Racism or Excuses?

I will be 51 years old here in another month.  I used to be a cop.

I grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood in a middle class neighborhood in Sacramento, CA during the ‘70s and ‘80s.  I played sports in the street and the nearby park with my friends from the neighborhood, which included whites, blacks, Mexicans (from Mexico), Filipinos, Japanese, and one kid whose parents were an inter-racial couple. None of us treated the others as different.  None of us ever called one another racist names.  Yes, we got into fights over stupid crap, but we shook hands when it was over and continued being friends.

None of us thought the others were racist.

I went to a high school where there were very few black students.  Two of the four black guys in my class were in my group of friends, and one of them introduced me to biscuits and gravy (Thank you Marty!).  In fact, the only guy I heard during those four years use the N word was the guy who introduced me to biscuits and gravy, and it was as he complimented me on my MacGuyver like skills by calling me “the best n****r rigger he ever met.”

I was never once accused of being racist.

After high school, I attended college and worked a large number of jobs.  During two summers while I was out of school, I worked for the Sacramento County Highways and Bridges department doing road work.  I worked with a bunch of rough guys from rough backgrounds, about half of whom were minorities of varying skin darkness.  They all knew I was going to school as a criminal justice major and wanted to be a cop.  My nickname was “5-0.”

Not a single one of them ever thought I was racist.

I worked as a bank teller for a bank on which all of the Sacramento County welfare checks were drawn, and the branch I worked at was in the ghetto in an area predominantly made up of blacks and Hispanics.  In the time I worked there, I cashed millions of dollars of welfare checks for people of color.

I was never once accused of racism.

After graduating from college, I entered the Sacramento Sheriff’s Academy.  At the time, I lived in some crappy apartments near Fulton and El Camino.  For those familiar with the area, I lived in the apartments at 2807 Elvyra Way.   My former coworkers who work District 4 will know that address well.  The residents of that complex were a large mix of ethnicities, but about half of them were black.

No one ever called me racist.

After completing the academy, I got hired as an on-call deputy.  The picture above is my 96 year old grandfather pinning my badge on me at my swearing in.  I started work at the Sacramento County Main Jail the following Sunday.

Suddenly, I was being accused of being a racist because I was enforcing the jail rules.

Throughout my 22 career, on my weekends, I would interact with peoples of all skin colors, religions, political affiliations, sexual orientations, etc.  My three sons (who are minorities themselves, as is my wife) had the usual collection of school activities, sporting events, boy scouts, and so on.

Never once, at any of those activities, in 18 years of raising kids, did anyone think to accuse me of being a racist.

Back at work, as soon as I put on that uniform and dared to stop a reckless driver, who happened to be black, suddenly I was a racist.

When I showed up to the grocery store to take the black parolee who got caught by store security shoplifting, all captured on surveillance camera, suddenly I was a racist honky pig.

Odd how I suddenly become racist depending on the clothing I wear…

But then, not one of my black, Hispanic, Indian, middle eastern or other non-white coworkers ever thought I was racist.

Then again, they were probably too busy worrying about the people accusing them of being either racists or traitors to their own race to worry about me.

In fact, a couple of my black co-workers came up to me and thanked me for writing a rebuttal to Sacramento’s mayor (at the time), Kevin Johnson, after he went on a tirade complaining about the racist cops.

Now that I am retired, I guess I get to go back to not being a racist anymore?

So I am curious what the readers think.  Is it racism, or is racism just an easy go-to accusation to try and deflect personal responsibility?
-Matt

Race Baiting Chief Complains

I was still a working cop when Daniel Hahn was appointed Chief at the Sacramento Police Department.  I knew quite a few people at Sac PD at the time, and some of them had worked with Hahn prior to him leaving to be chief at another smaller local agency.  They said he was a good cop and they had high hopes for him.

I haven’t spoken the those guys lately, as since I retired I no longer have contact with them, but I can tell you that the working cops I have spoken to from there, absolutely do not share those high hopes.  In fact, they are disgusted and morale is in the toilet.

So, in a move sure to fix nothing, unless sinking morale even further is what you consider improvement, Hahn has written a piece for the publication “Inside Sacramento” which he titled “Chief Complaint.”  Fitting title since that is what he seems to be doing through the whole piece, complaining.

To be honest, I didn’t make it past the first paragraph without calling BS on something he said.  He complains that “progressive black chiefs” are being fired as fallout from Black Lives Matter protests, but ignores the fact that so are chiefs of every other skin color.  Additionally, not all of those black chiefs were fired, some resigned.  Ironically, he is complaining about actions being taken by progressive Democrat mayors and city councils in most cases, many of whom verbally supported the Black Lives Matter movement, as does Chief Hahn himself.

He continues by whining that he received criticism from lots of cops for the way he handled the recent “protests” in Sacramento.  His woe-is-me complex is getting pretty thick here, and it is obvious he cannot take criticism.

“Some said I was appointed chief only because I’m Black. Others said I’m childish for speaking my opinion. And I should resign because I failed to uphold my oath by not using more force with protestors (sic).”

You completely missed the mark, Chief.  You received criticism because you allowed “protesters” to vandalize private and public property and you ordered your cops to NOT arrest them.  You prevented the cops from enforcing the law.  It had nothing to do with the amount of force, it had to do with you letting them run wild without repercussions.

“I don’t disagree with the sentiment behind Black Lives Matter. The purpose is rooted in righteous cause.”

Really, Dan?  Really?  They are self avowed Marxists. Their “righteous cause” is communism.  They hate law enforcement and want it eliminated.  But wait Matt, read on to see how he justifies this…

”Research reveals prosecutors often over-charge Black suspects. Judges often hand down more onerous sentences to Black offenders. The list of people who have contributed to unrest in Sacramento extends beyond the criminal justice system, deep into history.”

Okay, uh, prosecutors are NOT THE COPS, judges are NOT THE COPS.  Yet you are agreeing with people blaming… the cops?  Additionally, you fail to mention the reasons behind most of those enhanced sentences and charges.  People often claim it has to do with race, but if you dig deeper, at least during my lifetime, those stiffer sentences were due to crime enhancements, such as being members of criminal gangs, or based on past criminal activity.

And deep into history?  Can we please stop talking about stuff that happened before most of us were born?  Next you are going to complain about slave patrols or something other ridiculous crap like that.

”We can’t talk about law enforcement’s ancestry of slave patrols without recognizing that Black people were legally enslaved and not considered complete humans. Newspapers advertised rewards for their capture. In 1964, a California initiative called Proposition 14 legalized race-based discrimination when selling or renting a home. It passed in Sacramento County by 62 percent.”

Oh FFS Dan, slave patrols?  Dude, just shut up already.  Even uber liberal Snopes has debunked that crap.  Law enforcement existed LONG before slave patrols were a thing.

Thus far, the most recent item of evidence you have offered about how racist society is occurred before 99% of your department was even born, and it was a proposition pushed by a real estate association, NOT THE COPS.

“These actions produce tragic consequences. Here’s one example: A 27-year-old homeless Black male, mentally ill and drug addicted, has been cited, arrested or given a notice of trespass in our city numerous times. He has been cited at least 10 times in four months for indecent exposure, attempting to light fires, threatening people, throwing himself in front of moving cars, breaking windows, blocking traffic while ranting in the streets and trespassing. Police arrest and book him or place him on a mental health hold. He is fingerprinted, cited and released, again and again.”

Wait, I’m confused.  Who are you blaming for that situation?  Because I know exactly where the blame lies on that one, with your progressive Vice Presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, with your progressive Governor Gavin Newsom, and with your boss, Darrell Steinberg.

That situation you described above is 100% the fault of Prop 47, which Harris disguised as the “Safe Schools and Neighborhoods Act” and her utterly deceitful title, in combination with California’s plethora of zero information voters, got that enacted.  Newsom and Steinberg were ardent supporters of Prop 47 when Steinberg was a state senator and Newsom was Lt. Governor at the time.  Thanks to Prop 47, the drug charges are no longer felonies, meaning in most cases they will not be prosecuted because the DA’s have no bargaining power and they cannot force the offenders into rehab programs, nor can they lock them up long enough to get sober and receive mental health treatment while in custody if they refused to go to the rehab programs.

I’m pretty sure you know all of that, yet somehow you are trying to blame that on racism?  Like the same thing doesn’t happen to crazy drug addicted people of ALL skin colors…

Nothing you are describing in this entire piece has anything to do with racism, yet in your very first paragraph you blamed racism.  There are indeed societal problems that need addressing, but they have nothing to do with race, and the cops are neither the cause nor the solution; we are merely the band-aid trying to hold the whole crap show together.

As a cop, you should know that.

As a cop with a platform, that is what you need to be telling the public.