These times seem to be unprecedented. In the middle of a global pandemic the crisis of police brutality has knocked everything off of the world stage. For the first time in my short lifetime, there seems to be a wide consensus to what the problem is, but like everything else, everyone thinks they have the one and only solution.

That’s how it is supposed to work, especially in a “democracy”, right?

Everyone is supposed to line up behind their own ideas on what they think is the best way to move forward and discuss the merits of each accordingly, right?. The good and the bad of that discussion is that it will invariably lead to a negotiated solution that none of us will be totally satisfied with. But, hey that’s democracy in action.

Incredibly, that discussion is happening right now in real time, but it is being slowed down a bit by what I see as a messaging problem.

It’s time to eat.

Dinner is on the table, but some of us don’t want to eat until we discuss the origins and correct pronunciations of the items on the plates.

They must not be that hungry.

Are these yams or sweet potatoes?

Is it…”po-tay-to” or “po-tah-to” like “to-may-to” or “to-mah-to”…..

These things just aren’t that important to those that are starving.

The conversations on police reform are happening, but why are we stuck debating about the messaging? That definitely doesn’t serve the intent of those who really want the reform to happen. Whether it is called “Defund the Police”, “Disband the Police” or “Reform the Police”, a lot of the conversations that are happening in state capitols and social media slugfests would be happening under the banner of either one of those messages. So why are we still discussing the messaging?

I am not sure. But I am guilty.

How can any conversation about anything be summed up in two words without a discussion about those two words happening? The people not interested in having the conversation and those who wrongly assume they fully understand everything with two words, make up a large portion of the people who are stuck on the messaging.

What good is a “Eat Healthy” campaign to those who don’t understand how to eat healthy?If I think ketchup is a vegetable, won’t I just eat more ketchup on my potatoes (or is it…”po-tah-toes”)? Seems like a conversation about what is actually healthy would be a great idea in this case. Wouldn’t a conversation about what is meant by “Defund” be an important conversation to have also?

I am guilty of not fully understanding the parameters of this messaging, but the amount of reading, research, and listening it has pushed me to do, should be the goal of any movement whether the intent is thought of as negative or positive. I encourage anyone reading this to do the same. Who could possibly be against reading and listening?

I know…

The ones who aren’t truly interested in anything changing…

The Republican sponsored “Walter Scott Notification Act” of 2017, introduced legislation that would impose a “reduction of funds” to state police budgets that didn’t meet oversight requirements. This sounds like “Defund the Police” to me and Miriam-Webster…

defund
de·​fund | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈfənd \
transitive verb
to withdraw funding from

For the last three years there was no interest in passing this bill. A conversation is happening now with one side holding up this bill as the rebuttal to calls to “Defund the Police”. The bill actually defunds the police…

The argument over the messaging needs to end.

Now can we eat? Pass me the ketchup please.