There were over ten million arrests made in 2019 in the United States. We’re currently operating our country as if the following is true: American civility and safety are dependent on whether or not millions of arrests involving African Americans occur without injury or death. The white examples of the exact same act are, for this rule, irrelevant to the public discourse.
In this past week, with violent protest and disregard for property rights still occurring in Portland, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $27 million civil settlement with the family of George Floyd over the man’s death in police custody last year.
“The family of George Floyd and our legal team are very grateful to Mayor Frey and the city council for not just saying you care about George Floyd, but showing that you care about George Floyd — not just saying that black lives matter, but showing the world that black lives matter,” George Floyd’s family’s attorney Ben Crump said.
While Crump also called the taxpayer-funded settlement “historic,” there is nothing particularly new about this genre of high-ticket extortion, utilizing public guilt and the threat of violence for the goal of monetary gains. According to the NAACP, $175.9 million in civil judgments and claims for police-related lawsuits were paid by just New York City during the 2019 fiscal year. $500 million was paid out by the City of Chicago between 2004 and 2014 for police-related lawsuits.
Then, after these massive hits to local budgets, we’re told to celebrate advocacy groups in their successful effort to cut $840 million in direct cuts from US police departments and obtaining $160 million investments in community services on a national level. It would seem we’re both voluntarily and involuntarily slashing all funding.
There is also a considerable cost to the “mostly peaceful” protests, with a new study suggesting that $2 billion worth of damage has occurred since the death of George Floyd.
Some believe numbers such as those previously stated are a drop in the bucket towards remedy, yet this theater of public lashing is only driving its supporters further from any stated economic goals. Rather, the effort continues to reduce public funding, while politicians use the language of or against the disenfranchised when needing a vote.
To be fair, many disagree with me on the current state of America’s economy. The completely apolitical and upstanding Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University expects our problems to be a thing of the past. In fact, their recent study found that Joe Biden’s recent stimulus package, containing a one-time payment of a few thousand dollars going to each American family, should “nearly halve child poverty, and would more than halve the rate for Black and Hispanic children.” The annual poverty rate would fall from 12.3% to 8.2%, according to those projections.
By those estimates, we’re only $4 trillion away from 0 poverty. Someone get the Federal Reserve on the phone – I have an initiative.