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We've Got a Nation to Unite:  BLM Will be Left with the Reputation of MLK or the KKK ... Their Call

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ALPERN AT LARGE--Black mayors, police chiefs, political leaders, and even a black President...check.   The call to reform law enforcement and promote community-based police...check.  Black Lives Matter and the President striking the right balance between being pro-civil rights and pro-law enforcement...well, not so much. 

As I stated in a previous CityWatch article, it is up to Black Lives Matter to be an organization that follows in the lead of the revered Martin Luther King, or to follow in the lead of the Black Panthers or Ku Klux Klan as to being a separatist, dividing (and resented) force in American culture. 

There are a lot of horror stories in the world, what with ISIS, European acts of terrorism and the economic forces behind the Brexit vote.  A senseless police shooting showing either bias or poor police training is something that Americans of all ethnic backgrounds cannot tolerate--but domestic or foreign acts of terrorism cannot be ignored while the issue of police/ethnic relations is being weighed. 

We now have not one but two crazed men who clearly had the goal of killing police officers--both in Dallas and Baton Rouge, it was undeniable, unmistakable murder.  Arguably, the Dallas shooting was a hate crime in that the shooter clearly wanted to kill white police officers, but in Baton Rouge both black and white officers were targeted. 

Particularly scary is that both shooters were American military veterans who were honorably discharged, and who took an oath to defend our nation. 

Also particularly scary is that a significant number of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and anti-police supporters are now taking the road of celebrating the deaths of these police officers. 

Even more scary altogether are the threats and hopes of some BLM leaders (like activist Shaun King) to stage a coup (or some sort of revolution) similar to that which we saw in the nation of Turkey. 

It should be emphasized that Turkey is a very different nation than the United States--but it's not hard to conclude that many Turks, even those who oppose Prime Minister Erdogan, were or are or ever will be OK with a military-supported coup in this modern era.  Yet the U.S., like Turkey, will fear and oppose a coup or military action and treat its supporters (even if they claim to be pro-civil rights) with contempt and outrage. 

Already there is a petition to label Black Lives Matter as a "terror" group, which the Obama presidency has turned down.  It is understandable, even though Black Lives Matter was to a large degree founded on the false narrative of Ferguson, MO criminal Michael Brown being angelic and shot with a "hands up, don't shoot" that never happened, because BLM can, if it chooses, be a uniting force for good. 

Black Lives Matter DOES have the ability to establish itself as a force for unity within this nation. When GOP senator Tim Scott of South Carolina described his unfair scrutiny at the hands of police, it's cause for compromise and concern. 

But of equal importance is that law enforcement, who defend both black and non-black Americans every day, and are themselves comprised of increasing numbers of black officers, also get their fair share of compromise and concern.  The decision of President Obama to not light up the White House blue at the request of police organizations was, in retrospect, a very bad one 

It's clear that the Black Lives Matter has the support of the White House, but does law enforcement?   

After the Dallas funeral, when the President didn't condemn the murderer enough and was too quick to throw the blame on that event on law enforcement, it clearly led to a reasonable complaint of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of President Obama's support of BOTH sides of the law enforcement debate. 

With the Baton Rouge shootings, President Obama will (despite his clear condemnation of the shooter) have a harder time than ever convincing the American people he supports both the police and civil rights alike.  Maybe he ought to throw up the blue lights at the White House NOW to show that he isn't taking the side of the more radical elements of BLM over law enforcement. 

And the Black Lives Matter movement will (despite the overwhelming majority of America's support for civil rights) have a harder time than ever convincing the American people they support the police, and American society in general, and become a uniting, not dividing force, of the civil rights movement in American culture and American politics.  

Because while Black Lives Matter asks the reasonable and timely question of who will protect young black men from untrained and potentially biased police officers, another reasonable and timely question is now that of: 

Who will protect the American people, including and especially black Americans, from Black Lives Matter?

 

(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.)

-cw

 

 

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