Tuesday on CNN Tonight, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said that while he doesn’t believe in eliminating police, he doesn’t think Rep. Rashida Tlaib‘s call for “no more policing” is harmful, adding that “she’s expressing her frustrations… and I can understand that.”
Clyburn began by saying, “We’ve got to have police officers,” and then responded to host Don Lemon’s question as to whether Tlaib’s remarks were “harmful”: “No, I don’t think so. I think that she represents her district. She knows what’s going on in and around Detroit. That is one thing. But I come out of a culture where people honor the police, but they want good policing. We do not honor bad police officers.”
Lemon then asked if Tlaib’s comments hurt the cause of police reform. Clyburn replied, “No, I don’t think they do. I think she’s expressing her frustrations and what she hears from her constituents, and I can understand that. But we need to pass this Justice in Policing Act.”
Clyburn is tiptoeing around Tlaib’s unhinged comments, when in fact he should be condemning them outright. Her call is indeed harmful because it is inflammatory and demonizes law enforcement. Clyburn should also acknowledge that the abolition of police, or even defunding the police, will be devastating mostly for inner-city blacks.