:

        Ha why do that when you can listen to the hypothetical black people a bunch of white guys and gals have heard about on Twitter.

      • Darla says:

        Cute detritus, but I didn’t “hear about them” on Twitter, I follow them there and listen to them. Why are they a joke to you, while anyone posting here becomes The Voice Of All Black Women? I don’t find black twitter to be a joke, but that’s me.

      • detritus says:

        If the shoe fits, Darla.

        But keep on using about the black folk ‘you know’ to actively dismiss the black women here. It’s definitely a socially just stance
        to co-opt black voices to push your own agenda and silence minorities.

      • Darla says:

        Or, I could use you to actively dismiss the black women I follow on twitter. See? It’s not binary. I don’t do either of those things. I feel that it is you who are attempting to speak for all black women, but you can’t, and you don’t. I am simply pointing out that black women are not a monolith, and from what I’ve seen, and according to polling as well, the majority aren’t with you there. That’s all. And btw, AOC ain’t black. Let’s not forget. Please. She doesn’t speak for black women any more than I do, just because you like what she says. that’s a fact.

    • Pilot says:

      @ATHYRMOSE. Thank you. Yes, ACAB. And lol at this comment section… Not surprised of course that so many here are talking how that slogan made them feel, had them initially confused or upset. Instead of maybe wondering what sort of experiences led so many people to actually thinking that defunding the police is outright less frightening an idea than continuing with the current situation.
      But sure, let’s center white progressives again who cannot fathom a reality in which police on the streets are scarier than the absence of them.

      • souperkay says:

        Agree, Pilot on all counts.

        Non-BIPOC communities already have an absence of police on the streets as Aang demonstrated on another comment. Everyone should be pushing for a better community than even white people have, with abundant social services that do not use any kinds of means testing.

  24. Lunasf17 says:

    I agree with him as well. It’s snappier than “de militarize the police” and “ fully fund social programs to keep our communities healthier.” Democrats suck at marketing ourselves and often let the “ultra woke” Twitter crowd run the show instead of being leaders and standing up to the “cancel everyone who doesn’t agree with me performative social media warriors.” We need to be realistic to what we can actually do and defunding the police doesn’t really cut it. A lot of Bernie supporters love these tweetable lines but never have the plan of how we are actually going to do it (which is always my problem with Bernie – he always says we must xyz but never “and this how we actually accomplish it.”) I want real tangible change, especially for those suffering the most, not snappy woke social media posts.

  25. Andrea says:

    Completely agree with previous posters that say that you need to explain a slogan you have a wrong slogan. Imagine how different things would have been if they have said “Rebuild the Police”

    • detritus says:

      What if they shouldn’t be rebuilt tho?

      What if they should be dismantled to the ground and a new system instituted?

      In Canada there was an inquest into issues with the RCMP. After the inquest it was basically determined that the people currently employed all basically needed to be let go if major change was to occur. Because the culture was too entrenched and the people picked were psychologically unsuitable.

      Unfortunately, that never happened and we have issues to this day.

      • emmy says:

        That’s what rebuilding can mean. I’m not 100% sure how OP meant it.

        In general, that’s not how societies work. Humans don’t like too much change, even if it’s good for us or in fact life-saving. We are currently hurtling towards the destruction of our planet as an environment we can survive in. We can’t get out sh*t together.

        So if activists want to be the ones to scream at society that it’s time and not be polite about it, then that’s their role. As soon as they want to affect real change through policies, they need to appeal to a significant number of people and yes, a better slogan is needed then. Because almost half of voters voted for the orange f*ckface. They will be working against this and they are loud and effective.

        The police will not be dismantled. Same as carbon emissions aren’t being reduced to a level that can avoid catastrophe.

        I’m not in the US btw but we have issues like these. And climate change of course.

      • cer says:

        I’m fine with abolishing the entire system. But the reality is most people are not aware of the history of policing and the groundwork hasn’t been done on a large scale to educate people on why tinkering around the edges isn’t going to work.
        So right now? Defund the police is a confusing and bad slogan, which doesn’t actually accomplish what you want it to.

  26. Chris says:

    Obama is an incredibly successful politician. He won elections by impressive margins and in areas where other Democrats struggle. If he has political advice, we’d be stupid not to take it.

    Yeah, it’s fine for activists to say “defund the police,” but politicians are losing on that slogan. More progressive candidates even saw their margins shrink in blue areas. It’s the reality we find ourselves in. You cannot effect change if you don’t win races. Being able to win on “far left” slogans is a privilege of politicians in safely blue areas. Insisting moderates stay pure to that slogan is a losing strategy. In a perfect world it wouldn’t be, but we have to work with the political reality we live in. We cant change any policies if we don’t control the government. I want police departments to be reformed and I don’t think regular people affected by police brutality care how morally righteous of a politician you seem, they only benefit if things actually change. The role AND the goals of politicians and activists are different.

    It doesn’t matter if Republicans warped “defund the police” because the damage is already done. Of course they did. Expecting them not to is just naive. Remember “death panels” when we just wanted everyone to have healthcare? I want the criminal justice system to be reformed and I don’t care if it means we have to work out better marketing. If we have to call it “shrink a government funded department’s budget” to get police reform passed, I don’t care.

    As a note, I absolutely agree with the defund platform. I think it’s 100% a matter of life or death to get something passed.

  27. Aurora says:

    Democrats have the best ideas which the majority of public actually agrees with in principle but Democrats also have the worst messaging.

  28. Aang says:

    The city of Buffalo NY, majority black, spends 30%!!! of its budget on policing. The schools are underfunded and perform poorly. Rank and file officers often make six figures in a city where median income is less than half that. And few officers live in the city. The inner ring suburb of Amherst NY, mostly white, spends 6% on policing. The schools are well funded and very high performing. Officers are required to live in the town. So yes, in some cases defund the police (not abolish) is exactly what needs to happen. “Decrease the funding of the police to a rational and sustainable level” is a little long.

    • Esmom says:

      I agree that “defund” is the right word. Unfortunately the right wing made it synonymous with “abolish.” Very deliberately, I might add.

    • souperkay says:

      Thank you for this crystal clear example that non-BIPOC communities are already set up with social services but BIPOC communities are not.

      This is the system that is failing. This is what needs to be listened to, that systemically BIPOC are prevented from social services that non-BIPOC easily access because of rules, budgets, laws, and government structures that actively work against it.

      Yes, defund police, yes fund other social services instead, yes have community government represent the community and hold those with power to task.

      Obama is wrong with this.

      • Becks1 says:

        But Obama is basically saying what you’re saying. He’s saying we need to reform policing, sentencing, how we deal with issues that could be solved with options besides police, etc. He’s just saying the actual slogan is going to turn off a lot of people. He’s not saying the ideas behind it are wrong.

      • souperkay says:

        Reforms don’t work, ask Eric Gardner who was killed by a reform banned chokehold. Many communities in order to get out of from under draconian police union contracts (WHICH ARE NOTHING LIKE LABOR CONTRACTS, SUPPORT LABOR UNIONS), would have to completely defund all policing before they could rebuild.

        That’s only one part of defund, all the local laws and ordinances need to also be examined to make sure things like decriminalizing sex work, decriminalizing “illicit” drug possession are also the law of the land. You have to look at funding, what is going where and why, and where local government officials are living since so much of our taxes like property taxes fund the community. Yes, defund the police works to cover this ground, since budgets/laws/ordinances/rules are making them the single social service for BIPOC communities.

        Defund the police does not need to change its wording.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree that “defund” is the correct term for what needs to happen, but in terms of messaging to the general public, it’s not working – too many people were too ignorant/lazy/stubborn to look into the details and took it as “abolish”, and as Esmom said, the GOP ran with that, from POTUS all the way to small local races.

      The American public, as a whole, is not good with subtlety or details. Too many heard that as “they want to dissolve my little suburb’s police department” instead of “cities should not be spending vast majorities of their funds on military level equipped police.”

      I’m in a small town (red area of a blue state with high taxes), and people here freaked, even though our dept is maybe 10-15% of the budget, I would say appropriately funded, and there are decent schools, libraries, community centers, health services, etc. If those people sat down and looked at the actual numbers and ideas, a good amount of them would probably agree with it, but that just doesn’t happen.

  29. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    This argument Obama makes really irks me because NO Democrat ran on ‘Defund the Police’. Not one. The Democratic Party platform has not even stepped close to ‘Defund the Police’. So just WHO is Obama talking to?

    I see all of us commenters and Kaiser are discussing this in good faith, but what Obama is really doing is admonishing the *Black* activists who are fighting for DtP. And activists do not fight for moderate changes, but radical change. That is why they are activists and not politicians. Post-presidency Obama has consistently patronized, talked down Black activism and Black activist platforms and I am sick of it. Just like people were saying to Hillary to go away, I need a larger chorus of people to yell ‘Obama, go away!’. He did nothing to defend election security in 2015 and 2016, never brought to light that the FBI sat on their damn hands while Russian operatives infiltrated the Republican campaign for president, and never made a big deal that a Supreme Court seat was literally stolen from him.

    So again, WHO is Obama talking to exaclty when he says ‘Defund the Police’ is a snappy slogan when no politician at the Congressional level not even Rashida Tlaib–who actually introduced police reform legislation–campaigned with the so-called slogan ‘Defund the Police’?

    • Sam the Pink says:

      He’s bringing it up because he sees it harming his party. There is a difference between being an activist for something and simply not getting it done vs, your activism ACTIVELY HELPING the opposition. The exit polls were pretty clear – DtP hurt the Dems. The Blue Wave did not happen, and the radicalism of some on the left was a big contributor to that. Obama wants to see the Dems do well and take back the Congress, and he sees that the radical activism of DtP is not just stalled, but delivering results to the Republicans. The GOP has always, and likely always will, be the party with marketing savvy. They latch onto people like AOC, Cori Bush, etc. and prop them up as “leaders” of the left to scare moderate voters, and it works.

      • Queen Meghan's Hand says:

        I don’t even know where to start but let me break this down:

        1) Where is the evidence of DtP delivering results to Republicans? Because when you look at Congressional Reps who lost or narrowly won, they were in already conservative districts and ran conservative campaigns, and did not invest in high-contact campaigning i.e. knocking on doors, nor did they invest in any form of digital strategy. See AOC’s recent interview with the NYT. She features stats and figures.

        2) Defund the Police is a DECADES OLD activist platform which is part of the abolitionist movement. It was not started in June 2020. The fact that it is *now* being debated in dominant media is evidence that there is significant support for it among civically-engaged Americans and voters.

        3) Activists are not politicians. And I say this as someone who does not completely support DtP: Activists do not owe the Democratic Party anything. Because they are activists. It is the Democratic Party who is responsible for the Democratic Party’s messaging. And the Democratic Party is not supporting Defund the Police. So if there is confusion, it is the Democratic Party’s responsibility to communicate that clearly. The Party has access to millions of dollars and best minds (allegedly) to counter the media strategy of the opposition party. And they do not.

        4) The Democratic Party’s obsession with courting white Republican voters is the death of the Democratic Party. The path to Democrat dominance in Congress and within state legislatures is through free and fair elections. PERIOD. Not milquetoast reforms. Which is why the Republican Party is hellbent on preventing as many people as possible to vote. The majority of whites will never, ever support the Democratic Party; this is why a racial coalition is critical and thus access to registration and polling sites and handmarked paper ballots is critical. The voter suppression in the last four years of elections has been unprecedented in the post-Jim Crow era. For Obama talk about election strategy without mentioning voter suppression but blaming activists is…I don’t even have a word for my rage. That there are no pull quotes of Obama emphasizing this speaks volumes about him.

      • detritus says:

        Thank you, Queen.
        Well said

      • Sam the Pink says:

        Let me address it in turn:

        1.) Where do I get my info? From the exit polls. Look at the election – Dems were banking hard on a “blue wave” – which doesn’t mean keeping blue districts blue, it means flipping red districts into blue. AOC was focused on progressives flipping seats – but what she failed to mention was that those seats were already blue, and they just went blue-er. To change the makeup of the House, you need to flip red to blue, which they failed to do – if you were not keeping track, the Dems LOST seats in the House. How does that help them? And if you look at the exit polls in states where either 1.) dems failed to flip seats that were labelled competitive or 2.) the GOP flipped a blue seat red, voters did state that DtP was a concern for them. Also, the GOP made it’s best gains among voters of color in decades – particularly among Latinos (11 point swing to Trump) and Asians (8 point swing to Trump) – and their exit polls mentioned specifically that they felt targeted by crime and that they wanted greater police presence.

        2.) There isn’t more support for DtP in general, if you watch the opinion polls. What it does have is greater visibility – you make the mistake of conflating the two. Like I pointed out before, it continues to be a fringe position, even among Black Americans (what else would you call a view that more then 3/4 of the group it proports to help reject it?)

        3.) Activists are not politicians, but activists work for and against politicians. You say they do not owe anything to the Dems, but you miss my point completely by saying so. My point was not what is owed to the Dems, my point is that the activism is currently HELPING the Republicans. Which is, uh, rather counter-intuitive, would you not agree? When your activism is actively benefitting those who directly oppose you, don’t you think a little introspection might be in order? A time to step back and say “why isn’t this working?” and “Am I actively hurting my own chances at progress here?” Because Republican gains (and yes, they gained this election, don’t kid yourself) are the further thing from advancing any kind of progressive goals.

        4.) The Dems are realists when it comes to voters. The majority of voters in this country are not progressives, they are moderates. This is how it breaks down: About 1/3 of the country are ride or die Dems, about another 1/3 are hardcore Republicans. That leaves about 1/3 who are the sought after “swing voters” – they decide elections. And we know their demographics – they are largely white (with substantial Latino and Asian minorities more recently), they are largely slightly older (30-45), middle class, etc. There is no reason to court progressives because they are 1.) not a large enough group to justify the outreach and 2.) they will largely vote Dem anyway. That is why Obama structures his views the way he does – because he is fluent in how voters actually behave. I have yet to meet a progressive who displays his level of nuance and realism.

    • Snuffles says:

      At some point activists will need to work with the politicians to get their agendas through. And in regards to THIS issue (I’m not going to drag in other issues and grievances people have with Obama), Obama and others simply are saying that the activists need to work on marketing their message better to reach more people.

      Because, like it or not, most people don’t stop to look at the details, they respond to the slogan. And that slogan triggers a lot of people into thinking it’s about cutting or eliminating the police force. That slogan makes it SO easy for your MAGA Republicans to take that slogan and twist it so they can frighten their base into thinking their safety and peaceful existence will be in danger.

      So, no, I don’t think Obama is trying to silence people or change their goals. He’s telling them they need to do a better job at marketing their platform to the public. Because most people, once they get past the rhetoric and look at the details would probably agree and get on board with total police reform.

    • Bella says:

      Dems weren’t running ON the defund the police slogan, but rather, were running AGAINST the Reps weaponizing the slogan.

      • detritus says:

        This is it.

        The republicans are going to play dirty and weaponize anything they can. Her emails. Death panels. Calls for impeachment based on a lie…

        It doesn’t make things easier for those on the left to bicker about appealing to bigots. They’ll find a way to weaponize what they want, big or small.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes, exactly. Once again the right wing took a narrative and twisted it in real time and the false connotation stuck. Straight from the Benghazi playbook.

      • lucy2 says:

        This exactly.
        It sucks, but it’s the reality. 74 million people turned out to vote for the WORST president in US history, because the GOP thrives on misinformation and constantly being on the attack.

  30. Ann says:

    Yeah yeah. I know Obama is right, and I appreciate his level-headed assessment, but it still doesn’t feel great that dems across the left wing spectrum always have to watch what we do and say while Republicans are never held to the same standard. The young progressives trying to get stuff done with their preferred language are getting rebuffed by the old guard Neolibs and maybe that isn’t so helpful either?

    • cer says:

      Activist language and political language are often quite different, even if the goals are the same. So I’m fine with activist language, but there is the reality than being activist also means being aware that the language may have to be changed.

    • Chris says:

      I don’t even know what a neolib is and that’s exactly the issue. Young progressives are EOL and develop their strategies for that world, but the rest of the country isn’t on Twitter all of the time. They don’t know all of the details about “Defund.” Non-progressive dems know that. Another issue is that young progressives just don’t really vote. So it doesn’t behoove Dems to try to win over a small slice of maybe voters when they have a larger chunk of definite voters who like their strategies and positions.

  31. Keekey says:

    I’m of two minds on this. Yes, I think the slogan can create misunderstandings and turn some people off. On the other hand, it has forced a conversation about exactly how overfunded the police are compared to, say, our schools, which Republicans have been defunding for years. People love to bash on activists for going too far or being too rude, etc., but it’s the activists who move the needle on the boundaries of what’s discussed. They should be thanked and appreciated for that.

  32. candy says:

    A someone who worked in the mental health sector for 5 years (before burn out), I can tell you that a “mental health worker” cannot handle a crisis situation alone, without police. I’m a liberal straight-ticket democrat, but totally against Defund the Police as a slogan and as a principle. It recalls the Republican agenda to dismantle the EPA. Doing away with our public institutions and agencies is a quick fix. But I do believe in reform. This is a nuanced situation, and that requires nuanced solutions. Bottom line, we need to reopen psychiatric hospitals or provide funding for crossover psychiatric supportive services/public housing, which is a trend that is gaining traction. As always, housing funding falls desperately short of need.

    • Chris says:

      I know someone who left the mental health field because they were physically assaulted a lot (hit, bitten) by the population they worked with. There are no simple answers.

    • Marie55 says:

      Thank you! There is a HUGE amount of pressure being put on mental health clinicianS right now to solve all of society’s problems. Just like we can’t expect police to resolve homelessness alone, we also cannot expect mental health workers to reverse the symptoms of late-stage capitalism. Also agree with Obama here. Government employees are the backbone of the “middle class.” If you want to be the party of the people, you need teachers, you need cops, you need the unionized city workers, etc.

    • candy says:

      “we also cannot expect mental health workers to reverse the symptoms of late-stage capitalism.” Indeed.

      Many, many mentally unhealthy individuals I came across in my casework had access to weapons. That put me in a very compromised position. I had to rely on law enforcement during major crises (when the individual becomes a danger to himself or others). Ultimately, these are interconnected issues involving lack of public housing, supportive services, healthcare access, and the prevalence of violence. These are only vaguely related to police brutality in the context of race, but still a factor. Unleashing these escalations on mental health workers without law enforcement support, while leaving huge gaps in the other sectors, is only an emotional reaction to a tragic circumstance. To me, this is first and foremost an issue of violence. Why is our society so brutal that law enforcement have come to expect the use of force and must always anticipate it? Why are people of color disproportionately targeted and incarcerated? Big questions.

    • Darla says:

      This is an angle I hadn’t even considered, and mental health workers are definitely stakeholders in this. Everything is so complicated. If we spent less on weapons maybe we could have a lot more mental health clinics and outreach to communities BEFORE things go sideways. I don’t know. And of course if america wasn’t so in love with guns and gun culture. That’s a huge part of this too.

    • detritus says:

      This is interesting because I work with the homeless (a lot of mental health overlap) and we actively avoid calling the cops because they tend to escalate situations and are not trained to deal with mental health.

      It’s often recommended by many outreach groups to not involve the police for this very issue.

      What things do you think make your situation so different? I’m thinking different locations probably but I wonder what else

  33. Kitty says:

    He’s totally right.
    Tone deaf phoney celebrities plaster it on their social media for woke points and to the average person or right leaning voter, it says “abolish”. It sound snappy but it’s wrong and it alienates people, particularly when it comes from a rich celeb in the safety of their gated mansion.
    There’s SO much more to the issue than that and ‘defund’ sounds like ‘dismantle’ and everyone in their right mind knows that the police are vital and the first number any of us would call if we were in danger.
    That doesn’t mean there’s not severe rot, bigotry and corruption within the institution but it needs reforming.

  34. Megan says:

    What I was hearing on Pod Save America a few times is that this phrase was created by activists, not politicians so it’s not like they were wrong, It’s not the activists job to “market” the idea so to speak, but yes, I do agree the idea behind and for this movement now needs to be “marketed” differently if we want more people on board. Like many above comments above, when I explain the concept beyond just “defund the police” almost everyone agrees.

  35. whateveryousay says:

    FFS he’s right. I am a black woman in VA and Trump and GOP were running ads all over the police saying that Biden wanted to defund the police and were showing people calling 911 and no one showed up. Of course it doesn’t mean defund the police, but too many “activists” used it to say they wanted to full stop abolish the police which also messed up messaging.

    Use Reform or Justice in Policing as a damn slogan and move the hell on. I am sick of this mess.

    Also the federal government can’t set city, local, state budgets anyway so it’s a stupid slogan in the long-term cause they can’t do anything about it. You want to see change in how the police work or how funds are allocated in your community? You need to vote in state and local elections and actually push for reform.

    • Chris says:

      This is a really good point. I think you are pointing out the elephant in the room, a lot of people just fundamentally don’t know how government works.

    • Valerie says:

      I think we’re too married to bite-sized slogans these days. Few people want to explain or expand on their point of view. They expect a few words to do all the talking for them, which is not always possible. I’m not pointing the finger at BLM activists only either, it seems to be a growing trend among a lot of groups.

      • Sam the Pink says:

        I blame social media for this – it’s very easy to tweet a hashtag or put some letters in your profile, but a lot harder to sit across from somebody (especially somebody you disagree with!) and have a thoughtful conversation. And I see way too many people (on both sides, yes) who are unwilling to do the tough work and think that slogans are enough. It’s also about the echo chamber – many do not want their views challenged or dissected, so its easier to just stay among the like-minded. It makes me worried for the future of discourse.

      • Valerie says:

        @Sam the Pink: regarding your last statement, I feel the same way. I don’t talk about it much because I feel like wringing your hands over the future of discourse has been co-opted by hate groups who use it as an excuse to say whatever they want, but I really feel like we are moving away from actual dialogue.

        Especially on twitter, people just want to have their say and shut everyone else down. That’s ok in *some* situations, but too many posts boil down to, “This is the way it is, and if you don’t like it, go to hell.” They don’t want you to put your two cents in unless you agree with them on every point.

  36. EllenOlenska says:

    I live in Georgia and the “Defund the police” slogan is being used non stop in all the attack ads about Raphael Warnock.

    • Courtney B says:

      I’m so not surprised. But are the using it against Ossof or just the black candidate?

      • EllenOlenska says:

        Both. And also lovely pics of AOC, Bernie and Pelosi in the background as their radical liberal friends.

        And with Rev Warnock they’re weaponizing sound bites of sermons where he said to free our children from prison and expressed anger at brutal tactics of police. And Jeremiah Wright who he praised in an introduction when he received an award.

        Ossoff is getting nailed on taking Chinese money and lying about it. And that he wants to destroy America with his radical liberal friends.

        And in the last election they ran the little old white lady having her house broken into and desperately calling police who had been “ defunded” and never came…against Biden.

  37. Kari says:

    *comment deleted felt too repetitive

  38. L4frimaire says:

    The sentiment and goals behind “ Defund the police” actually make a lot of sense and have good policy ideas but the slogan itself will be used as a political wedge issue easily used against opponents of police accountability and reform.Using it puts Democratic candidates on the defensive which will cost votes. Need to get beyond the slogan to the actual policy behind it or nothing will happen. However, it’s patronizing to say that a term that came out of protest and real hard work on the part of activists is just a case of trying to be “ snappy “ or one upmanship. Totally disagree with that. Lots to unpack there.

  39. Valerie says:

    I’m a (white) liberal and I can see why people bristle at that word. Defund sounds like take all their money away and leave them high and dry without a resource to spare. That’s not what it MEANS, just what it sounds like. I think a more accurately worded slogan that reflects their goal might help. I don’t know. I don’t want to police (ha) language, but if the terminology is one of the things that holds you back, it might be worth considering.

    I’m also Canadian, and I feel like the police have unmitigated power here, too. Every time I read a news item about the cops, it’s always that this one was suspended with pay, that one was investigated and exonerated… Fucking mess. They could, and do, get away with murder. The system needs a complete overhaul.

    • candy says:

      I am pretty certain that is what it means if you listen to the movement’s representatives. I tried to have a debate about this with a friend of mine, who supports the slogan and the movement, but cannot differentiate between defund and defund entirely. In her mind, any funding was totally out of the question. I respect that view point, but I don’t agree with it.

      • Valerie says:

        I mean, my understanding of it is that you reallocate some of that money and put it toward resources like mental health care and rebuilding/strengthening communities. Get rid of things like food deserts and the like. Not that all cops end up out of a job entirely (although some really should be. That needs to be addressed.)

        Almost everyone on my mom’s side of the family are cops and I still think the police make too much money, lol. If we’re going to reward them with exorbitant amounts of money, their actions should align with their pay. Right now, a lot of them—police in general, not necessarily my relatives—are getting paid to go on a neverending power trip.

  40. Rebecca says:

    Too much focus on slogans and not enough on the reality of how much municipal money is directed towards funding police. How “defunding” of social programs and cutting those budget items to zero is why we’re here.

    This could have been a great opportunity to state the facts and not focus on “people” who likely aren’t the ones being overpoliced and their social programs being underfunded or not funded at all.

    Maybe we should move past trying to appeal to “people” who would never support any cuts for cops because they value their false sense of security above the real terror overpoliced communities have to deal with on a daily basis.

  41. SunshineG says:

    What’s interesting to me is the shift on this point. I said the same thing when the phrase became popular this past summer and was argued down by BLM supporters. At that time the feeling was, ugh you don’t get it. My entire stance has been that the phrase is problematic and does a horrible job of presenting their point and is divisive for the sake of divisiveness. I am glad the conversation is shifting.

  42. Em says:

    He’s completely right and I have felt the same all along, but people are rabid and all-or-none on issues like this. It’s boils down to political strategy. You can’t make headway on reform without being strategic on how you phrase things…it’s common sense. I wish he had spoken up sooner to help bring some sense to the situation. If we’re going to make gains on police reform and brutality/deaths, that isn’t the way to phrase it or the end goal. It’s not going to solve a long-term problem and will likely hurt local communities in the long run. Not sure what the “right answer” is, but not believing in “defund the police” shouldn’t equate to not supporting police reform.

  43. Veronica S. says:

    We have a whole generation of people raised on social media who think the echo chamber is much bigger and powerful than it actually is. That’s one of the biggest challenges I really see young liberals facing in the next couple years – despite having a lot of information and a desire to go good, they’re just incredibly politically ignorant in some ways. Money and legislation, guys. That’s what effects change. It’s unfortunately nowhere near as glamorous as we want it to be.

    We have a major problem with compromise – not with the other side but simply with reality. A lot of them don’t know how to play the game or want to admit that there has to be nuance in the game. They don’t want to admit that sometimes your allies are going to make mistakes or may not have perfectly woke opinions that you’ll need to work through together. Being rabidly angry may feel satisfying in the moment, but it’s damaging in the long run. You can’t ask people to be your allies and then expect them to stick around when you treat them like shit.

    I see this a *lot* in the LGBT+ community. There’s so much focus on semantics and language and cosmetic progressiveness, and I’m here in my thirties like….guys. Social justice movements are not fancy clubs. They are activist groups meant to prevent governments from oppressing you. Language matters, but it won’t give you rights. The enemy does not care how you identify; they care that you dare to exist, and if you’re too busy tearing each other apart, they’re going to win. You can have space for some of the more finely nuanced arguments later after you take care of the literal fascist problem staring us in the face.

    • Liz says:

      @Veronica S.

      Your point is so eloquent and so correct. I wish I could put the following two things you said on a billboard:

      “We have a major problem with compromise – not with the other side but simply with reality.”

      “Being rabidly angry may feel satisfying in the moment, but it’s damaging in the long run.”

  44. missskitttin says:

    Definitely, the problem is in the term used. Personally I think tat “Redistribute the funds” is more adjusted to reality and needs than “Defund”

  45. Mrs. Smith says:

    The word “Defund” in this context is confusing. It gets people worked up that the police are going away and works against the very point it was making. Clarifying the movement with the word “Reform” is better, but still misses the mark a bit. Maybe Team Biden can relaunch this with a new spot-on term in Jan.

  46. Lemons says:

    The slogan is fine when you have an educated populace. The slogan is fine when you do not have people who willfully take it out of its context of an abusive police force that is well-paid, but not well-trained and willfully corrupt.

    These terms shouldn’t need a huge explanation. I guarantee Obama doesn’t need one. Unfortunately, so many Americans still need one EVEN AFTER seeing violent police squads at peaceful protests.

    • Darla says:

      Americans need constant explanations as to why they can’t eat inside with people outside of household even socially distanced, to guard against an AIRBORNE virus. I mean, what chance did defund the police really have?

    • Veronica S. says:

      The problem is that you’re also up against decades of propaganda in both media and classrooms that posit police as good. Poor and minority classes know better, but anybody higher up on the socioeconomic ladder has likely had mostly decent to neutral experiences with police simply because they’re protected by wealth and class or they’ve had militarized policing normalized to such an extent that they can’t see the issue.

  47. Miasys says:

    As usual, President Obama provides a thoughtful, nuanced take and as usual, the internet loses its collective mind over how dare he not take the extreme angle and he is not doing enough. He is not our saviour, however much I wish it were true and even though sometimes it feels like it. He’s also not an extreme left pol, and the socialists and extreme left people need to come to terms with that. He is who he is and I’m incredibly grateful for the well-considered approach he is taking, even if it isn’t enough/fast enough/liberal enough as I would like it to be. I may not agree with him 100% all of the time, but I have never doubted his sincerity, intelligence, compassion or willingness to put country first. TBH, just grateful to read a news article that doesn’t immediately spike my anxiety.

  48. holly hobby says:

    Obama is 100% right. I always found that “defund” slogan problematic. It also doesn’t help that some people go full throttle over the slogan and say eliminate the police entirely. That’s not going to win you any fans.

    Whoever came up with that botched it from the very beginning and I do think it may have cost some moderate DEMS their seats.

  49. detritus says:

    For all those activists being dissuaded by this ‘appeal to the bigoted masses’ rhetoric, I’ve got a story about something that happened to me.

    I’m not a fancy big wig. I’m not a public speaker, but I recently spoke out. And spoke out on something many would find offensive or ask for me to tone down.

    I spoke at an international union event recently, and I called out our leadership for not supporting women, especially not supporting BIPOC women. For not supporting them in leadership, and for the old boys club that allows only men to rise in the ranks. The international president left halfway through my speech. I offended some of those leaders, and some of the women in attendance. But what else? It caused the male leadership to re examine policy and how ignorant they were on the damages of lack of representation. It created a network of women across countries who agreed and want change, knowing the potential cost. It created change. I am one person. Not with a lot of power, but with a lot of stubbornness and a loud voice. Don’t let tone policing silence you, and don’t underestimate the power of your words – who’s voice you promote and who’s voice you push back against – on others who may be silent but listening.

    • Miasys says:

      @Detritus- wow, you are amazing and brave! Kudos to you!

    • Snuffles says:


      I don’t think this is the same thing. He’s not saying don’t speak up, he’s saying work on the messaging that will encourage people to see the details beyond the slogan.

      I’m assuming you gave a very impassioned speech with well thought out ideas. And didn’t just get up and scream “fuck the old boy network!” over and over again.

      • detritus says:

        No, I didn’t use those words but that was my intent.
        And I asked our international leaders to step down and make way for women and people of colour.

        Just like people aren’t using vulgar language as a slogan, defund the police isn’t a swear.

  50. YAS says:

    As a former marketing and communications specialist, he’s correct. I say this as a person who agrees 100% with many of the underlying policies that that slogan represents. Unfortunately, a certain swath of the electorate is proudly anti-intellectual and just not wonky and an even wider swath of the electorate is not engaged enough to do any reading or digging. They hear a slogan and they’re not going to do much digging. And it’s a bad enough turn of phrase that it makes it easy for the other side of the political divide, which is rife with opportunistic bad faith actors, to twist and turn and people just aren’t going to be interested enough in doing their own research. If we weren’t so siloed in the media we consume and weren’t living in an era of extreme negative partisanship, it would be a fine slogan. But that’s not the reality we live in.

  51. L4frimaire says:

    Defund the Police is the same as Abolish Ice. People don’t get the nuance and policy reform goals behind it. It does not mean an anarchic, lawless free for all, but opponents to the policy goals will frame it as such. To some, these discussions may show party fracture or disagreements, but if it forces the Democrats to think about their messaging and focus,hammer out real policies, I’m all for it. Look at the GOP now. There is no room for discussion or debate about anything other than Trump and his grift. What are their policy discussions and differing points of views. They only care about undermining civil liberties and unfettered corporatization.

    • Darla says:

      And ICE needs to be abolished, but yeah. I mean, I hate ICE, and talk about nazis. But you have to be smart and brand it the right way.

  52. FilmTurtle says:

    To borrow from AOC, people did not want to talk about police brutality and all of the related issues until “Defund the Police” came along and make people uncomfortable. I adore BO, but “polite language” did not work in pushing this issue to the forefront.

    There was all kinds of talk about “polite language” for marriage equality, and how LGBT activists should choose calmer, nicer, less abrasive language in advocating for their issues so straight people wouldn’t be so uncomfortable. “Polite language” did nothing to solve the problem. It was only when people were uncomfortable that change really began to occur.

    • souperkay says:

      Yes!! Thank you!! Some people are getting it at least.

      Everyone on this thread is asking for new words because they do not want to confront what defund the police means, what systemic racism means, what anti-racism is, and how to actually help BIPOC communities.

      So much discomfort, so little reflection, just change the words, make them mean something else, make me comfortable with an idea I will never be comfortable with because it will require participation, reflection, action, and confrontation of a society that is unequal, unjust, and unfair.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Agree! And frankly I think Democrats have been pushovers on a lot of issues. While Black people are being killed by police.

    • Southern Fried says:


  53. Reece says:

    He’s right. It seems to be entirely a problem of branding.
    More than him has already said the same thing. In fact (and this happened to me) people have to explain what “defund the police” actually means to people who don’t generally keep up with politics etc but hear the hot words of the day in the news or wherever. I mean, I’ve even heard police officers say that they are all for it, once it’s explained.

  54. yinyang says:

    It should be reform the police, but I think regardless people play obtuse when it pertains to BLM. Money should go towards funding kids school meals and housing and stuff instead of policing and military tech to be used on innocent citizens. I know a lot of police families out there will have a problem with this but the money being spent on special weapons and stuff can be better used elsewhere.

  55. Southern Fried says:

    Yeah yeah, stop saying it bc it offends those with delicate sensibilities.
    I love Obama but he’s wrong here. With what we’ve been through the last4 years and y’all still want to tippy- toe?

  56. Deathbybacon says:

    I will never reach across a table to compromise on Genecide. 45 and all his crew support the death of poc by means of corrupt and unjust laws. So 44 don’t tarnish your legacy quibbling over the word Defund. Those that argue about titles never intend to discuss the issue.

  57. Darla says:

    I hate the police. And I’ve known a lot of cops, because I’m white and I live on LI. I’ve had them in my family, tho not immediate family. Every one of them I’ve known is racist and sexist, like on steroids. My true feelings are F the police. My closest friends know how I feel and always say to me “but if you called them you’d want them to come”. Like it’s a big gotcha. Yeah, I want them to do their f’ing jobs that they’re being paid for and no one forced them to take, yeah. That’s not the big gotcha you think it is. But I can’t walk around saying F the police because I’m white, and the unbearable smug privilege of a white person walking around in a F the police tshirt is not lost on me. And I have to soften the wording of my message when I talk to white people about the police. I know white people. Even democrats. You won’t win elections with this messaging, and that means more people keep suffering. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. I have actual contempt for it. But I know how it is.

    • Southern Fried says:

      I grudgingly agree, I’m sick and tired of explaining. I’m also sick and tired of giving into the wing nuts complaints, like those mfkrs should even get a say is infuriating. I guess I may try to tippy-toe.