Yesterday, Meghan McCain made herself the subject, once again, of internet ridicule — this time in the face of massive cries for police abolition. During a segment on The View featuring Sen. Kamala Harris, who addressed the growing movement to defund the police, McCain made it clear that she doesn't quite understand the movement — at all.
While interviewing the California senator, McCain recalled the Minneapolis City Council’s move to disband their Police Department over the weekend before asking her outright “I want to know from you, do you support defunding and removing the police from American communities, and if not, why do you think there is such a hard time being differentiated right now between defunding and reforming police departments?”
Harris stated that the current conversation surrounding the defunding of police has to do with “reimagining how we do public safety in America,” something she supports; she then lists other ways that the U.S. can make life safer and better in its various communities, including supporting small businesses and more accessible healthcare, and how “in many cities in America, over one-third of their city budget goes to police.”
“How are you defining ‘defund the police?’,” Harris questioned, to which McCain gave a flustered response: “Well, I’m not for anything remotely for that. I assume, and again, this is something that is new to me, I assume it’s removing police.”
After Harris repeatedly explained the benefit of cutting police budgets as a form of defunding the police, Sunny Hostin chimed in, saying, “Just to add to the conversation, defunding the police doesn’t mean abolishing the police. It means taking some of those funds that are typically one-third of the budget of a city and giving some of those funds to services like education and mental health resources.”
It's clear that McCain, like many who oppose the movement to defund the police, is unaware of the implications behind it. Still, conversations around police abolition have become more and more mainstream after weeks of protests fuelled from George Floyd’s death continue to span the country.
But the movement to defund is not an avoidable one, and it's one that McCain — and many others who seem concerned about the implications of abolition — will have to grapple with in the coming weeks, as national police budgets see major slashes. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed to direct $250 million towards the Black community, some of which would come from the LAPD; the Minneapolis City Council members who voted to abolish the city’s police department plan to see a complete change in safety systems. And other cities will grapple with the same.
While many continue to debate police reform versus defunding, it looks as though McCain is in for an education on dismantling this country's police systems.