“It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation . . . It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens . . . white and black.”
One could be forgiven for thinking this was Joe Biden on the presidential campaign trail after months of anti-racism protests in the US this year. But the quote is from the 1968 Kerner Commission report into that decade’s race riots, which put the blame on poverty, systemic racism and bad policing.
Half a century later, the diagnosis is the same: the US needs to spend more money preventing violence and less on catching or punishing people afterwards. In today’s lingo, that’s known as “defunding the police”. The Kerner Commission would never have put it that way. But that’s what they meant. We still haven’t figured out how to do it.
Democrats were terrified that calls to “defund” or even “abolish” the police would…
— to www.ft.com