By: Chrissy Clark featuring IWF Staff Inez Stepman
There is a growing movement of left-wing organizations pushing for the abolition or divestment of police departments from college campuses. The University of Minnesota’s student government successfully lobbied the school to divest from the Minneapolis Police Department following the death of George Floyd. The Black Panther Party and #DisarmUC created a petition for the University of California system to “demand an end to all university contracts with police on [University of California] campuses, the abolition of their departments, and the redistribution of their resources to provide for community members in need.” The campaign has spread to dozens of other universities.
Prominent politicians have embraced the #defundthepolice movement as well. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) called to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department entirely. She called the department a “cancer” and likened dismantling the police to an amputation. Other politicians, including presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, have publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement but have refused to join calls to completely defund the police.ADVERTISING
The petition has drawn skepticism from conservatives. Inez Feltscher Stepman, a fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, said she was surprised that liberal activists have joined the call to dismantle campus law enforcement in light of recent campaigns that have painted campuses as hotbeds of sexual assault and rape. Stepman questioned the wisdom of removing resources that are designed to safeguard students.
“It’s ironic that the same people who falsely claimed there was a rape epidemic on America’s campuses necessitating Title IX procedures that gutted due process are now removing resources, alerts, and protections for students who want to report crime. If these demands are met, universities may soon actually become unsafe places for women,” Stepman said.