The Bethlehem conversations on defunding the police (9): Carmen, George, and Cindy

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Good conversation builds community.
The Gadfly

Carmen LoBaido

I do not favor defunding or disbanding the police department. I don’t have any problem with them. For years I owned a business on Main St. , and I felt very safe with them around.

George Roxandich

Some of the citizens . . . I found alarming. That supposedly rational people can be manipulated . . . is sad. . . . Using the hammer/nail analogy, if you assume there is systemic racism, then everything will be caused by systemic racism. That begs the question, where is racism built into the system. It isn’t. It happens because occasionally individuals are racist. Those are two dramatically different things. One has to do with the individual, one has to do with the system, and using that systemic racism phrase, it really has no meaning. . . .  There was a young boy who died in a similar circumstance in a youth facility locally. Would sustained rioting be justified? . . . Persistent patterns of racial injustice. Are they persistent patterns or perceived persistent patterns?  Two dramatically different things. . . . Talking points. . . . Black Live Matter. . . . While many recent protestors are truly interested in supporting minority rights, Black Lives Matter Inc, contrary to its name, is at its core a Marxist organization, admittedly led by trained Marxists. . . . Easily verified. . . . Funded by. . . . well intentioned but misled corporations. . . Much of the money funneled might go to the fringe radicals and the Congo but not, you notice, to the devastated local Black communities. . . . Marxist organization. . . . Responsible for the deaths of 175m civilians. . . . The violence you see today didn’t begin with the death of the vicious felon George Floyd. . . . It began in 1999, maybe even earlier. Marxist Socialists protested the World Trade Organization in Seattle, demonstrating what was called the Black ___?___ . . . dressed in black, masks and helmets . . . setting fires . . . smashing windows. . . . Sound familiar? . . . Police were restrained from intervening. . . . This type of activity went on for years. . . . This is all twenty years before George Floyd. . . . They were waiting for a video like Floyd’s. If raising awareness of injustice was the reason for the protest, then how long would it have taken to raise awareness, a couple days. But the overthrow of our government is the goal. . . . There is no appeasing radicals. This may seem far-fetched here. . . . But things eroded little by little. First, the language changed, phrases like social justice and systemic racism, phrases that didn’t exist before. . . . If we are going to have discussion, let’s define the word and discuss whether the problem is real or imagined. What is social justice? Different things to everybody who says it. There are 18,000 police departments in the United States, there were 13 or 14 unarmed Blacks killed in 2019. That doesn’t sound systemic. In New York . . . stop and frisk . . . incidence of further police action was less for Blacks than for whites. . . . Antifa. . . . Say so strong and clear beginning at the beginning of this process, otherwise you are complicit ___?____ lawlessness. . . . Why did they bristle at the phrase “all lives matter”? . . . . Others engage with evil intent. . . . Would an organization whose goal is empowering Black citizens trash and burn its Black communities to the ground?

Cindy O’Brien

I’m a big supporter of the Bethlehem police. I think they do a really great job, and they deserve credit for doing a great job. We were all very surprised . . . defunding the police came up. . . . defund and dismantle the Bethlehem Police for no reason, right? . . . . Excellent track record and two accreditations, so on what basis do the people have for defunding the Bethlehem police? . . . Some of the members of City Council allege and support the idea of systemic racism . . . white supremacy widely spread throughout every institution in our country and particularly the police, I really want to challenge that, there’s really no basis of fact for that.  There are 42 million Black people in this country, and last year there were only about 15 unarmed Black people killed by police. Just 15 out of 42 million. You know, that is really something to contemplate. . . . There are no victims of any kinds of crimes at your meeting. Your meeting is full of professors who live in ivory towers. I don’t think these people understand what it means to be the victim of a crime. . . . One of the professors. . . . [Blacks] do have elevated rates of crime. . . . Black on Black crime. . . . a lot of Black on Black crime. . . . read an article in Commentary magazine. . . . This narrative of police brutality is just not true. . . . Next time you have another meeting, you should invite some victims. . . . I personally have been a victim of a crime, I know what’s it’s like to be a victim.

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