Leo Hohmann – When politics gets substituted for public safety, how can this end well?
As the summer wears on, radical leftists continue to ramp up their efforts to discredit, devalue, demoralize and defund police in one city after another, and it’s not just big cities like Seattle, Portland, New York and Chicago that are in their sights.
Beneath the radar there’s an untold story about how Black Lives Matter and affiliated groups are brilliantly exploiting the death of George Floyd and using deceptive political tactics to pressure smaller cities into kowtowing to their demands.
In smaller cities, where the radical progressive agenda isn’t so ingrained, liberals use words like “reform” the police instead of “dismantle” the police. But it’s the same agenda — to back local police into the same indefensible corner as they have done in Chicago, Portland and Seattle, where they will have their hands tied, unable to respond with appropriate force when confronting violent mobs or everyday criminals.
The tactics range from the violently militaristic in Chicago, to the stupid and childish in Shelby Township, Michigan, a mostly white suburb north of Detroit [see video below of young women lying in the middle of busy 23 Mile Road to impede traffic while one of them berates police from a loudspeaker].
This is all happening without any substantive journalistic analysis on the ground as local newspapers have largely abandoned their mission of objectivity and submitted to the BLM agenda.
Fear for one’s job and one’s business is palpable in the current cancel culture and some of the most fearful of all are newspaper publishers and editors. I know this from spending 29 years in community newspapers as both a reporter and editor. Journalistic integrity among newspapers was already a problem in 2014 when I left the industry, and it’s ten times worse now.
This being an election year, everyone’s attention is focused on the national story of big-city riots, tearing down America’s historic monuments, the destruction of private property, beatings of innocent bystanders, and torching of police cars.
Now, President Trump has launched Operation Legend, a plan to send federal ICE agents into many of the most crime ravaged cities, including Chicago, Seattle, Detroit, Albuquerque and Portland.
The question is, will it work?
I spoke with a veteran federal agent this past week within Homeland Security who explained how the senior executive scale employees are really who run the day-to-day affairs within DHS.
And many of these senior execs are completely corrupted by political bias.
“They don’t necessarily go along with the president’s agenda,” he said.
In an alarming example of this bias, the Department of Homeland Security recently put out an email that encouraged ICE employees to wear Black Lives Matter clothing and paraphernalia while on the job.
This employee email, sent out as the “tip of the week,” would appear to be against the agency’s strict rules against wearing clothing with political messages or slogans.
Working from the top down
Now that the left has completely taken over the leadership in federal law enforcement agencies, it is working on neutralizing local police forces, from New York City all the way down to the smallest of small-town police departments. The left knows these are likely the last bastion of patriotic forces who will defend the suburbs and rural America from a coming hailstorm of mob violence.
I reported earlier this month how the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and its radical mayor, Michael Taylor, has signed on to Barack Obama’s plan for police reform.
In another example of how the left is using George Floyd’s death to deconstruct local law enforcement, tiny Newnan, Georgia, a city with a population of 33,000, last month was targeted by about 100 protesters on the city square. They are part of a BLM-aligned group calling itself Citizens for Positive Reform or CPR. They claimed to be peaceful and did not engage in any violence, despite waving signs that threatened “no justice no peace.” The CPR leader, Stacey Bristow, appeared before the city council on June 18 and presented a list of demands for reform of “systemic racism” within all city departments, especially the police department.
Bristow said systemic racism was a “global pandemic” that required sweeping reforms across the landscape of municipal governance.
You can see one of CPR’s flyers below, featuring the Marxist clenched fist.
Bristow demanded cultural sensitivity and diversity training for all city officers.
The Newnan council folded like a cheap tent, voting to direct the city manager to hire an outside facilitator to hold public forums and recommend changes to the city’s “practices and policies” regarding race. Even more stunning, the city manager said he intends to use his city as a fulcrum to spread the racially based program to the county government, the school board, the sheriff’s office and the other, even smaller cities within Coweta County. The city and county will end up spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to be told that its employees are all guilty of white privilege and bigotry.
The local newspaper’s coverage of the activists in Newnan has been remarkably vague, shallow and unbalanced, failing to define any of the politically charged terms thrown around by Bristow or quote anyone critical of her accusations against local police. The majority of the Facebook comments on the local newspaper’s article were supportive of police.
Like this comment from Brian Collins:
“Systemic racism” being a “global pandemic” is terminology that makes us all think we are against each other, that we are at odds. We are not. There is far less division than the sowers of discord would like you to believe.
There are issues, there is corruption in every system, no doubt. But it is not “the system” that is broken. It is people who have forsaken integrity in their quest for power.
When we treat each other by the Golden Rule, it is amazing how much of this disappears.”
Critical race theory and the sin of ‘whiteness’
The Marxist-inspired diversity training being thrust upon the city of Newnan is not based on the Golden Rule but on the left’s twisted definition of “equity” and “racial justice.” These are loaded terms that came out of the Marxist philosophical movement known as critical race theory.
Critical race theory divides all of society into two groups, the oppressed class and the oppressor class. They don’t see it as a matter of weeding out a few odd racists from your city government, school district or police department. No, as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota stated, America’s entire political and economic system was designed by white supremacists and therefore must be dismantled. Only then can racism be eliminated under an entirely new system.
Equity vs. Equality
When most Americans hear the word “equity,” they think it means equality. But that’s not the meaning attached to the word by neo-Marxist students of critical race theory.
By equity, they are not referring to equality of opportunity but equality of outcomes, forced outcomes that often ignore a person’s experience and demonstrated competence in his or her field. [Diversity consultants often use the graphic below to explain equity].
Rather than a merit-based system, which is seen as racist, the practitioners of critical race theory advocate stacking the deck against those judged guilty of “white privilege.” They must be taught, through sensitivity training, to “divest of their whiteness,” taking a lesser place in society while the less-privileged get elevated.
According to these race hustlers, it’s not just whites who are standing in the way of their Marxist utopia.
Being Christian is also considered a form of “privilege” that must be erased from America. Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, author of Islamophobia and Christian Privilege: What Educators Must Know, is one of many consultants going into school districts across the nation with his toxic recommendations guaranteed to cause strife and division. Khalifa demonizes Caucasians and Christians and instructs educators to empower Muslim political activism in the classroom. He tells them to “Infuse curriculum and school activities with intellectual traditions that originate in the Muslim World.”
Another big driver of the radical left’s obsession with race is the book “White Fragility,” by Robin DiAngelo. In it, DiAngelo argues that people of European ancestry are inherently racist, all of America is ruled by white supremacists, and if you think you, as a white person, are not racist then you almost certainly are!
Following the federal government’s example
This is the same type of poisonous indoctrination that occurred within the federal law enforcement agencies under President Obama, the DHS source told me. Now that federal law enforcement has been corrupted, the left is turning its focus to local law enforcement. BLM is using the Floyd tragedy to spread the divisive, Marxist-based critical race theory to local law enforcement agencies no matter how small.
James Lindsay’s excellent essay on critical race theory exposes its fraudulent and deceptive tactics.
“These include the idea that racism barely gets better, if at all, that equality is a source of racism, that people who benefit from ‘racism’ have no incentives to be against racism, that racism is a zero-sum conflict that was arranged by white people so that no one else can have a real chance in society, that the races cannot truly understand one another (while demanding that they must and that racism is the whole cause of the inevitable failure), that racially privileged people are inherently oppressors and everyone else is inherently oppressed (this is derived from Marxism applied to racial groups), and that the only way to end racism is through a social revolution that unmakes the current society entirely and replaces it with something engineered by Critical Race Theory. It is easy to see what kinds of problems these doctrines will create in practice, and it’s horrible how Critical Race Theory consistently preys upon the best parts of our natures to achieve its goals (which, if it were correct (and it’s not), mostly leaves only the worst candidates to oppose it—real white supremacists—which it then uses as evidence of its bogus claims).”
A model for true racial reconciliation in Newnan, Georgia
But in Newnan, Georgia, the Christian community is pushing back with another message, one based on unifying the races, not dividing them, by focusing on the belief that all people were created in the image of God and equally reflect His glory.
People of all colors rallied around their police and sheriff’s deputies at an event this past weekend. Unlike the Marxist BLM, which calls for defunding police and “disrupting the Western nuclear family,” the group in Newnan, called Ignite the Fire Movement, believes in supporting their police, fully funding them and covering them in prayer.
About 300 people turned out at the city’s Greenville Street Park on Saturday, July 25, to show their support and pray for law enforcement. There did not seem to be any of Bristow’s Marxist followers in attendance. [See photos below] as Christians from all denominations and racial backgrounds encircled their Sheriff, Lenn Wood, City of Newnan Police Chief Buster Meadows, and members of the Newnan Police Department.
There was no such unifying force at the federal level when President Obama began transforming the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies.
The DHS source I spoke with said most of the upper-level civil service positions within Homeland Security were changed out under the eight years of President Obama, whose administration made personnel decisions based on diversity and political allegiance, not experience or competence in law enforcement.
So while President Trump appointed Chad Wolf as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Wolf directs policy according to the president’s wishes, that doesn’t mean Wolf is always able to implement Trump’s plans on the ground.
This will be something to watch as President Trump launches Operation Legend in cities overrun by crime and mob violence.
Most of the ICE agents on the ground in these cities are hardworking, patriotic Americans just trying to do their jobs.
But will their bosses, the senior executives in the federal bureaucracy, most of whom were placed there by the Obama administration, let them do their jobs? That remains to be seen.
“These are not political appointees. So it’s a very powerful position but not the position where the president would reach down to and say ‘you’re fired’, but under the last administration they really made a push to replace these folks with people loyal to them,” the DHS source said.
“People say ‘why isn’t ICE doing more?’ Why? Because they’re not really going along with the agenda, it doesn’t’ matter what the president wants, they’re just fudging numbers, moving things around, it’s a shadow game. These are for the most part very liberal people.”
One particular official who heads up the office of a major West Coast city is known within the agency to be a supporter of Black Lives Matter and believes in tearing down statues, open borders, the whole progressive agenda, the DHS source said.
“These are the people that run the actual agencies on the ground, so it doesn’t matter what Chad Wolf, the president’s appointee, wants,” he said. “They’re just waiting it out. You’re not going to see a real change until someone learns how the day-to-day offices work.”
These career bureaucrats are worried that if Trump gets a second term he will figure this out and begin to clean house.
“It’s supposed to be easier to fire these senior execs but they just never do it for some reason, so if Trump learns like the Democrats have learned that these are the actual people who are running the day-to-day operations on the ground, then the president could clean house because they don’t have our beliefs.”
Obama was “very selective and they hired their own people, they were very smart about it. It’s not supposed to be politically based, these positions, but they put all their people in there and they remain in there today.”
White supremacy prioritized by FBI
Because of Obama’s successful strategy of targeting senior executives within federal law enforcement, the focus of these agencies today remains the investigation of white nationalists, not Islamic terrorists or Marxist-oriented terrorists such as antifa.
The DHS agent said at almost every FBI meeting held with local law enforcement around the nation, they will turn the focus to white supremacy.
He said some major urban areas have no more than a few white supremacists working out of their garages or their parents basements, and they absorb the bulk of the FBI field office’s investigative resources.
While white nationalists do exist and should not be ignored, these are elements that, in comparison to the Islamists and Marxists, have no capabilities, no brain power, and are not well funded, the agent said.
Having succeeded in stripping the FBI of its integrity and competancy, it remains to be seen whether the left can now replicate that plan across city police departments and county sheriff’s offices.
If Newnan, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township are any indication, it won’t be difficult to get local politicians and media on board with the BLM plan for America. But those with discernment will see through this ruse and identify it as a classic Marxist ploy of divide and conquer.
Leo Hohmann is a veteran investigative reporter and author. He has spent decades researching and writing about education, immigration, crime, politics, and religion.