The new abolitionists

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After the grand jury indictments were handed out for the Breonna Taylor case, a U-Haul truck was dispatched immediately with signs and other materials needed for the ensuing “protests.” On one of these signs was written the historically loaded term “Abolition.”

“Abolition” and “abolitionists” were once terms primarily reserved for those brave and honorable souls who sought the end of slavery in our country. These people, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass, based their conviction on the principle that all men and women are indeed created “equal” under the law and are equal in dignity in the eyes of God. Slavery was a gross violation of both principles and could no longer be tolerated in a country founded on such principles.

While there were a variety of causes for the Civil War, this was the primary purpose of that bloodiest of American wars: to rid our country of the scourge of slavery and the ideology that permitted it. And so it was done, though the final work of undoing the underlying cause — racism — would take another hundred years and more.

We have made great progress in this field as a result of the efforts of these first abolitionists and their spiritual heirs such as Martin Luther King, Jr. These activists based their efforts on their deep, abiding love for their fellow men and women, even those who opposed them. They were seeking to banish a practice from American society that was evil in-and-of-itself, which was the enslavement of peoples in the 19th century, and the systemic denial of rights in the early and mid-20th century.

And because their cause was noble, and right, and good, they eventually succeeded.

The new abolitionists, however, do not so much seek to rid our country of a practice, as to remove an entire segment of the civic apparatus in pursuit of some very vague, ill-defined vision of utopian peace. They seek to “abolish the police,” as we have seen and heard, and as some idiotic government councils have embraced.

But the police are not in and of themselves the problem. They are an expression of the laws and practices of the state and the society that it serves (or is supposed to serve). In totalitarian regimes, the police indeed can be corrupt and malignant, but that is not because the institution of “the police” itself is bad, but rather the political entity that makes the rules and gives them their marching orders is corrupt and evil.

Which leads us to the inescapable conclusion that the anti-police protesters and rioters may not so much hate the police, who make an easy scapegoat to the unthinking, uncritical malcontents, as they do the society that employs them.

It is true that many of the protesters and their minions in the media and politics want to not only eliminate policing in the very communities which would be decimated by such an act, but they believe the entire society must be “burned down,” that our constitutional democracy has to go, and that our free-market system of economic organization must also be destroyed. Indeed, many of these protesters are calling for a revolution.

But when we see the faces and hear the voices of these protesters, replete with vulgarities and ridiculous accusations of “systemic racism” and evil cops and the impossibility of equal justice in our country, do we see the face of love, or respect, or carefully considered moral and ethical premises?

I certainly don’t. What I see is hatred, loathing, resentment, immaturity, anger, chaos. I hear false statements, factually untrue, driving the rage. I see people targeting politicians in their homes, forcing innocent bystanders to chant a phrase or raise a fist, and cops being shot.

Folks, the incongruity between our first abolitionists and these modern-day, self-proclaimed abolitionists could not be greater. If you want a more appropriate and logically consistent cause that reflects the principles of anti-slavery and civil rights activists, it would be abortion, for abortion and those who promote it and implement it are indeed denying the humanity and dignity of the most innocent of humans, the unborn.

In the end, if we have a problem in our society, it is one of the lack of love and compassion for our fellow man. I am as guilty as any. This dearth of love cannot be filled or rectified by acts of hate and anger. To get beyond our current predicament, we must first start from the position of loving our neighbor, and no one is excluded from that category, not even the cops.

If you can protest and clamor for change that assumes you are loving those with whom you disagree, then I will listen and work with you. But if you fire your grievance with rage and the explicit hatred of a category of people, like police, or Republicans, or white people, then I will not go with you to a solution, for no solution based on such hatred can ever be just or effective.

It will only lead to chaos and division, which is exactly what certain political actors in the world want to see in our country, what the Father of Lies himself always seeks to sow.

God bless everyone, and God bless our country.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Where to even begin?
    It seems that there is a disconnect in regard to some topics which apparently elude the author of the original post. The Breonna Taylor case is as good a place to begin as any. The conclusion reached by the Grand Jury was a direct result of the bias and heavyhanded misdirection of the D.A. in Louisville. Anger, Disillusionment and a sense of despair in the face of cruel indifference to any justice for the stolen life of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the LMPD resonates in the hearts and minds of so many who hoped for a sliver of hope that this system would provide the kind of outcome that signaled a change would come for the marganilized. Despite his attempts to reframe and hide the evidence that brings to light the many missteps and sloppy police work and ham handed and falsified errors in protocol that led to her death, the realities of corruption and cronyism have lifted the curtain on systemic issues that plague the injustice system. The movement to defund the police is not advocating to disband police. The hope is to re allocate taxpayer dollars awarded to police departments toward other programs that promote a managed and trained group of professionals who are better able to assist members of the community during mental health crisis, domestic disputes, and other situations which call for a non militarized and non confrontational interaction then many police departments are being trained to manage. This approach would require some adjustment to how the community sees and understands that crisis need to be met with care and compassion where brute force and intimidation often result in life altering or ending tragedies. This approach could if handled properly alleviate the need for a surplus in the policing budget that is reserved for awarding monetary compensation for screw ups that cost millions of tax payer dollars across states all over the country. In addition these practices would create more jobs and help to raise a healthy sense of community dedicated towards bettering circumstances as opposed to fostering punishment, incarceration and violence. Stress levels for law enforcement would decline as interactions with the public were more centered on the pursuit of criminal activity as opposed to minor local issues attended by community outreach officials. Independent agencies would be involved in prosecutorial incidences of police and court misconduct to provide a fail safe means of holding law enforcement to account removing the bias and favoritism that has provided cover and enabled corruption in cases like Breonna Taylor’s.
    The suggestion that those on “the left” should equivocate abortion with slavery is ridiculous, unless we are discussing those that attempt to control and manipulate a woman’s individual autonomy and right to control her own reproductive system. Hijacking the narrative around abortion in an attempt to draw a parallel between making the personal choice to end a pregnancy, and the forced servitude of millions into the service of the country is an interesting direction to go with, but it also opens up the huge flaw that should be obvious. Forcing a portion of the population into an immoral circumstance (reproduction against their will) and using God as a means by which to justify subjugation is itself a form of slavery.
    Finally, the habit of some people attempting to condescend regarding age and experience is pretty lame, especially where social justice is concerned. Millennials and Gen Z folks are leading the world in bringing issues regarding human rights, systemic injustice, racial and gender equality issues and so much more. Some Boomers may not agree with the positions we take but it is a mistake to discount the seriousness and dedication to making the world a more just and equitable place for everyone. It might benefit some who think themselves to possess a more informed reality about any given topic, however I encourage you to seek information outside of the single source of “information” you think to be the fountain of knowledge…

    A. Candelaria.

  2. All I can say is that the hard core BLM rioters have turned me against their cause, and the “Defund Police” crowd aren’t clearly considering who will CYA if they need help.

    The great social progress of the past 60 years in America is now being reversed by the radical voices who are destroying the minds of our young people…young people who are totally unaware of how they are being led by their nose rings into servitude.

    • They know exactly who will help them out, the people hired to replace cops. Cops are good at what they do and that’s arrest people. You don’t need a cop to enforce a noise violation or something along those lines. You don’t need a cop to handout traffic tickets, you could replace them with cameras. That would be much cheaper, less dangerous for cops and citizens, and more equitable as cameras don’t care who’s driving. We could even move traffic enforcement to be under the DOT, leaving drunk drivers as the only thing cops have to look for making their jobs easier. Same thing with addicts, throwing them in jail is not going to help them. They need to get help overcoming their addiction, so that they can be productive members of society again instead of sitting in prison costing taxpayers money for years on end.

      • Hi Henry,
        Interesting concepts, who should be doing all of this?

        Do we multi layer government even more than it is, do we hand out marginal authority to folks that perform “Enforcement Lite”.

        Who will go at 2 am when the “street party” attracts 20 people and develops a lot more than just noise…who decides if a cop goes or the neighborhood monitor…who do you give this “minimal” authority to and how do you know when to apply additional authority.

        Life is not managed by “dorm mothers” assigned by government….if it were…I wouldn’t get cursed out by 19 year old “little girl boys” on skate boards when I mention that they can’t perform their tricks on my office private property parking lot…maybe they would respect me if I wore a “special vest” or gave them an Amazon gift card to move along…give me a simple upline with the fewest person’s of authority most easily accountable under the law.

        Who will stop the car crossing the center line and determine if the driver should be advised to stay off the iPhone or get a whiff of booze on the breath and then call a cop?
        I want to live where life is orderly and fair for all, authority is clear and even handed, where if you need help it is available….in my opinion a policeman or policewoman is the best trained “boots on the ground” application of this…even for all that you have thoughtfully proposed.
        Have a nice day.

        • In the case of a street party, the community worker should respond. In my head they would have power to give out tickets, but not arrest people. They would tell the people to go home and I think that most of the time people will go home without to much trouble. If people cause trouble, they can issue tickets and if that doesn’t work they can radio the police to come and arrest them. The specifics of who has the authority to do what would have to be worked out in city council with everyone’s input. Most other first world nations don’t have armed cops, of course we have the second amendment. Far to many people get shot and killed by police and this is just my suggestion on how to fix that. I’m not an expert and my ideas certainly have flaws but it’s a starting point.

          • Henry,
            I can tell that you put a lot of thought into your proposals.
            I don’t know your age, nor do I know about your life experience.
            I was pretty liberal in my 20’s and became more moderate as I aged, owned a home, had a profession, desired an orderly life, and am now 67.
            I see all this from a practical point of view where attempt to be the most efficient in all situations.

            I’ll maintain my position that the best way to mitigate and manage citizens safety and apply the law is through duly trained and appointed officers.

          • I think we can agree that the police need some kind of reform. The question is how do we want to do that? You’ve heard my proposal.