Posted Jun 23, 2021 by Michael L. Brown

Have you ever heard the Aesop’s Fable about the belly and the rest of the members of the body? It is reminiscent of contemporary attempts to defund the police. There is a lesson to be learned.

The fable, as I read it as a child, go likes this: “One day it occurred to the Members of the Body that they were doing all the work while the Belly had all the food. So they held a meeting and decided to strike till the Belly consented to its proper share of the work.”

Yes, every day, the members of the body would work to the point of exhaustion. The feet would grow weary with walking. The hands and arms and shoulders would grow weary with hunting and carrying. Even the teeth and jaws would grow weary with chewing and the throat with swallowing.

And all this just to feed the belly, which simply sat around, did nothing, and enjoyed the fruit of the body’s labors. So, the members of the body decide to call for a boycott. Enough was certainly enough.

Consequently, “For a day or two, the Hands refused to take the food, the Mouth refused to receive it, and the Teeth had no work to do. After a day or two the Members began to find that they themselves were in poor condition: the Hands could hardly move, and the Mouth was parched and dry, while the Legs were unable to support the rest. Thus even the Belly was doing necessary work for the Body, and all must work together or the Body will go to pieces.”

When it comes to applying this fable to the move to defund the police, the application is hardly exact, as if the police simply enjoyed the fruit of society’s labors. Obviously not.

But, as I said, there is a lesson to be learned, and it is simply this: the police are doing a necessary, albeit difficult and often thankless job, and if we don’t “feed” them (= we defund them), in the end, we hurt ourselves.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal on May 26, “One year after the movement to ‘defund’ law enforcement began to upend municipal budgets, many American cities are restoring money to their police departments or proposing to spend more.”

What do you know! The police are performing a necessary service after all. Defund them, and violence and lawlessness will increase.

And who will be hurt most by this in the end? The citizens of each community (= the members of the body in the fable).

Yes, “Many U.S. cities are led by Democrats who supported protesters’ calls to defund the police—a term that activists have used in different ways, including to push for simply shrinking the size of police forces but also shifting resources from law enforcement to social services. . . .

“But city officials have found it difficult to keep police budgets down after seeing a rise in crime over the past year, with murder rates up by double digits in many cities. In the last three months of 2020, homicides rose 32.2% in cities with a population of at least one million, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Quarterly Uniform Crime Report. Law-enforcement officials and criminologists say pandemic stress and a police pullback amid protests are likely contributors.”

To quote Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia and a Democrat, “It’s hard to have a serious conversation with folks about cutting a police department’s budget when crime is up.”

So, in theory, it’s great to suggest that police funds could better be spent in other ways. But in reality, less police presence means more crime, especially violent crime. That’s because violent criminals respond to force, not appeal and not reason. Take away the police force, and you take away the restraint.

Similar stories have flooded the internet in recent months, with headlines announcing, “This US city was working to cut its police budget in half – then violent crime started to rise” (The Guardian, March 19, referring to Oakland, CA). Other headlines declared, “Defund the police encounters resistance as violent crime spikes” (CNN, May 25) and, “US crime rise draws fears of ‘bloody summer’, calls for more cops” (Al Jazeera, June 22).

That’s why 89 pastors in Ohio recently called for a “Day of Prayer and Appreciation for Police,” noting that “the local law enforcement plays a valuable role in our society, with brave men and women keeping vigilant watch at all hours risking their lives . . . on behalf of the safety of others; often with their acts of heroism going unnoticed.”

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t address issues of police brutality. Or that we shouldn’t talk about police reform. Or we shouldn’t we look into issues of corruption, abuse of power, or injustice.

It simply means that the sooner we abandon the wacky idea that defunding the police is a good way to fight crime, the sooner surging crime rates will start to drop.

Otherwise, in cities like Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, as crime spirtals out of control residents will be asking, “Where are the police?”

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Comments

BW posted a comment · Jun 26, 2021
Let’s say George lived to see another day ! And was convicted for passing counterfeit $20.00 he could serve 20 yrs for passing and he would have been convicted they had video that Id him plus the clerk confronted him , plus he had more bills in his car it was pretty damning evidence how differently things would have been ! Sad
BW posted a comment · Jun 26, 2021
The sad irony is the wages of sin is death, police deal with people who are caught in the act committing sin Like passing a counterfeit bill for a pack of cigarettes and having more counterfeit bills out in your vehicle , I can see not knowing your $20.00 is fake but have 3 fake bills in you possession ! And ending up dead in after the commission of such an act! Did the clock run out !
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Toby posted a comment · Jun 24, 2021
The Most Important Organ (a short analogy) One day the body got together and decided to have a board meeting. Here’s what went on behind closed doors. There was an intense discussion to determine who was the most important part of the body. The Brain was the first to speak. “Without me, nothing would be accomplished.” Then the Heart spoke up, “Without me pumping the blood to your brain you could not function.” The Arms laughed, “You’re both wrong; without me to put food in the mouth, nothing would work. The Stomach said, “Without me, your food would not digest.” The Lungs bellowed back, “Without me, you couldn’t breathe.” The Eyes blinked, “Well without me you could not see.” The Kidneys snorted, “Without me you could not detoxify and eliminate.” Then the Colon meekly spoke up. “I am important. You need me to eliminate all the garbage from your systems.” Everyone laughed and made fun of him. ‘How can you be as important as we are? You’re just a smelly old sewer.” The poor Colon – his feelings were hurt! He turned away, and thought, I’ll show them. I’ll go on strike; I’ll shut down! Then he sat back and watched what would happen. The Brain was stupefied. The Heart beat, but was weak and irregular. The Arms were weak and couldn’t move. The Lungs breathed in, but the breathing was shallow. The Eyes became clouded. The Kidneys quit. Then the Colon looked around and decided it was time to call another meeting. It wasn’t too lively this time, but everyone was in total agreement. The Colon was the most important organ in the body.
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Swkh310 posted a comment · Jun 23, 2021
What irony in the last paragraph. Where were the police while George Floyd was being murdered? Three of them we’re right there, standing by, watching, and doing absolutely nothing.