Op-ed: ‘Woke’ Californians now looking to prevent conservatives from being hired as police officers

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The following contains editorial content by a current Law Enforcement Today staff writer.

 

CALIFORNIA – The Golden State is beautiful and has a reputation for many things, both good and bad. It is also a state that produces radical politicians who embrace the tenets of “wokeism” and then go on to propose and create legislation that goes against what our great nation stands for.

Make no mistake about it. Wokeism is a new, twisted religion being pushed on national and global levels. Its enthusiastic and triggered adherents (I call them “wokies”) worship self-absorbing virtual signaling, cancel culture, political correctness and groupthink.

Wokies celebrate being against societal norms. Before they are for something, they are actually against much more.

For example, the woke are against so many things, including facts, logic, science, patriarchy, delayed gratification, individualism, self-determination, labor, law enforcement and even conventional identities based on race, sex and gender.

Wokeism masquerades as a religion, but it is clearly against conventional religions.

It is also against conventional ideologies and seeks to bring about an upheaval in power structures and society, even encouraging violence to reach a benchmark of radical change.

Many are recognizing that cultural Marxism, neo-Marxism, social justice, identity politics and the Marxist-inspired Critical Theory are radical concepts being heavily promoted to Americans via the media, entertainment world, educational institutions and even by our executive, judicial and legislative branches of government.

Like a plague, wokeism pervades our country as it enters the workplace, schools, houses of worship, government and even our own homes.

Unfortunately, some people willingly absorb wokeism’s harmful ideas like a sponge because its doctrines of “compassion” and “justice” sound good to them or they are attracted to going against a prevailing view in society.

Let’s return to California.

DJHJ Media reported that California State Assembly Member Ash Kalra, a Democrat, introduced Assembly Bill 655, the California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act, on Feb. 12.

Please read the proposed bill for yourself. It would require background checks for law enforcement applicants and disqualify them from employment if “an agency” determined that someone was affiliated with a group or used speech that the investigative body defined as “hate”:

“Existing law requires that a candidate for a peace officer position be of good moral character, as determined by a thorough background investigation.

“This bill would require that background investigation to include an inquiry into whether a candidate for specified peace officer positions has engaged in membership in a hate group, participation in hate group activities, or public expressions of hate, as those terms are defined.

“The bill would provide that certain findings would disqualify a person from employment.”

The bill does not define who is qualified to sit as a member of the “agency,” which would decide who gets hired and fired, but, presumably, wokeism would be a necessary qualification.

The bill includes definitions of “genocide,” “hate group,” “membership in a hate group” and “participation in hate group activities,” but the terms are so broad that virtually anyone could be labeled as hateful.

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Section 13680 of the bill states:

“‘Genocide’ means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group: killing or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction, in whole or in part, of the group, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

“‘Hate group’ means an organization that, based upon its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, supports, advocates for, or practices the denial of constitutional rights of, the genocide of, or violence towards, any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

“’Membership in a hate group’ means being, or holding oneself out as, an official member of a group, and can be indicated by actions or evidence including, without limitation, submitting an application for membership in a group, being listed on an official group membership roster, or publicly wearing or otherwise displaying any tattoo, uniform, insignia, flag, or logo that is reserved for members of the group.

“‘Participation in hate group activities’ means active and direct involvement in, or coordination or facilitation of, acts of violence by hate group members.

“‘Peace officer’ means a person described within Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, who provides uniformed police services to members of the public and includes, without limitation, members of a municipal police department, a county sheriff’s department, the California Highway Patrol, the University of California, California State University, or any California Community College police department, and the police department of any school district, transit district, park district, or port authority.

‘Peace officer’ also includes any state or local correctional or custodial officer, and any parole or probation officer.

“‘Public expression of hate’ means any explicit expression, either on duty or off duty and while identifying oneself as, or reasonably identifiable by others as, a peace officer, in a public forum, on social media including in a private discussion forum, in writing, or in speech, as advocating or supporting the denial of constitutional rights of, the genocide of, or violence towards, any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

“‘Public expression of hate’ also includes the public display of any tattoo, uniform, insignia, flag, or logo that indicates support for the denial of constitutional rights of, the genocide of, or violence towards, any group of persons based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

“‘Public expression of hate’ does not include visiting the website of a hate group, or any single, isolated comment posted on an online forum, chatroom, or other electronic or social media operated by a hate group.

“‘Sustained’ means a final determination by the investigating agency following an investigation, or, if adverse action is taken, a final determination by a commission, board, hearing officer, or arbitrator, as applicable, following an opportunity for an administrative appeal pursuant to Sections 3304 and 3304.5 of the Government Code, that the allegation is true.”

Pacific Justice Institute Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds wrote a three-page letter opposing Assembly Bill 655. He suggested that the bill’s broad and purposefully arbitrary definitions would make it easy to target those with conservative or religious views:

“Unfortunately, under the guise of addressing police gangs, the Bill at the same time launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views.

“Indeed, this is one of the most undisguised and appalling attempts we have ever seen, in more than 20 years of monitoring such legislation, on the freedom of association and freedom to choose minority viewpoints.

“The Bill does this with extraordinarily sweeping definitions of hate groups and public expression. If enacted, this legislation will almost certainly be struck down as unconstitutional.”

McReynolds raised several important questions:

“Are the many conservative organizations pejoratively labeled ‘hate groups’ by the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center—because they oppose radical LGBTQ ideology—actual ‘hate groups’ within the meaning of this legislation?

“Is the Catholic Church a ‘hate group’ because it advocates for the sanctity of life and thereby rejects the constitutional rights of women to obtain abortion?

“Are the thousands of churches in California which voiced support for Proposition 8, the traditional definition of marriage, ‘hate groups’ because they opposed LGBTQ constitutional rights to marry?

“Are the careers of Muslim officers in jeopardy if the mosque where they offer prayers has ever spoken out against homosexuality or gender equality?

“Is the Republican Party a ‘hate group’ because it does not endorse gender identity as a constitutional right?”

McReynolds also pointed out:

“Astonishingly, the definitions are so broad that even someone who does not adopt all of the organization’s views—such as a pro-choice Catholic—would still be excluded because the Bill targets mere membership in the banal organization.”

In addition, people could never walk away from their past. McReynolds wrote:

“Worse, AB 655 would exclude past members or associates of such groups, regardless of how much time has passed since that association. Whether the Bill suffers from poor drafting or a view that past associations can never be cured, is impossible to say.

“AB 655 would usher in a new era of McCarthyism, this time directed against religiously conservative public servants belonging to conservative or religious groups pejoratively and unfairly labeled ‘hate groups.’

“Yet public employment cannot be conditioned on divulgence of organizational memberships in a misguided search for subversive activities.”

The bill also seeks to weed out already-hired law enforcement personnel who become the subjects of internal or public complaints and are determined to be associated with “hate.”

The proposed bill would remove confidentiality so that “the agency” could provide a report for “public inspection” and consumption by wokies who want to know which peace officers were marked as alleged “hate” officers:

“Existing law requires a public agency that employs peace officers to have a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against peace officers.

“This bill would require an agency to investigate, as specified, any internal complaint or complaint made by the public that alleges, as specified, that a peace officer engaged in membership in a hate group, participation in hate group activities, or public expressions of hate.

“The bill would provide that certain findings would be grounds for termination.

“This bill would also require the Department of Justice to adopt and promulgate guidelines for the investigation and adjudication of these complaints by local agencies.

“Existing law makes the personnel records of peace officers, as specified, confidential and not subject to disclosure as public records.

“This bill would exempt from confidentiality the record of any sustained complaint that a peace officer has engaged in membership in a hate group, participation in hate group activities, or public expressions of hate.”

In an op-ed, Rich Welsh pointed out:

“The problem I see right off the bat is that the Woke Supremacy will be in charge of what is considered a hate group and/or hate speech. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to people could one day in the near future be considered hate speech by the useless lunatic fringe weirdos in the Supremacy.”

This proposed bill pretends to promote reform, but is actually a disguised form of persecution in its current form. Now is the time for others to wake up and promote real reform while respecting the rights of U.S. citizens and our powerful Constitution.

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