On Monday's episode of The View, California Senator Kamala Harris appeared as a guest to address the ongoing protests across the globe as well as the demands that have been arising from the movement. Perhaps the most vocal is the call to defund police departments and allocate those funds to other areas of community reinvestment. However, co-host Meghan McCain spoke out against such actions, which once again led to a lengthy exchange between the two.
As The Daily Beast noted, McCain initially asked Harris about those scores of activists who "are calling for a defunding of the police," and whether she also supported such measures. She also asked, "why do you think there is such a hard time being differentiated right now between defunding and reforming police departments?" In her reply, Harris said that "a big part of this conversation really is about reimagining how we do public safety in America." After which she broke down the argument more succinctly.
A lot of people are unclear about what "defunding the police" actually means-it does not mean that you are eradicating the police force altogether. It is a more practical re-distribution of funds that contributes to equality and accountability. #TheView pic.twitter.com/07fYGu1r4Z— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) June 8, 2020
"We have confused the idea that to achieve safety, you put more cops on the street instead of understanding to achieve safe and healthy communities," Harris continued. "You put more resources into the public education system of those communities, into affordable housing, into home-ownership, into access to capital for small businesses, access to health care regardless of how much money people have. That's how you achieve safe and healthy communities."
Harris, a prominent Democrat, went on to point out that some city budgets allocated one-third of their resources to the police, which prompted her to point out the resulting shortfalls for social services, job training and mental health issues. McCain seemed to partially agree, stating she doubts that "any rational American right now that doesn't think we need to take a cold, hard look at reforming our police." Though she once again asked again if Harris was in favor of the policy.
For her answer, the Senator flipped the script and asked what the issue means to McCain. The View host admitted that "this is something that is new to me, [but] I assume it's removing police." Harris refuted her claim, and said that the move wasn't about abolishing police altogether, but rethinking "how we are achieving public safety in America."