The Carolinian –Op-Ed -RNC National Spokesperson Paris Dennard – (Source: caro.news) – Democrats played off the legitimate concerns and fears of many Black Americans regarding acts of aggression by some members of law enforcement that led to hospitalizations—and even death—by promising to enact sweeping police reform. Over a year after the tragic death of George Floyd and others, Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the White House. However, there has not been any police reform legislation sent to President Biden to sign.
Congressional Democrats let the Black community and all Americans down by not showing the requisite leadership and political will to actually get bipartisan police reform done. They said that they would make it a priority. Politics is about compromise and working together for the greater good. No, you don’t always get 100 percent of what you want but it is better to have most of the needed reforms than none at all.
Senator Tim Scott said, “After months of making progress, I am deeply disappointed that Democrats have once again squandered a crucial opportunity to implement meaningful reform to make our neighborhoods safer and mend the tenuous relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases, and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table.”
The media will try to make up all kinds of excuses for the inexcusable way that Democrats pandered for the Black vote and failed to deliver on meaningful police reform legislation. In fact, what they did is even more sinister: Democrats proposed, supported, and implemented a national movement to defund the police. This policy is not only reckless, but it is deadly as we have seen an increase in crime, violence, and murders all over the country. This is because Democrat-controlled city governments actually implemented this policy, leaving citizens and businesses extremely vulnerable to crime.
Scott condemned “defund the police” in a statement and put forth tenets of his own bill meant to create actionable change, saying, “Defunding the police destabilizes our communities. Change requires resources. I offered to introduce a bill that included our areas of compromise—a bill that activists and law enforcement alike could have supported. Despite having plenty of agreement, Democrats said no because they could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement. Once again, the Left let their misguided idea of perfect be the enemy of good, impactful legislation.” The bill that the Democrats proposed allowed specific provisions that would have defunded the police by blocking grant dollars to the departments. That is not reform, it is reckless.
And yet Democrats have walked away from enacting police reform twice now. Remember, woke Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois stood on the front lines in his opposition to Senator Tim Scott’s effort to enact meaningful police reform after the death of George Floyd by calling it ”token” legislation. Durbin and his Democrat colleagues decided that no reform was better than some reform and blocked it last year.
Maybe President Biden and Democrat leaders should read The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump so they can learn how to get things done. If you recall, it was Joe Biden who pledged to address police reform in his first 100 days.
Last year, President Trump took action with his Executive Order on Safe Policing for Safe Communities. That action was serious and to date, the only meaningful action from the federal government addressing this issue. Axios highlighted the main points of Trump’s order: “Police departments that meet certain standards, outlined by the Justice Department, on use of force will be given access to federal grants… Departments must ban the use of chokeholds to receive such certification, unless an officer is targeted by deadly force… create[s] a national registry to track police officers with multiple instances of the use of excessive force… [and] includes new programs that would help law enforcement officials better deal with mental illness, homelessness, and addiction—including encouraging departments to involve mental health professionals and social workers to work alongside officers in the field.”
The Black community did not get that kind of action from Biden. CBS news reported, “As a candidate, Mr. Biden pledged in the days after George Floyd’s death to form a national police oversight board in his first 100 days in office, if elected. But the White House announced earlier this month it would not create the oversight board.”
That Biden inaction and the breakdown in talks ending any police reform legislation in Congress was not lost on civil rights leaders and the sister of George Floyd who said, “I was going to D.C. for Biden to sign a bill… Biden has not signed that bill. Biden has broke a promise.” She added a message for the president: “Get your people in order.”
The Democrats right now are failing the Black community. There is no plan to address police reform, no plan to address the increase in crime and violence across the nation, no plan to fix the rise in Black unemployment, and no plan to empower and uplift Black communities so they can prosper. When you push to defund the police but fail to enact police reform, you show us your real priorities. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats in Congress remain all talk, and no action.
Paris Dennard is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Follow him on Twitter: @PARISDENNARD.