Trump Toady William Barr suggested that blacks are just too dangerous for police departments to be defunded and he also falsely insinuated that calls to defund police departments are a call to abandon all public safety and justice efforts. Then Barr revealed his Trumper idea of civil rights: “school choice.”
Interviewer Bret Baier got the fear mongering started by falsely suggesting that the defunding supporters want to get rid of police and just let the chips fall where they may. He asked, “What would happen if a major American city, Chicago, D.C. disbanded its police department? What would that look like? Would the federal government have to step in?”
“What it would look like is you’d have increases in vigilantism and you would have increasing chaos in the city,” Barr intoned. B-roll footage showed looted stores to amplify the fear. Of course, right wingers love vigilantism when it comes to white folks with guns.
BARR: There is no question [police reform] is an issue and has to be dealt with but in terms of sheer numbers, is that these police officers who are oppressing African American communities – there are a lot more damage from, a lot more killing, a lot more fear engendered on the streets from criminal elements.
In Chicago, for example, in one weekend – 60, 70 people shot. If you pull back the police from these communities, there will be more harm done to these communities.
[Donald Trump’s] pushing for school choice for inner-city parents. That’s to me the civil rights issue of our era, is giving these parents the wherewithal to educate their children in the best schools possible. And so he is addressing that.
I think pulling the police back from these communities would make it far more difficult for these communities to have the equal opportunity and full participation in the American dream that they deserve.
For one thing, protesters are in the streets demanding social justice, not school choice. But more importantly, Barr is essentially saying that public schools should be defunded, not police. Because, while he can dress up his policy goals, he almost certainly knows darn well that so-called school choice takes money away from public schools. It's pretty much a more palatable way of saying "privatize."
Furthermore, despite the name, the defund police movement is really a movement to reprioritize public spending toward other kinds of services to ensure safety and justice.
Interviewer Bret Baier asked some tough questions but he let the scare tactics go unchallenged. He also thoughtfully avoided any pesky questions about the withering criticism toward Barr of late, including a Congressman's threat to cut his budget, calls for him to be disbarred, stripped of his law degree, impeached and to resign.
Barr also tried to justify the tear gassing of protesters outside the White House so Dear Leader Trump could have his photo op at St. John’s Church. My colleague at Crooks and Liars deconstructed this PR effort Barr also made on Sunday's Face the Nation. Yesterday, The Washington Post published a great video piecing together a video timeline of the crackdown on the protesters.
You can watch Barr below, from the June 8, 2020 Special Report.