Tue, Apr

If You Believe Sarah Palin Shot Gabby Giffords, Then You Believe Barack Obama Killed 5 Dallas Police Officers


ALPERN AT LARGE--Like so many other upset and heartbroken Americans, I've no more capacity for "moments of silence" to address issues where silence is anything BUT the right response.  Of course, silence was never my strong suit. My religious, educational and moral training all point to the virtues of being hard on one's self, and on one's society--and our society is drowning in its own stupidity. 

If anyone reading this still honestly believes that former 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is responsible for the shooting of former representative Gabby Giffords, then clearly it's a sign that the reader has forgotten what "free will" is, and the ability of a human being to make a decision on his/her own.  No diagram, photo or statement of former Governor Palin (whether you like or hate her) was ever any more a statement of "kill her!" than any political statement of President Barack Obama was any credible advocacy of violence against police officers. 

Sarah Palin didn't shoot Rep. Gabby Giffords, and would certainly have opposed (and probably opened fire on, were she present) the crazed lunatic who shot Giffords.  Similarly, President Obama didn't shoot those five heroic police officers in Dallas, and has condemned (and would certainly have order troops to open fire on, were he present) the crazed lunatic who shot them.  Lunatics and racist monsters have no tolerance in our society. 

But while Sarah Palin had no governmental power when Gabby Giffords was shot, President Obama does have power--so that while only a fool would suggest he wanted the Dallas shootings, it can be accurately stated that it occurred on his watch...and his being too tough on police officers while too kind and supportive to the more radical elements of Black Lives Matter is also on his watch. 

I advocated for the Brady Bill in years past, and support reasonable gun control measures presently and in the future.  Yet at the least, however, those advocating gun control at this time are quite ignorant both of the different types of guns and the statistics that completely ignore gun killings are going up, and have no correlation to how and where aggressive gun control measures are being implemented (think Chicago and Washington, D.C.). 

At the very most, those advocating gun control at this time are using "gun control" as a mindless, irrational mantra that entirely diverts from the REAL causes of violence in our society, and which deflects from and hurts the credibility of proper gun control measures.  Like a decay in our society's moral values, economic and social frustration and alienation of too many in our society, and a failure of leadership at the top. 

As in "the buck stops here" paradigm of Democratic President Truman's years versus the "I first heard about it in the newspapers" paradigm of Democratic President Barack Obama. 

Contrary to the political agitation and fomenting of divisions from the current presidential administration, our nation is almost entirely united: 

1) We believe that Black Lives Matter, and Blue Lives Matter.  The recent police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana shake us to the core, and scream for better police training and the implementation of community-based policing that has transformed Los Angeles from a riot-prone city to one where violence is quite low compared to other cities. 

Yet the shootings of police officers in Dallas (and let's not forget New York and other assassinations of police officers throughout the nation) also shake us to the core, and it's upsetting that both President Obama and Attorney General Lynch aren't harder--MUCH harder--on the more radical elements of Black Lives Matter. Because and Obama and Lynch (and Holder before her) are hurting the credibility that Black Lives Matter needs to implement true and positive change. 

2) Black Lives Matter should not, and need not, be a hate group, but it will be considered one if it doesn't clean up its act.  There are now no shortage of Americans who view Black Lives Matter as no better than the Ku Klux Klan, and are part of the problem.  Too many leaders in Black Lives Matter seem to have a problem with America in general. 

Furthermore, Black Lives Matter is alienating too many black police officers (they do exist, and in increasing numbers) and community leaders.  The black police chiefs of Dallas and El Paso are certainly part of the answer, and creating civil UNREST while marching for civil RIGHTS can only make a well-intentioned effort into part of the problem, and not part of the answer. 

Black Lives Matter has too many extremist radicals among its ranks and if it's own leaders aren't purged and brought to bear, then the expression "Black Lives Matter" will bring visceral contempt when admiration should be the right response. 

And if Black Lives Matter is to remain part of the answer, then it must ask itself whether it wishes to follow the example (and the lousy and failed fate) of the 1960's black separatist movements, or if it wants to to adhere to an "improve and be pro-America" that follows the example of the late Martin Luther King. 

3) Black youth have not one but TWO deadly threats to confront: police bias and shootings, and black-on-black violence.  To argue about which one is worse is about as stupid as arguing whether food or water is less essential than the other.  In particular, black men have their health (and even lives) threatened when the cops drive up and slow down next to them...but also when cars filled with black men suddenly show up, with criminals all-too-ready to enforce their "turf". 

The accusation of a broken tail light can escalate into something violent or deadly, but so can a "Where you from?" question/demand of a black youth from another neighborhood.  BOTH are horrible.  BOTH are deadly. And BOTH have as much of a role in our modern society as a Confederate flag in a black church--they don't belong...period. 

Snoop Dogg and other black icons are embracing BOTH the police and civil rights leaders.  Love and kindness, and a dropping of the violent epithets and anti-police threats, is the strategy that will allow black and other American leaders the ability to emulate the success and admiration of Martin Luther King, and avoid the failure and derision of Louis Farrakhan, when it comes to improving the lives and status of African-Americans. 

4) We need our police, and we need credible and courageous leaders.  There are those who will demean and ignore the success of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in turning New York around, and in uniting that previously-divided city...and they will do it for political gains no matter how the nation suffers as a result. 

There is no reason for Dallas or other police officers to boycott and disrespect President Obama in his last few months in office, but there is every reason to get our President to acknowledge that his own rhetoric, or at the least his one-sided rhetoric, from both himself and past/former Attorney Generals is in dire need of improvement. 

President Obama, and the rest of us, have the choice to both decry and condemn (harder, MUCH harder) the monster in Dallas who proved he was no better than the monster in South Carolina who shot up so many innocents in a black church.   

We can't let either of these monsters separate us.  Demand reform and accountability from the police AND from Black Lives Matter. 

It should be emphasized that there is a bias, although not as deadly as many have contended, of police officers against blacks than against whites, and that community-based policing can fix that. 

It should also be emphasized that the statistics for black-on-black violence are ALSO frightening--and these CANNOT be dismissed by ANY leader wanting to improve the future of black Americans. 

And stupidity, whether it's for political gain or not, cannot be dismissed.  It's the right for any American to be "stuck on stupid", but it's also the right--nay, the responsibility--for Americans to keep their eyes on the ball and decry stupidity or political correctness wherever it exists.   

Because politically-correct or politically-obsessed stupidity is killing and destroying the lives of too many innocent Americans. 

(Ken Alpern is a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He is co-chair of the CD11Transportation Advisory Committee and chairs the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at  [email protected]. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Alpern.)


Get The News In Your Email Inbox Mondays & Thursdays