by William Skink
Ok, BLM protestors, they let you play at protesting long enough, and now the adults in the room are asserting themselves.
Our new police chief from California, who wants more money for police, is in perfect alignment with our Mayor, who also wants more money for police. And now the Missoulian is chiming in to declare editorial support for more money for police. This is my favorite part of the editorial:
Though it’s been viewed nationally as a liberal or progressive push, Missoula Mayor John Engen, A Democrat, is bucking that perception with his staunch support for increased funding for the Missoula Police Department. Missoula’s other elected officials should get behind him.
Earlier in the op-ed, the incident local activists were trying to exploit to achieve their policy demands got a single paragraph of acknowledgement (pay attention to the emphasis), and that after the editorial gave BIG KUDOS to police for keeping the peace relative to other, more violent expressions of solidarity with the violent killing of George Floyd across the nation.
Missoula police have had an especially careful line to walk regarding the protests downtown as counter-demonstrators showed up and sometimes heated exchanges threatened to erupt into violence. Thankfully, things were kept at a simmer, and our local police played a key role in that.
Many community members were upset, however, that prosecutors did not press more serious charges against a man who accosted a Black teenager ridings bike near the Black Lives Matter rally in early June. The man, who is white, was charged with unlawful restraint and operating as a private security guard without a license, both misdemeanors.
Do you see it? Do you see the big, BOLD uppercase “B”, whereas the oppressive W has been shrunk down to its lowercase form? How about that for some typographical justice?
This op-ed is signaling to the wishy-washy liberal fence-sitters (who may be conflicted about breaking with a national call to action) that summer is almost over, so it’s time to get back to business.
In a Missoula Current article about the budget and the BLM protestors persistence in calling for less funding for police, I caught an interesting detail regarding recent protests (emphasis mine):
They’ve taken aggressive actions to drive the debate, such as dismissing the opinions of police supports and picketing the mayor’s house at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
As one of the more vehement critics of our sitting mayor, going to his house at 5:30am is total bullshit.
What exactly is the strategy behind an action like this? How is this supposed to further racial equity in our criminal injustice system?
If Engen delivers on not raising property taxes, and the extra money for police includes a hundred grand for “a new program aimed at bias and systemic racism“, then that’s it, BLM protestors, your window of opportunity has closed for influencing local policy.