by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Black business owners surveyed by the Washington Examiner said they see a need, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, for reforms to police treatment of minority citizens, even to the point, in some cases, of defunding.
“As a whole, we don’t believe in defunding the police force, but I think that has never really been the question,” Tasia Ford told the Washington Examiner. “I think there are deeper issues that got us to where we are today.”
Ford, with her husband Paul, is an owner of Big Red’s Hot Sauce in Phoenix, Arizona.
“At the end of the day, do we believe that police are bad and need to be destroyed? No, that’s never been our stand. But is there a problem that needs to be addressed? Yes,” she said, adding that “the police are a representation of a much deeper rooted problem … [and] I don’t necessarily know [if defunding] solves the problem or just puts a Band-Aid on something that needs stitches.”
The concept of defunding the police has been thrust into the national conversation by activists aligned with Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. …
… Recent polling shows that a plurality of black Americans oppose the general idea.
A HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted between June 8 and June 10 found that 29% of black respondents either “strongly” or “somewhat” support defunding the police, while 49% “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose it. Another 22% were “not sure” how they felt.
“I think [defunding] would be bad for businesses, in a way, because if you abolish the police, who would protect the town?” said one black bakery owner in Pennsylvania, who was granted anonymity to avoid drawing scrutiny to her business.