Earlier this month, former President Barack Obama said in an interview that “snappy slogans” like “Defund the Police” did little to get results, arguing that they were only useful to preach to the converted. He said that other people tend to hear these slogans and get turned off – sometimes to the point of voting for the other party.
In response, 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.”
The Missouri Democrat’s reply should not have come as a surprise. After all, Bush got into politics after the whole Michael Brown fiasco, and she continues to believe to this day that his killing was unjustified. She is Black Lives Matter incarnate…and now she’s going to be a member of the House Judiciary Committee, with the real power to make significant changes to the way our justice system is run.
Promising to use her assignment to “affirm the dignity and humanity of Black and brown communities,” Bush said: “I ran for office on the promise of justice. Justice for Black lives. Justice for Michael Brown Jr. and Breonna Taylor. Justice for every community held back by racist systems and oppression. Today, I am proud to have been named to a committee with the power to bring about justice for all.”
If anyone is concerned that Bush might be a little light on the experience and education one might prefer in a woman who will be dealing with complex topics surrounding justice and law enforcement, they can relax. Bush assures us that she’ll bring the powerful “lived experience” of being a black woman to the committee.
“It is a power that comes from the pain of being a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence, of having been unhoused, stomped by the police, and forced to live paycheck-to-paycheck,” Bush said. “I’ll legislate in defense of Black lives.”
Bush won’t be the only radical activist on the committee; she’ll be joined by incoming freshman Mondaire Jones of New York, whose credentials include graduating from Harvard Law School and (much more importantly, we’re certain) being the first openly gay black man in Congress. Jones has said he will use his power on the Judiciary Committee to fight for the rights of LGBT Americans, fight against voter suppression, and pack the Supreme Court.
“The far right has spent decades on a hostile takeover of our federal courts,” Jones tweeted. “There is now a 6-3 hyper-partisan, conservative majority on the Supreme Court that favors big business over working people, and seeks to undermine our democracy. We must expand the Court.”
See now why it’s so important that we keep the Senate?