Today, I removed the JumpStart comic strip from my comics aggregator. At this point it is clear to me that JumpStart is unvarnished copaganda. It inaccurately portrays the institution of policing in America as a force for good. It inaccurately portrays police officers as fundamentally noble. To the minuscule extent to which it acknowledges problems with policing, it pushes the idea that they can be addressed merely by training police officers better, a claim which is obviously absurdly false to anyone who has been paying attention. “Community policing” will not fix American policing. Cops driving ice cream trucks and hosting parties behind the police station will not fix American policing.
Normalizing the ideas that policing is inherently good and that all cops need is a little more training and better community engagement actively harms real people, specifically the people who are victimized by our police state. Because these are predominantly Black people and other minorities, normalizing these ideas supports and perpetuates the systemic racism that permeates our society. I will not continue to facilitate this by allowing this comic to be read through my aggregator.
I should have removed this strip from the aggregator (and stopped reading it myself!) a long time ago, but I allowed complacency and inertia to delay my taking action. The last straw was today’s strip, in which Frank Cobb sings the praises of “broken windows policing.” The theory of broken windows policing has been widely discredited, and misguided efforts to put it into practice inevitably disproportionately negatively impact minorities. Broken windows policing is even more racist than policing is in general, and that’s saying something.