It comes as no surprise that the local leader of the Santa Clarita Valley NAACP, Valerie Bradford, has written to The Signal (Oct. 26) that the Thin Blue Line flags, decals and clothing “are symbols of division and hatred.” It’s expected as part of her role, as the president of the local NAACP, to promote the idea that systemic racism exists among police officers. But, Ms. Bradford has taken it a step further and impugns those of us who fly the pro-police flags, have the decals in our car windows, and wear clothing to show our support for the police as “opposed to justice for Black people.” What a crock. I have the decal. I wear the clothing. I also voted for Barack Obama in his first term.
In another false narrative, Ms. Bradford goes on to invoke and martyr Michael Brown as a victim of institutional police racism. Michael Brown had just committed a violent robbery and tried to take away an investigating police officer’s gun. By every metric, using every available resource of the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice, under a Black attorney general, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown was fully exonerated.
Ms. Bradford then harkens back to 1950 (72 years ago) and to Chief William Parker, an alleged racist and, by association, that the same culture exists in the L.A. Police Department today. The last time I checked, the LAPD is a majority, minority department. Black, brown and Asian officers now outnumber whites. I would be greatly surprised if there is a problem of institutional racism and a culture of “us vs. them,” as Ms. Bradford inferred in her letter.
And yes, as Ms. Bradford also goes on to write, the Thin Blue Line flag has also been flown by a small lunatic fringe of our society. There is some validity to that. By Ms. Bradford’s same criteria, there were at least three separate incidents where Black Lives Matter supporters fired on and killed police officers and civilians in Dallas and Bristol, Tennessee. BLM protesters fire-bombed police cars in Daytona Beach. Chicago’s Miracle Mile was looted by BLM protesters. Ferguson, Missouri, was nearly burned to the ground. Should we also associate BLM flags, signs, decals and clothing and their supporters as being full of “injustice, hatred and divisiveness”?
Oh, that was different.