Opinion by Clint Parker
Asheville – Continual rioting over the weekend came as a result of local governments’ failing to “defund” police. This has lead to injuring the Asheville Police public image as more arrests of unruly mobs were conducted.
However, there seems to be more white protesters calling for the “defunding” than black protestors. So is there really that much support for defunding police outside the paid protesters and the media?
Well, don’t ask me. I’m white and apt to say anything to “keep the status quo because of my white privilege.” So let’s ask those in the black community what they think.
A recent Gallup poll did just that when they “asked whether they want the police to spend more time, the same amount of time or less time than they currently do in their area, most Black Americans — 61% — want the police presence to remain the same. This is similar to the 67% of all U.S. adults preferring the status quo, including 71% of White Americans.”
The survey found “nearly equal proportions of Black Americans say they would like the police to spend more time in their area (20%) as say they’d like them to spend less time there (19%).”
If I’m doing my math right, that’s 81% of the black community saying they’d like to see the same amount or more local police presence in their neighborhood.
The findings were “…from a June 23-July 6 Gallup Panel survey, administered by web in English and conducted as part of the newly launched Gallup Center on Black Voices. The study included large samples of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans, weighted to their correct proportions of the population.”
Even though blacks say they see police in their neighborhood more than other races, “about a third of Black Americans who say they often see the police in their neighborhood think the police should spend less time there (34%); however, the majority of adults in this group think they should spend the same amount of time (56%) or more time (10%).”
However, blacks did feel that encounters with police might not go well. “Fewer than one in five Black Americans feel very confident that the police in their area would treat them with courtesy and respect. While similar to the 24% of Asian Americans saying the same, it is markedly lower than th e 40% of Hispanic Americans and the 56% of White Americans who feel this way,” the survey found. “This could either stem from Black Americans’ own negative experiences with the police or from their familiarity with people who have had negative encounters with law enforcement.”
What you can see by this survey is that blacks, overall, don’t want less of a police presence in their neighborhood, but a better relationship with, and from the police. They want to be treated with respect, which is really the only thing an honest person could ask from others, to be treated with a little respect.