Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Black lies matter


By Mel Pearlman

As America wrestles with the issue of finding its way to racial equality, we must be careful not to destroy the constitutional foundation of our nation, which in reality is the only path to reach that much-desired goal.

The events of the past, highlighted by events of the last few months have laid naked the ugly reality of police brutality in many communities across the country, inflicted by law enforcement officers in their encounter with black men, women and teenagers.

There is justified anger in the black community in seeing too often the use of excessive and unreasonable force resulting in the death of black citizens. All Americans should be angered in what appears to be a culture in police circles that every citizen encounter is adversarial. The “good guy” police versus the “bad guy”citizen.

The problem here is that too many police officers increasingly see every arrest incident as a dangerous encounter, especially when the target of the encounter is a black person.

In a democratic society where freedom is cherished by all citizens of every race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or any other social differentiation, police officers as agents of the government have an absolute obligation to treat every citizen with respect and deference unless the factual circumstances require otherwise.

In many instances, that is not the case; and the problem is clearly magnified in the police/black citizen encounter. Members of the black community, as well as all other Americans have a right to expect police officers, as well as all public servants, to treat every citizen in all circumstances with professionalism worthy of the badge, flag patch and uniform they wear.

Unfortunately, whether it is poor training, poor education or incompatible personality traits, there are many police officers who are deficient in meeting the high standards required to be a law enforcement officer in a free society. The Constitution demands better and the American people should demand better as well.

The message is clear and unambiguous. The peaceful street protests and the support of all fair-minded Americans is the catalyst for bringing about meaningful action to end racial inequality in America in both the public and private sectors while at the same time respecting the pluralism also guaranteed by our Constitution.

We must also remember that we cannot build equality of any kind while hate permeates the very movements that espouse racial equality. Violence, looting and destruction of public and private property, which mingle with peaceful protests and oftentimes subvert the peaceful nature of the protests, are counter-productive to achieving the noble ends sought by the overwhelming majority of Americans.

Black Lives Matter was born to fight racial injustice and bring an end to racial discrimination, but in the short course of their existence, the organization has become radicalized and embraced the same form of hate and prejudice that they so vigorously oppose.

They have embraced anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in their charter, have endorsed BDS, the movement that seeks to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the State of Israel. They have bought into the myths that the Jewish people, who were themselves enslaved, are now oppressors.

These are the same Jewish Americans who suffered prejudice and hatred in the same America that enslaved the black population.

They came to these shores after suffering the murderous pogroms of Czarist Russia and being imprisoned as prisoners of conscience by the Soviet Union. These are the children of the Holocaust survivors who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. These are the people that gave inspiration and hope to the black slaves evidenced in black culture, music and the longing to be free.

Black Lives Matter has taken their noble cause and slogan of “Black Lives Matter” and subverted it into “Back Lies Matter.” If the Jewish people have taught the world any lesson it is this: A people who embrace victimhood and hatred will end up bitter, but they will never end up free.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.


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