Silent because I am afraid to lose my job: Opinion on BLM

During the wild fires in 2020, I can’t say “I can’t breathe” anymore.

Silent because I am afraid to lose my job: Why I had supported BLM but not anymore.

Americans keep saying we are the champions of freedom and democracy. We are the greatest and freest nation on the planet. We have the freedom to choose where we want to live, whom we want to befriend and get married with, and which companies we want to work for. We have the freedom to vote and determine our own destiny.

In this essay I will discuss our freedom of speech and how my opinion of BLM and has changed. Do we really have freedom of speech in America? Do I really have freedom of speech? Will I lose my job because of my opinions? Why I had supported BLM but not anymore?

I know many people in Silicon Valley and they dare not voice their opinions on controversial social topics inside and outside of the company they work for. The only people who speaks loudly are the ones who parrot popular positions held by mob mentality. And to be clear, I am not talking about discussing company intellectual properties or leaking company news that may materially affect the company. I am talking about discussing social issues. Many companies have rules for employees not to discuss social topics at work place and among colleagues. Let us say it is reasonable for a person to hold his tongue when he converses with colleagues and when he communicates in the office to reduce and prevent conflicts in the office. Is it reasonable for a person to lose his job for expressing his opinion outside of the company and not directly toward his colleagues?

Many of my peers work in Silicon Valley companies have fear expressing their opinions in the public and some even fear expressing their opinions in private conversations because they are afraid someone from their company may discover their opinion and disagree and report to human resources and get them fired. Likewise their colleagues and boss may find out and henceforth treat them unfairly at work. Since I am not working in a Silicon Valley company, I have less of such concerns. I have made known my opinions on Facebook and have gotten private feedback from people saying they agree with me and thank me for sharing my opinions but they cannot support me publicly because they are afraid of losing their jobs. Is this freedom of speech?

While it is true people are in control of making a choice to express themselves, they risk losing their jobs. They have the freedom to choose to express themselves albeit financially compelled to remain silent and not dissent from the popularly held social opinions especially held by their companies’ authoritative figures. The compulsion is so strong that they fear they will lose their jobs and livelihood if they express their opinions. Some are even concern for my physical safety. Can we still say these people have freedom of speech?

Is it right that our professional livelihood is so dependent on our political affiliations and social opinions?

In another area of life where a person has freedom of choice to do something or not to do something but feels financially compelled to do so out of fear of losing a successful career/business/financial opportunity, and that action is related to sex, she is deemed to not have freedom of choice. In fact, a felony has occurred. She has been sexually assaulted. If a man or woman is compelled to have sex with another person and fears losing out of a career opportunity that may affect his/her livelihood, and goes through with the sex act, it is considered as rape. This is the law in most developed nations including USA. If this type of compulsion and fear imparted on a person is not acceptable for sex…why then is such compulsion acceptable for limiting freedom of speech and forcing people to be silent and succumb to whatever popular mob mentality or authoritative figure her company/employer has adopted?

A person should not fear losing her job regardless of her race/gender/religion/political affiliations and social opinions.

Recently with coronavirus and BLM riots, many people must be feeling like they need to express themselves. Many people will have different opinions. And yet depending on where a person is located and which company she works for, she may feel compelled to be silent especially if her opinion does not align with the popular mob psychology within her social bubbles or professional bubbles. We have moved toward a society where people lose their sense of safety in being able to speak out. This is dangerous.

I have been saying for months that the incidents recently is mostly an issue with police brutality. Of course there is systemic racism and discrimination in USA and every where in the world, but that systemic discrimination is much less in America than many places in the world and much less than 50 years ago. And of course there is much room to improve to reduce systemic discrimination. Nevertheless, I had supported BLM movement. I had written dozens of emails to politicians and posted hundreds of tweets in support of black lives against police brutality. However, with almost all the recent incidents where a black person has died, if you dig into the case detail, it is not exactly white and black. Almost every incident I dug into turned out to be quite complicated and not clearly a matter of racism. We can fix social problems without dragging race into every problem unless it really is a race problem.

After 7 months of deadly riots in communities across USA, I no longer support BLM movement. Black police are just as guilty of police brutality as white police. It is a police brutality problem. We need to seriously restructure the police organization and training, and hold every police accountable for their actions with rigorous independent monitoring and oversight, and educate public on how to interact with police. We need to ban no-knock warrants on non-violent crimes. I do not care what you call it, be it defunding the police or restart or reboot or just clean up bully culture in the police organization. Black lives do matter but BLM movement has become politically motivated. Some time after “I can’t breathe”, I can’t hear myself nor anyone coherently because people stopped thinking critically and became parrots inflicting more violence toward each other. BLM encourages a victimization mentality and created violent divisions among different races. When you promote the victimization mentality mindset in people, you are also promoting resentment among people in that group. The psychological effect on promoting victimization mentality and resentment should not be minimized. The result is violence. The response to BLM has also caused more divisiveness. Stop comparing BLM to saving whales or some endangered animals. Black folks are not animals and black folks are not in danger of going extinct. I have been scuba diving and have seen the devastation in the ocean that is starting to show up on the surface as more wildfires and hurricanes. The whales are not the only animals in trouble. Many animals in the ocean and on the surface are in trouble. Likewise police brutality is not just a black problem. Police brutality affects everyone so we should not make it a race problem.

Black folks say there is a bias that people think they are violent. Meanwhile black folks have increased their violent assaults and murders on Asians in USA and particularly in California this year. California became the epicenter for violent hate crimes against Asians by black folks in America this year. A black man stabbed a 69 years old elder man. Another black man attempted to literally light Asians on fire in a boba shop. And these are only the reported incidents. Studies show minorities under report violent assaults.

Where are the BLM supporters when black criminals violently assault and murder people? Where is the outrage and demand for justice? BLM supporters have said that Black Lives Matter does not mean only black lives matter. It turns out that is exactly what it means. When black people violently assault and murder non-black lives, BLM is quiet. To BLM, these non-black lives do not matter. This year BLM supporters have been saying to be silent is to be complicit; and I agree with this statement. We must not be silent against violence inflicted by either police brutality or by criminals. We were rightfully not silent against police brutality. But BLM supporters continue to be silent on black criminals committing violence and homicides against innocent people in America. It is not right to evoke black lives matter without also considering the violence and deaths black lives inflicted on other lives.

Black population is 13% of USA population but commit 38% of the violent crimes. Why? What can we do do reduce violent crimes committed by black people.

BLM is silent and complicit when it comes to black folks committing violent crimes against other races. BLM plays the same blame game that Donald Trump plays: Blame everyone and everything instead of taking ownership and responsibility. Black folks say there is a bias against blacks for committing violent crimes. There is a bias and is it justified? People especially Asians need to take extra precaution when interacting with black folks they do not know especially in public transportation recently. The police will only come draw a yellow line around a dead body and no one will riot for a dead Asian. “Blacks made up 1.15 million of “offenders” of violent crime and 0.64 million victims. That means that they are 2.0x as likely to be a perpetrator of crime than a victim. Blacks are ~50% more likely to commit crimes against whites than whites are to commit crimes against Blacks. Blacks are 280x more likely to commit violent crimes against Asians than Asians are to commit crimes against Blacks.” Black people are not the only victims of systemic racism and discrimination. In fact, black folks are also the perpetrators of systemic racism and discrimination. The data shows that black criminals are racially targeting Asians for violent crimes and homicides? This increase in racially targeted violent assaults by blacks rose with the BLM movement. BLM is silent on this as BLM only wants to play the victim card. BLM wants to play the race card, they need to address black folks’ tendency in committing crimes against against other races. What is the black community going to do to reduce violent crimes against other races? BLM promotes only the black race and condones assaults on other races by being silent and complicit to crimes committed by black folks against other races. I have been personally violently assaulted by black folks, white folks, Asian folks, latino folks — although more often by white and black folks than other races. Let’s be clear that nobody is advocating racial profiling. Taking extra precaution when interacting with people you do not know in public transportation or parking lots or streets in neighborhoods with high incidents of crime during this very large spike in violent assaults from a group of people against another group of people seems prudent.

On the matter of reparations. If America wants to start any talk about any kind of reparation, it must start with returning America to the Native America Indians. Americans basically committed genocide to create this country. If there is any kind of reparations for any descendants of crimes committed in American history, Native American Indians should be first in line. I feel truly sorry for the Native American Indians, but that is history and we are not returning America to them. I can feel sorry but I did not commit those crimes by the early Americans. If anything, Americans who supported the Vietnam war in the 1970s need to apologize to me for bombing, invading, raping, inflicting permanent bodily harm, killing my family members, and turning hundreds of thousands of people into refugees. Americans have a lot to feel sorry about as a country for all the atrocities we have committed in the name of freedom and democracy not just against Vietnam but to a long list of other countries and peoples. Sorry, we are not making reparations for those crimes either. The list of reparations will be endless if we want to start talking about reparations.

You also can feel sorry but you do not need to say you are sorry to any individual person for crimes you did not personally commit. What you can do is help bring awareness. Let us figure out a way to move forward and not backwards in our desire to reduce discrimination and hypocrisy.

BLM really does mean only black lives matter. BLM is silent and complicit when black criminals increase their systematic racially target violent assaults and homicides against other minorities. BLM has become a movement that nurtures black privilege.

We must speak up and stand firm against bigotry in every color and in every form. We must demand the black community answer for the violent crimes committed by black criminals. If black people want turn police brutality into a race issue and demand you to repeat the names of black victims of police brutality, tell them to say the names of ~5000 victims murdered by black criminals each year. Black people must quit the victimization mentality and take ownership for their own failings. Stop being like Donald Trump and blaming anyone and everyone and everything including historical events that happened 200 years ago. Black folks in America — — What are you going to do now to become better?

The concerns raised by BLM are valid; I still support the fixing the issues raised by BLM. Black lives matter. Black people are unfairly the victims of rampant police brutality in America that have gone on for too long.

I had supported protests against police brutality under the BLM banner. I wrote over 2 dozen emails to urging politicians to change the laws and operational procedures on how police should interact with civilians. I was very vocal about supporting the occupation of civic centers across America and at the White House. And I was receptive to and understood the anger that fueled the looting and destruction of properties all across America.

But I no longer support BLM anymore. The issues raised by BLM are still valid and still need to get fixed. Black lives still matter. We must still continue to make progress with police brutality. But BLM protest and the tainted Black Lives Matter banner must end.

As the BLM movement surge, violent crimes and homicides have surged across America, and these crimes are committed mostly by blacks, but in almost all cases, the assailant’s race is not mentioned in mainstream news. It is hypocrisy for media and people to escalate and call it a race issue when the victims are black, but be silent and complicit and in fact not even mention the violence and homicides when the assailants are black. Every week, I see reports of violent assaults spurred by crimes committed by blacks against Asians. Every week for the last few months since BLM protests started, I see an increasing number of blacks systematically and racially profiling a very specific group to victimize and murder.

Some of you will say that these crimes are not part to the BLM movement, and that it was divineness incited by Donald Trump’s rhetoric. I agree that Donald Trump incited hate crimes and condoned bigotry by not supporting peaceful protests. Donald Trump is like a wild dog barking but he did not not light an elderly woman on fire because she is Asian. Donald Trump sowed divisiveness through his rhetoric but he did not stab an

Asian elderly man to death. Donald Trump did not kick an innocent Asian woman in the face while she waited at a train stop. Donald Trump did not heckle an Asian man for collecting bottles and cans to recycle. These hate crimes against Asians are committed by blacks under the shadows of BLM.

Some of you will say these black criminals are not part of BLM. I agree, but these black criminals took advantage of the situation created by BLM. BLM protests and riots created the opportunity for criminals to commit crimes. The black community needs to deal with these black criminals that thrive in the shadow of BLM protest as much as the police organization needed to deal with the police brutality by a relatively small number of police officers. Some of you these criminals that thrive in the shadow of BLM protest are not BLM responsibility and the police are responsible. Police presence and attention would have deterred some of these crimes if not for being kept busy with BLM protest.

No reasonable person will say Breonna Taylor’s death was a justified. No reasonable person will say it is okay to put a knee on an already subdued person for 9 minutes. Every reasonable person was rightfully outraged by the blatant police brutality with George Floyd and gross negligence by the police department with Breonna Taylor. We demanded change. We blamed all the police. We burned police departments and vehicles and attacked the individual police officers who were nowhere near George Floyd nor Breonna Taylor. We blamed every cop for being silent and complicit. We looted businesses that had nothing to do with the the relatively few police who inflicted brutality on mostly black lives.

Since the protests and riots, criminals took advantage of this situation in more ways than just looting. They killed innocent people who have nothing to do with the police who inflicted brutality on black lives. Most of these criminals are blacks. BLM can see a relationship between a few bad cops and blaming the entire police organization and innocent business owners. BLM lit up police cars and buildings and looted businesses. BLM has been saying being silent is being complicit. How then can it stay silent and complicit about the crimes committed in the shadows of BLM? Why is it silent and complicit to the hate crimes, violent assaults and homicides committed by black lives. This is one-sided hypocrisy.

But BLM wants to focus on police brutality against black lives? Then focus and stop the rampant riots. It is wrong for BLM to be one sided and focus only on the victimization of black lives. Victimization mentality foments division. It creates a “us verses them” mentality, and the symptoms are already fracturing the causes BLM was fighting for.

Too many lives were killed and ruined as collateral damage directly and indirectly due to BLM protests. BLM has become tainted and must either be dismantled entirely or be replaced with a movement and calling that is more inclusive. Every conversation for black lives must include not only how to reduce police brutality but also how black lives will reduce crimes committed by black lives. Some people will say blacks kill more blacks than other races. Acknowledge it and fix it. BLM turned police brutality into a race issue because mostly black lives have been hurt by police brutality. We could have addressed police brutality as just that while acknowledging systemic racism, but we did not. We fought police brutality with the race card. That is fine. Then let us dig into the race issue. More black lives are hurt by crimes committed by black lives. BLM must address this. However, it is not just black on black crimes BLM must address. BLM must also address the fact that blacks commit most of the violent crimes and homicides against people of every color.

Our way forward cannot be one sided.

Laws have already been changed to reduce the likelihood of brutal police interactions with civilians. Rules and regulations within the police organizations have also been changed against choke holds and to prioritize de-escalation over confrontation. Businesses and banks have made charters to give more opportunities to blacks through loans, jobs, and seats at the executive boards. This is progress. We will continue to make more progress.

BLM protests are still ongoing with more violence, injuries and destruction. BLM is silent on encouraging blacks to take ownership and responsibility. This has to change. Black folks need be held accountable for their actions just the same as the police they demand justice and accountability from. BLM plays the same blame game that Donald Trump plays: blame anyone and everyone including things that happened 200 years ago. Breonna Taylor. The verdict caused more pain because it was wrong for police to invade her dwelling. However, it is not legally possible to pin murder charges against any particular police that did not intentionally commit murder. There is no justifiable reason why the police should invade any dwelling for drug charges. Police needs to stop their war on drugs; and ban home-invasions and no-knock warrants for anything but the most egregious violent criminals to save lives. We need to change this.

George Floyd. Nobody should be pinned down with a knee for 9 minutes. We rightfully forced the police organizations to change because for too long they have become out of control and lost sight of the community and the people they are supposed to protect. But why did George Floyd resist arrest? The police are not the only ones who need to change. Civilians need to change too. People’s behavior need to change and learn how to interact with the police.

Regardless of your race, everyone needs to to de-escalate especially when you interact with the police. Do everything you can to de-escalate. The police have guns and weapons. The police have a whole army of police ready to support them. It does not matter what the situation is and who is right or wrong. Any escalation that turns violent between you and the police will just result in your injury or your death. Avoid injury and death. File a complaint against the police after the incident instead. It’s not just interaction with police. De-escalate to avoid violent confrontation in any and every situation especially when your opponent is armed and dangerous.

Police are not heroes. Police is a job, but their jobs can get dangerous when they are not eating donuts and collecting their high paying jobs and cushy pensions. USA law assumes you are innocent before proven guilty, but the police for their own safety must assume you are dangerous until you show them you are safe. Put yourself in their shoes. Dozens of police are killed every year interacting with strangers. The police have no clue who you are. You are a stranger to them. They need to ask prodding questions to figure out if you are may be a bad guy hiding something. You must convince the police that you are not a threat and have nothing to hide. In many countries while in you vehicle, you are legally required to comply and show your ID to them. Routine traffic stops have been proven to reduce crime. Traffic stops enable the police to reduce kidnaps among other crimes. We are not here to debate the effectiveness of police traffic or pedestrian stops. If you have nothing to hide, just cooperate with the police so you can go home and they can potentially prevent a kidnap or stop a crime before it gets worse. On top of all this, the police is a person with lethal weapons and could be having a bad day.

Outside of your your motorized vehicle, it is not legally required for you to show your ID in USA, but why do you want to be confrontational with an armed and potentially dangerous person? What do you have to gain to escalate a confrontation with an armed and potentially dangerous person? Ask the police politely why they want your ID and then show them your ID. Avoid your own injury and your own death and show them your ID. File a complaint later if they had no good reason to stop and ask you for your ID.

There are too many scenarios to cover on how to interact with the police. The principle takeaway is the police organization heard us and are changing to become less brutal. Now we need to change to so they can do their jobs and catch the criminals we all want them do catch. If the police cannot do their jobs, violent assaults and homicides will continue to surge the way it has during the BLM riots — And racial tension will explode into a race war.

We have rightfully forced the entire police to be accountable for police brutality by a few bad apples. It’s time we hold protesters accountable for the few bad criminals who have taken advantage of the protest to surge in violent assaults and homicides. People need to change their behavior in how they interact with the police! De-escalate and let everyone make it home safely.

BLM protests have served its purpose and must stop. The cause will continue but the protest must end. We have already started change within the police, laws, and governments and businesses, and will continue to make more progress. The disruption and violence and fall out caused by BLM protests are spiraling out of control and we need to reassess. Criminals are taking advantage of the BLM protests and have stepped up violent assaults and homicides in the shadows of BLM protests. BLM protests have ruined too many lives and killed too many lives either directly or indirectly. BLM needs to take responsibility for the criminals that have risen and thrived in its wake, just as much as the entire police organization needs to take responsibility for the brutality that relatively few of their own has inflicted on innocent people.

Although the original reasons for BLM protest is understandable, there is no justification for the results directly from the deadly riots, and indirectly that caused the surge in violent crimes and murders in the wake of the riots. Condoning the deadly riots is condoning victimization mindset and fosters resentment that turns into violence. Blaming others and blaming history cannot be the only part of BLM conversation; BLM conversation must also include accountability.

All views in this essay are entirely my own and not supported nor representative of any company or employer I may be or have may have been affiliated with. I am not a Republican nor a Democrat, but I am an American. I am not part of any political movement nor receiving any incentives for stating my opinion.

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