| 27 Jul 2020 | 12:04

    I find it necessary to respond to a letter to the editor entitled “Their blood isn’t white or black but red” as it’s basic premise is not based on facts but on typical right wing mis-characterizations of the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Nowhere does the Black Lives Movement platform call for killing or violence against the police. The Black Lives Matter movement is asking for equal justice under the law and an end to structural racism that has pervaded our society for 400 years.

    The writer takes the words of a few of the people in the protest and tries to paint their words as representative of the Black Lives Matter movement which is patently false.

    I do not attach the words of white supremacists to the conservative movement.

    Nor do I claim that all cops are racist or violent toward minorities. I object to those protestors who are hurting the movement by their inflammatory words, but in all movements, there are many ignorant people who try to instigate violence.

    It is up to us to educate ourselves about what the true message is by research and investigation. I support BLM for their stated goals of equal justice for all.

    The writer seems to get his understanding of BLM by watching Fox news which only shows the small number of negative actions by protestors while ignoring the fact that 90 percent of the protests have been peaceful and a lot of the violence was initiated by the police and the “storm troopers” that Donald Trump has sent in.

    The writer states that it is extremely rare that an officer is abusive to a citizen. I worked in criminal justice for 40 years and I have found that such abusive behavior is not as rare as the writer would have us believe. We have witnessed recently abusive behavior toward citizens even when the officer knows it is being videotaped. This is an ingrained mentality hat has existed too long in policing that allows the belief they are not accountable.

    Yes, most police officers are good people but too many have abused their position and when that position is one of power bad results happen.

    A major part of the BLM platform is more control over the police by the communities in which they serve. Camden, N.J., is a prime example of changes to policing that has made great strides in community relations.

    Yes, there is too much violence in urban neighborhoods but much of that is the result of the racism that has deprived many of those in the minority population an equal opportunity and equal access to economic vitality. I believe the letter I found objections to was more likely to inflame passions by its misrepresentations of BLM than to try to get a helpful discussion of the issues.

    John R. Miller

    West Milford