EDITORIAL: Most Black Americans Don’t Want to Abolish the Police

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Las Vegas Review-Journal – To gauge from the media coverage of police reform, it might seem as if the vast majority of Black Americans believe cops are the enemy. A recent Gallup survey finds the opposite and lays bare a false progressive narrative that has largely gone unchecked since the death of George Floyd.

“When asked whether they want the police to spend more time, the same amount of time or less time than they currently do in their area, most Black Americans — 61 percent — want the police presence to remain the same,” an Aug. 5 Gallup release revealed. Only 19 percent of Blacks surveyed said they want the police to spend less time in their neighborhoods. The other 20 percent favor an increased presence.

In other words, a whopping 81 percent of Black Americans aren’t interested in kicking law enforcement out of their communities, let alone in abolishing police departments, as some of the more radical Black Lives Matter activists demand.

The poll also found that 61 percent of Blacks are generally confident that the police will treat them with respect. That number is lower than responses for other groups — whites were at 91 percent, Asians at 78 percent and Hispanics at 77 percent — yet probably far higher than many might guess given national coverage of the issue.

A previous Gallup poll did indeed find widespread support among all Americans, including Blacks, for reforming police departments. Among the most popular measures: punishing “officer abuses” and eradicating cops “with multiple incidents of abuse of power.” But the idea that BLM protesters are representative of the Black community at large when it comes to abolishing the cops is at odds with these findings, to say the least.

Yet, as columnist Jonah Goldberg pointed out last week, where has the view of average Black Americans been reflected in the national conversation? It hasn’t. The poll itself wasn’t even widely reported.

“How many softball interviews did CNN or MSNBC conduct with activists claiming to speak for ‘communities of color’ in which ‘defunding the police’ was not only taken seriously but sympathetically?” Mr. Goldberg notes.

Despite being a recipe for disaster, the idea of eliminating police departments has gained significant traction in many corners of the dominant liberal media despite having extremely limited support from those this idiotic scheme is wrongly purported to help.

“For much of this year,” Mr. Goldberg adds, “skepticism toward ‘defund the police’ rhetoric has been quickly dismissed as just another manifestation of white privilege. Except, as the Gallup poll suggests, Black people don’t view police the same way the activists and journalists who dominate the debate do.”

Many pundits opine that America is divided. In many ways it surely is. But beware of those fomenting discord where very little actually exists.

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