Michael Eric Dyson compares critics of defunding police to White Americans who opposed abolishing slavery

Rep.-elect: Byron Donalds: Defunding police is absolute wrong move

Florida Republican reacts to Ilhan Omar’s call to cut police budgets on ‘The Daily Briefing’

Liberal commentator Michael Eric Dyson likened Americans who oppose defunding the police to Whites who opposed abolishing slavery on Tuesday.

"I know some people have been outraged by the use of abolish the police," he said on "The View." "Guess what? In the 1850s many White Americans were against abolishing slavery. So that the very word ‘abolition’ has caused some people problems, it has been a longstanding tradition in America."

Dyson added that defunding police was simply another way of saying "let's reassign money." But during an interview in June, Dyson praised even having discussions about abolishing police as a positive step.

"Arguments about defunding the police are also on the horizon," he said. "For instance, in New Jersey, we’ve seen examples of the defunding of the police and getting rid of police departments. Whether it’s outright abolition or not, at least the conversation is on the table."

Defunding police is broadly defined, ranging from reallocating budgets to other city resources to full-on abolition of police departments. It proved broadly unpopular during the 2020 election, and some Democrats blamed the slogan for House members losing seats. 

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Some more liberal members have continued to push it though, such as "Squad" members like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Omar fired back at former President Barack Obama on Tuesday after he dismissed it as an alienating "slogan," tweeting it was in fact a "policy demand."

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