Breanna Champion is the Co-Chair of the organization Black Youth Project 100, and is demanding the that all local, state, and federal budgets defund the police and instead use that money as an investment into “Black futures.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, Champion stressed that her group’s goal was not to get Mayor, and former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel (D) to resign, but was instead to defund the police department. She explained that the money used to finance the police department would instead be used to “fund our communities and things that we need.” She did not specify what those things might be nor did she explain who would keep the citizens of Chicago safe after the removal of the police force.
Chicago has seen more than four hundred gun related homicides this year alone despite the increased gun control laws that Democrats have successfully pushed through. The majority of those homicides are described as Black on Black violent crimes.
According to the Black Youth Project 100’s website, the goals of the organization go beyond defunding the police forces in communities. The organization is also seeking reparations for chattel slavery, Jim Crow laws, and mass incarceration.
Other demands include a guaranteed income for all, living wages, a federal jobs program, and freedom from discrimination for all workers.
Carruthers expanded on the points that Champion made on MSNBC to also include the decriminalization of marijuana and other petty crimes. She explained that the group is calling for an “independent civilian police accountability council that has real hiring, firing, subpoena and budgeting power.”
The Black Youth Project was just one of the groups that refused to meet with Mayor Rahm Emanuel after the dash cam video, showing the death of Laquan McDonald, was released to the public.
When asked why she refused the meeting, Carruthers said that the purpose of the meeting was wrong. The mayor was calling for a meeting with black organizations to ease anger and resentment from African-American people who are being told that violence against them from the police force is institutionalized. She said that her group is working to help the communities, not those, “Who actually harm and commit violence against us.”
Since the election of Barack Obama as president, the country has seen the rise of anti-police rhetoric, and even an increase in the number of police officers who have been assassinated.
Obama has been critical of the police officers in the country since the beginning of his term. It began with his attack on the Cambridge Police who he says, “acted stupidly” for stopping a man who was breaking into his own home and allegedly refusing to cooperate with their questioning. He explained that there was a long history of African-Americans and Latinos who are stopped by law enforcement, and at a disproportionate rate.
He then made subtly compared the Arizona law enforcement to Nazi soldiers. In response to the Arizona’s 2012 immigration law, Obama said, “Now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you can be harassed. That’s something that could potentially happen.”
The president also voiced his opinion into the Trayvon Martin shooting. Rather than calming the country, the president used it as an opportunity inflame the African-American communities with his, “If I had a son…” comment.
To make matters worse, Obama’s Racial Ambassador Al Sharpton made appearances in Ferguson, MO after it was decided that there was no foul play on the part of the police during Michael Brown’s shooting. Brown was fatally shot after robbing a convenient store and assaulting a police officer. Sharpton used the opportunity to yell, “No justice, no peace!”
It should not be a surprise now, that there are groups like Black Lives Matter and Black Youth Project 100 who firmly believe that they are victims to institutionalized racism within the American police force simply because they happen to have a darker skin color.