The Day “We Back Blue” Backed Down

It all began as an innocent idea – have a rally along one of the busier intersections in Yuma to show support of our local law enforcement. Any tragedy propagated by the George Floyd incident had been kneaded by Black Lives Matter and Antifa into a frenzy with no defined purpose other than to fulfill the Alinsky/Soros/Obama vision of totalitarianism. Like Washington DC’s “We Back Blue” rally, I wanted my community to know we appreciated being served and protected.

Growing up here, my friends and I never saw race as an issue except as a discussion in school during the civil rights movement or when Sammy Davis Jr. married May Britt. One of my best friends was a black girl and we would watch TV together, wondering what started all the ruckus in Little Rock and other southern cities.

When Black Lives Matter and Antifa began their nationwide protests, Yuma saw a group of young people waving BLM and anti-Trump signs along a busy intersection. I came to a stoplight and yelled out my window, “Hey, guys, ALL lives matter!” Whoa! Insulting their mothers wouldn’t have elicited a nastier response. This is not the Yuma where I grew up. Clearly, it’s no longer about equality. In today’s world some people are more equal than others.

Even though this BLM protest wasn’t even a pimple on the bum of what was happening in other parts of our state, I wanted to make sure our law enforcement understood we were behind them. As President of the Yuma Chapter of the Arizona Republican Assembly, I sent feeler emails to known conservative members of our local Tea Party and our conservative women’s Republican club. The responses received were quick and positive.

I wrote letters to the Mayor, the Chief of Police and the County Sheriff, informing them of our upcoming rally. Wanting to get this done in a timely manner, I scheduled it for the end of the week – Friday afternoon, June 19th. Word went out on social media right away. It was a go.

Early Thursday, the 18th, the calls started coming in. The president of the conservative women’s Republican club had received a call from the Mayor, worried about holding the rally on Juneteenth! I’m not sure why he didn’t contact me, unless his letter hadn’t arrived. I wasn’t able to deliver it to his office because City Hall was closed due to COVID-19. Whatever the reason, he expressed to her concerns as to our choice of the date.

Another call from a conservative Tea Party member said the Chair of the Tea Party was pulling out if I insisted having the rally on the 19th. One concern was the possibility of aggressive reactions from passing vehicles. She also used the excuse of the afternoon temperature, although it was just as hot when she joined in a rally several weeks ago to open businesses in Yuma.

Without further argument, I posted on social media and sent emails cancelling the rally. In my announcements to the Mayor, Chief of Police and the Sheriff, I wrote:

"It disturbs me our society has put diversity above equality, and we would use the few minutes of a General's announcement in Galveston, Texas, as an excuse to withhold recognition of our local law enforcement. Having grown up in this color-blind community, I never thought I would see a time people would fear racial hostility. That was one of the reasons cited for postponing the rally.

Be that as it may, I have made an executive decision on behalf of the Yuma Chapter of AZRA to postpone the rally until next week. In doing so, we are caving in and allowing racist and bullying organizations to control our behavior.

Daily I pray for our public officials, elected and otherwise, so they can instill truth and common sense in the populace. As my late husband used to say – You can lead horses to knowledge, but you can't make them think!"

It’s a sad commentary when our leaders, especially conservatives, bow to pressure, especially when there’s no truth to the rationale supporting it. When General Granger informed the people of Galveston about the Emancipation Proclamation, all the slaves weren’t free at that time.

The effects of the Obama Administration’s exerted efforts to divide this nation aren’t a painful reminder of anything historical. They are branches into previously unchartered territories, beginning with dismantling our law enforcement agencies. Next will be further deterioration in our education system along with our First Amendment rights.

Meanwhile, the media will continue with its fake news, pandering to BLM and Antifa, and undermining President Trump’s accomplishments. It saddens me to see our formerly staunch conservatives buckle when we have enough on our plate standing up to a misguided GOP establishment without needing to readdress our own values.

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