Several members of the progressive “squad” fired back at former President Obama after he criticized the “defund the police” slogan.
Obama threw shade at the catchphrase by saying “you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done.”
Obama added “the key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?”
Several on the progressive left, who have used the phrase and hashtag regularly fired back at Obama.
Ilhan Omar wrote “We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety.”
Rep. elect Cori Bush wrote “With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence. It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police.”
Ayanna Pressley wrote “The murders of generations of unarmed Black folks by police have been horrific. Lives are at stake daily so I’m out of patience with critiques of the language of activists. Whatever a grieving family says is their truth. And I’ll never stop fighting for their justice & healing.
Obama is not the only prominent Democrat to criticize the far-left’s use of “defund the police,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn pointed to the movement as part of the reason Democrats lost seats in the house.
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin went even further by tweeting “Defund the police? Defund, my butt. I’m a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans’ jobs & healthcare. We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police.”
Defund the police? Defund, my butt. I'm a proud West Virginia Democrat. We are the party of working men and women. We want to protect Americans' jobs & healthcare. We do not have some crazy socialist agenda, and we do not believe in defunding the police. https://t.co/EIFHX5OQ37
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 11, 2020