THE VIEW FROM HERE - Mayor Karen Bass’ “endorsement by silence” of political violence based on the political lie that Councilmember Kevin de Leon is an anti-Black racist sets a fire which will burn all of us. The lie has reached ludicrous portions with Rev. James Thomas’ screaming city council that Kevin de Leon is a “White Supremacist.” 1-17-23 City Council start 52:22. For those who do not know, Councilmember Kevin de Leon is one-half Chinese and one-half Guatemalan but was raised primarily Mexican. Yet, he is labeled a “White Supremacist.” When a nation in general and Los Angeles in particular become polarized on the basis of Identity Politics, reason goes out the window. Instead, we get character assassination followed by political violence while the Mayor remains silent.
All it Takes for Evil to Prevail Is for Good People to Remain Silent
Silence is all the worse, when political leaders who have a duty to speak, remain quiet. When a mob descends upon city hall and has to be repelled by the LAPD, the mayor has a duty to remind everyone that the route of violence is in and of itself unacceptable. When the silence results in the criminal attack on a councilmember, Mayor Bass’ remaining silent is absolutely unacceptable. When the attacker is not arrested, the public has a right to know what role, if any Karen Bass, is playing in protecting Jason Reedy.
Lies breed violence, as if anyone should have to tell a member of Congress who lived through the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. Yet, Mayor Bass has not only remained silent in the face of bigotry, she has joined in. When mayoral candidate Rick Caruso used anti-Scientology prejudice as a political weapon, Karen Bass said not a word about his introducing religious bigotry into the campaign. Instead, she re-enforced Rick Caruso’s marginalization of a small religion with her defense that she did not know how bad they were. She also jumped on the bandwagon that the three Mexican councilmembers were anti-Black racists, when the tape showed that they supported all the Black councilmembers. Perhaps, Karen Bass ascribes to the notion that perception is reality. Thus, Truth, Justice and the American Way means to join the lynch mob, lest it turn against her. There was a time, when the American ethos expected the law to side with the innocent and against the mob. The Oxbow Incident Wiki
For those too young to recall, the 1943 film The Oxbow Incident was based on the falsehood that a prominent rancher, Lawrence Kinkaid, had been murdered and his cattle rustled. A mob formed to act as an illegal posse. When they find three men in Oxbow Canyon, they assume one of them, Donald Martin, had stolen Kinkaid’s cattle and had killed Kinkaid. The posse, over objection of seven of its members, hanged Martin. It turns out that Kinkaid was not dead, and the men who had shot him are under arrest. At this point, the town’s mayor arrives and upon seeing that the lynch mob’s leaders were her political allies, intercedes so that the vigilantes live happily ever after – NOT! Rather, the mob’s leader commits suicide and his cohorts were held-over for murder, and the town’s mayor did not intercede. The movie was made to remind Americans of the values which we all should honor, because all too often we fall short. Perhaps, Mayor Bass should screen The Oxbow Incident to understand the forces which she is unleashing on the innocent.
Another Reminder that Lies Breed Violence
Promulgators of these lies come to believe their own lies. In New Mexico, Solomon Peña, who lost his 2022 election to the New Mexico State House by 75% to 24%, claimed he actually won but election fraud deprived him of his seat. First, Peña harassed government officials by showing up at their homes, and then, he hired hit men to shoot up their homes. The town’s mayor turned a blind eye and saw nothing wrong with physically intimidating elected officials – NOT! Albuquerque Police arrested Solomon Peña. Los Angeles’ Jason Reedy, who was videotaped physically attacking Kevin de Leon, still has not been arrested.
Silence Means Approval
Silence, when one has a duty to speak, is approval. The nation realized this when Donald Trump was silent while “his people” ransacked the Capitol in their endeavor to find and lynch Vice-President Pence.
Newly elected councilmember Traci Park is blamed for the death of Keenan Anderson when he had a mental meltdown after a traffic accident in her district. The use of the taser on Keenan Anderson appears excessive, but his death should not become justification for more lies and the wanton characterizing of people as racist. Now, councilmember John Lee is repeatedly called out on January 18, 2023 council session as “Asian racist John Lee,” and “racist insane Asian guy.”
Mayor Bass may feel that if she keeps her head down and sends out press releases about how well her house-the-homeless projects are doing, she can escape responsibility for her role in the polarization of Los Angeles politics and the use of violence as a political tool.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of CityWatchLA.com. You may email him at [email protected])