By Sherman R. Frederick
There’s a wonderful bit in Monty Python’s movie “Life of Brian” in which two characters hear Jesus give the Sermon on the Mount. Unfortunately they are too far back to hear properly.
When Jesus says “Blessed are the peacemakers” they mishear it as “cheesemakers.”
“What’s so special about cheesemakers,” they ask.
A nearby man explains: “Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.”
There in a nutshell is where liberals of privilege find themselves as they try to hear the angst of Black Lives Matters.
Leaders in every town in The Bay Area want so desperately to identify with the George Floyd protests. And they do hear it when it comes to the brutal unfairness of his death. How could anyone of any color not?
Then comes the stumbling block: “Defund the Police.” That’s a bridge too far for most Bay Area communities. To get on board, the status quo must “reinvent” what it means.
Hence, the keeper of the status quo — the Washington Post — featured a piece last week trying to explain what is really meant by “Defund the Police.”
“Defunding the police means shrinking the scope of police responsibilities and shifting most of what the government does to keep us safe to entities that are better equipped to meet that need,” the newspaper quoted a Georgetown professor as saying.
Political leaders with any kind of state or national aspirations are already twisting themselves into pretzels trying to find a palatable way to embrace the movement without hearing what’s really being said.
So, let’s get a little closer and listen. Consider Mariame Kaba’s op-ed in the New York Times. It is entitled:
“Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.”
She says “it is not enough to reinvent the police, change their job descriptions and make them focus only on the “worst of the worst criminals.”
Nothing short of “the abolition of the police” will do. And, to start, she writes, we should “cut the number of police in half and cut their budget in half. Fewer police officers equals fewer opportunities for them to brutalize and kill people. The idea is gaining traction in Minneapolis, Dallas, Los Angeles and other cities.”
Does anybody see that happening here? Any county or city going to cut their cop budget in half? Not a chance. So here we sit as a nation caught in a racial divide of Monty Python proportions.
What’s so damn special about Black Lives Matters?
Well, “Defund the Police” doesn’t literally mean defund the police. “It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.”
IT’S CRAZY OUT THERE
— Movie producer Spike Lee said something nice about his disgraced fellow movie producer (and friend) Woody Allen. He took big heat from the Me-Too crowd, forcing Lee to take a knee on Saturday:
“I Deeply Apologize. My Words Were WRONG. I Do Not And Will Not Tolerate Sexual Harassment, Assault Or Violence. Such Treatment Causes Real Damage That Can’t Be Minimized. –Truly, Spike Lee.”
— Lee got away with humiliation. Sonya Forte Duhé lost her job. She was due to take over as dean of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on July 1. The school revoked the offer after she tweeted this on #BlackOutTuesday:
“For the family of George Floyd, the good police officers who keep us safe, my students, faculty and staff. Praying for peace on this #BlackOutTuesday.”
Saying some police officers are good was, well, too much for ASU.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
People in Seattle have blocked off a portion of downtown and declared it an independent nation. Meanwhile, the organizers say the new nation has no food. Here’s their plea:
“The homeless people we invited took away all the food at the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. We need more food to keep the area operational. Please if possible bring vegan meat substitutes, fruits, oats, soy products, etc. – anything to help us eat.”
If you had “New nation rolled by hobos” on your 2020 bingo card, you are a winner.
ONE MORE THING
— The World Health Organization says that dogs cannot spread COVID-19. As a result, dogs no longer need to be quarantined. So to be clear, WHO let the dogs out.
— I’m not a big Huey Lewis fan, but I go to their concerts because my wife likes them. That’s the power of love.
— With so many sporting events cancelled, they are going to televise competitive origami. Look for it Paperview.
I’m sensing a few fingers, so I’ll let myself out. Until next week, be well and stay safe. Avoid soreheads at all costs, and in these strange times be immensely kind to one another. Laugh a little. It’s the only way to live.
Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, publisher of intensely local community newspapers in Northern California and rural Nevada.