Most Americans don't live downtown, and they don't live in the country, either. They live in the suburbs. We are a suburban people. Loaded potato skins in a chain restaurant that calls itself an "eatery." Off-street parking. Schools where the kids get free Chromebooks. Above-ground pools. Luxury on an average scale.
That's why you shouldn't worry about the "defund the police" debate.
They're not going to do that where you live.
They're going to do that in the cities, where the poor people and the Black people live. Like crack cocaine, fentanyl, automatic weapons, malt liquor, menthol cigarettes and high school classes in "parenting," the new policing will be tried out on the poor first.
In your suburb, the most it'll mean is that fewer of your neighbors will get jobs as cops in the nearby city. This will, however, be balanced out by those of your neighbors who will get social worker jobs in the nearby city.
Your level of police protection will not decrease even a little, since any suburban mayor who got rid of any cops would be placing his/her job in extreme jeopardy. Your suburban police department may even get some federal money to buy new riot gear in case a decreased police presence in the nearby city encourages the unsupervised poor to go a-raiding in the nearby suburbs.
So, chill. The bake sale is safe from saggy-pants-ed miscreants of the darker variety.
I believe the "defund the police" is possibly the dumbest slogan I've heard a crowd shout since I first heard "build the wall!" and the effort to defund (whatever it may mean) is probably going to be as swift and successful as Pres. Donald Trump's adventure in large-scale publicly funded masonry.
Since the very beginning of the "Black Lives Matter" controversy, I've been less interested in the color of people killed by police than in their income.
There's no doubt that middle-income Black people are sometimes horsed around by the police because they've been mistaken for poor Black people, but the middle-class white man who is dressed like a poor white man might want to stay out of certain neighborhoods as well.
When I wore my hair down past my shoulders, and my beard down to the collar of my shirt, I walked into a bank and tried to cash a check someone had given me. I was wearing ripped jeans, a T-shirt I got at a local boxing event, and a flannel shirt.
The teller asked me for two pieces of identification, and did I have an account at their bank.
In short, I looked like her idea of a poor white man and was therefore likely to pass bad checks.
I tucked the check in the pocket of my shirt, thanked the woman, and left.
I returned Monday, on my lunch break, with my hair in a ponytail, wearing wingtips, khaki pants, a white shirt and a tie. The teller asked for one piece of identification and cashed the check, which, I might add, was for $100. It was exhilarating to move up maybe three social classes in just two days.
I'm not an " All Lives Matter" sort of guy, but I believe that poor Black and poor white, working-class white and working-class Black have to demand a justice that doesn't give slightly better treatment to whites who are just pennies ahead of their Black brothers and sisters. It is in the interest of capitalism to have the people at the bottom forever hating each other, and never, ever taking common cause to wring a better life out of those few people who own anything.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that, and he talked more and more about it until, after he talked about it too much, somebody parked a bullet in him, because to suggest that Blacks and whites go forward together is always treason, and punishable by death.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book "Devil's Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America," is a collection of his best columns. It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, GooglePlay and iBooks.