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.
That strip made me squirm, but it didn’t make me stop, even though it should have. I think my own inertia would have prevailed if you had not taken this step. Thank you for calling this out, and for dropping the strip.
Thank you for saying thank you. I’m seeing traffic on the aggregator from an average of more than 500 unique IP addresses per week, so clearly there are people using it, but most people apparently can’t even bothered to send me an email message to say thank you even when I specifically ask them to. it’s a big boost when even just one person acknowledges the effort. So thanks for that.