Since I have been very vocal in condemning Neo-Nazis, White Supremacist and "Alt-Right" groups lately, some people have questioned why does it seem that I am unwilling to speak out in the same manner about Black Lives Matter as an organization and movement. Here is the answer.
Last year, I made a concerted effort to reach out to members of the local BLM chapter, and additionally I met with some of the leaders of BLM in Washington DC this past February.
I wanted to personally reach out to BLM in order to gain my own perspective of the movement and organization. I did not want to be influenced simply by The information that was put out in the media.
I will say, one of the biggest downfalls of BLM is the fluid nature of the movement and the lack of organizational controls. This allows for there to exist no one uniform body a standards that represent the entire movement.
Essentially each independent chapter dictates their own philosophy of what BLM means to them. I expressed this to the organizational members of BLM
With that said, I will say that in regards to the people that I sat down and spoke with, with 100% confidence I can say that they did not support nor represent hateful ideology or anti-police sentiments. My interactions with the people I spoke with were extremely respectful and frankly very pleasant. A great deal of respect was expressed to me for my willingness as a police officer to sit down and candidly discuss their concerns.
At the end of the day, I'm very thankful for the opportunity to speak to some people who represent the BLM movement, and I feel like I walked away gaining a valuable perspective on others lives, which would only benefit me or my fellow police officers in our ability to successfully perform our jobs.
Therefore, a significant factor of why I do not declare BLM to be a hate group, has to do with the fact that saying that would be contradictory to the information I personally gathered from people who consider themselves a part of the BLM movement.
Essentially, my conscience will not allow me to classify the entire movement as a hate movement no more than it would be appropriate for me to classify any group of individuals based on some of the worst or most negative examples within it.
I am very open about the fact that culturally and by religious faith, I am Jewish.
In light of my Jewishness, I indeed tried to respectfully engage members of neo-Nazi and White Supremacist groups.
Unfortunately, I am unable to say that anyone I spoke with in these groups did not express that they had a degree of hatred and disdain for me as a Jew, merely based on the fact that I existed.
So while some people may accuse me of being one-sided or agenda based. The reality is, I have personally takin it upon myself to go out of my way in order to try to ensure that my thoughts and opinions are influenced by as much legitimate archive and episodic evidence as possible.
I will not apologize nor feel bad for the fact that my beliefs are based on a willingness to personally seek the truth and not be influenced by the opinions of others.
Anyone is entitled to their opinion, however I would not feel content with the person I was, if I didn't not stand up and speak affirmatively for the individuals I personally met, who I know to not be hateful or racist people. Rather, they are individuals who say that the color of their skin should not diminish their value in society. This is a virtue that I indeed share with them.
I will not apologize nor feel bad for saying that black lives are equally as important as everyone else's life. Even if that means at times speaking out against my own profession or inherent racial identity.