um, yes, this lawmaker actually does say that https://t.co/Pl0KbKtQkD— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) August 5, 2021
Surely you exaggerate, Mr. Neuer.
Not in the least, it turns out, because Bush, a member of "The Squad" elected to the House of Representatives in 2020, remarks as seen in the video below (complete video here)
But this is the thing- I won't let them get off. You can't get that off. I'm going to make sure that I have security because I know I have had attempts on my life and I have too much work to do, there are too many people that need help right now for e to allow that.
So if I end up spending 299,000,if I spend 10 more dollars on it- you know what, I got to be here to do the work. So suck it up and defunding the police has to happen. We need to defund the police and put that money into social service safety net.
However, as Representative Bush herself would say.... this is the thing. Undermining police and transferring money into social services is an interim measure for Cori Bush. She would go much further.
With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 2, 2020
It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police. https://t.co/Wsxp1Y1bBi
With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.
It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police.
Shorter Bush: "A slogan? No, we really mean defund all the police." One resident of Bush's district, who supports the congresswoman generally and on this issue, understands the latter's intent. She comments
We’re all concerned about security and want to be safe in our communities but I think that the police itself as an institution has a really traumatic history that is highly problematic. I support her efforts to want to defund the police and I also think it’s important simultaneously to try and figure out how to have the safe communities that we all want without necessarily continuing with institution of the police.
But the implications of Bush's position, discontinuing the institution of the police, and its implications are understood best by this journalist:
The use of incredibly expensive private security by those pushing to defund/abolish police is a prime example of neoliberalism in action. It’s easy to demonize the public sector if you can afford the private, whether it’s in education, health care or in this case, safety.— Lee Fang (@lhfang) August 5, 2021
As Cori Bush herself is demonstrating, people will always need security and will demand it. Defund the police, public sector employees paid by the public and ultimately accountable to it, and there still will be private companies providing security. They will be assuring safety for the rich- or, as in the case of Representative Bush, those with campaign funds to pay for it.
Increasingly huddled in gated communities, the very well off will have all the desired armed security acting with all the rights of private companies. All others, such as the people of the city of St. Louis (who dominate Bush's district) will have to fend for themselves. The two Americas, wealthy and the non-wealthy, will be increasingly distinguished one from another and increasingly hostile to each other.
That will apply, as Lee Fang notes, "whether it's in education, health care, or in this case, safety." Or as Cori Bush would herself put it, "suck it up, suckers."