OPINION by RICH DONALD
If you do a YouTube search of “Rich Donald of SLOASA” you will see a video of me, leading one of, if not the largest protests against law enforcement arresting people for marijuana in county history.
I helped people make signs that said “STOP NAZI PIGS!” I then lost a house, two cars, about $100,000 and put myself 100,000 in debt battling against Dan Dow, the sheriff, the feds, the NTF, the dirty private investigator working for the county or the DEA, and the corrupt cop (convicted) that was the lead officer on the task force. When he stole the $70,000 out of the collective’s safe, the NTF left an official receipt that said $420. Where the zero was, they had drawn a smiley face. You can’t say this county’s super-corrupt cops at the time didn’t have a sense of humor.
In the end, we won, not one civilian went to jail. The corrupt cop went to prison up north (two years later), and not one conviction landed against the Doobie-Dozen.
The adage, “You might beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride,” had been proven painfully true, the question becomes; how do you go from rage-hating corrupt law enforcement to tying blue ribbons to every stick around while holding up a sign that said “Black Lies Matter” at the recent counter protest?
Unlike Mr. Papp, my opinions on police, justice, race and racial relations were not formed while swilling away the hours with Mayor Heidi Harmon and noted wine celebrities on the coastal patios of the 1 percent.
My opinions were formed in the 90s when I was homeless, with a mohawk, living in a broken down car down the street from Union Station, and I had to duct tape a hunting knife to my hand before going to sleep, because around 3 a.m. when the LA county jail let out each night, freshly released criminals and addicts looking for an easy Vic would open my door… because even the damn door lock was broken. If you were one of the many people who tried to mug me back then, I’m sorry if I didn’t address my white privilege before threatening you with the knife.
I also was not lucky enough to be a “middle classed” mediocre Caucasian who could trace his family history back to a sainted martyr of victim culture and again unlike Mr. Papp, I’m not running for any office and have no ulterior agenda. I’m no saint, I’ve done bad things I’m not proud of, but I make no pretenses either. Like Popeye, I yam who I yam and that’s all who I yam.
Until a generation or so ago, all the male members of my family either came back highly decorated and highly traumatized from war or came back highly dead. The ones that lived became lumberjacks in Oregon or ranch hands in Texas, they got married for life, bought a house, had some kids, and mostly passed away in their mid 50’s and 60’s. At least a hard life isn’t often a long one. Both the larger branches of my family are still there, still in those states, still doing those same country jobs, and all their kids are following the exact same life patterns as their parents did.
I guess you can say my family never really contributed much to the nation, other than maybe, their lives, half of all the money they ever earned, and the eternal sacrifices of their beloved sons and daughters. You know the type, completely average rural north American caucasoids, generally the most universally hated people around in Cali nowadays.
The oh so witty. and completely misconstrued and taken out of context, “snark-isms” Mr. Papp likely came up with during his boozy Sunday brunch do not deserve to be addressed, but I would like to break a few stereotypes of the kinds of people who are out there waving the flags.
I’m an atheist, not a Christian (we’re not all Jesus nuts), I voted for Obama and not for Trump (We’re not all Republican or even right wing), I have advanced college degree and I have worked in a dual masters therapist position for the State of Alaska. And my last IQ test result said 165 “Gifted,” We’re not all uneducated and stupid nuts.
I have blue eyes and blond hair, but I’m also proud to be the great grandson of a Native American (Cherokee) and my sister went to UCLA on a native American scholarship.
During the lockdown, the TV showed protests degrade into riots, looting, and burning all over the country. The news showed how the crime rates skyrocketed before, during, and after large BLM protests for weeks, (rape, murder, theft, assaults all hundreds of times higher, I guess maybe the cops were busy).
Reading the many names and stories of the children and innocent victims that have been robbed, assaulted, and flat out murdered by BLM protesters increased my unease.
The media postings of BLM leaders threatening to burn down our cities, to destroy San Luis Obispo County specifically, to tear down all American monuments, to rewrite the American anthem, change the flag, get rid of history books, abolish the police and the justice system, and to destroy the parts of the constitution they disagreed with — finally brought me around to the same realization a lot of people have had:
These protesters don’t want to “influence change,” what they want to do is to destroy all of the things that allow any of us to feel pride in being American regardless of our individual races.
They want you and your prideful ideas of America broken down and destroyed, until only their ideas, their pride, their monuments and their movement are all that remains.
Sometimes, you need to forgive the past, and realize who’s really on your side and who just isn’t in this cultural cold civil war going on. I chose to amend my previous views of the police.
Soon I had joined the Protect 5 Cities Facebook group, next I was going to and listening to BLM rallies to scope the opposition, and though I am righteously opposed to this communo-socialist, likely terrorist organization, I have always held the door open for communication.
I had long chats and debates with a Black Lives Matter organizer on Facebook that went on for weeks, and when I was at the protest the other day. I went up to some pro BLM people arguing with some of my fellow counter protestors.
The (ahem) gentlemen were busy telling everyone how ignorant and uneducated they were, and therefore unable to be reasoned with, so I said I didn’t consider myself either of those things and would be happy to speak reasonably with them.
Ironically, the thing which had finally motivated me to buy a flag and go to my first counter-protest rally ended up being this very same person standing right in front of me. He and his friend admitted they were some of the ones that were approaching the downtown businesses, “asking for contributions,” and they took great offense at my protest sign for using the word “thugs” in reference to them.
You see, I too had read Josh’s story on “Protestors Demand Money from San Luis Obispo Business Owners.”
Back when I was in the news almost daily about a decade ago, Josh was one of the few reporters who was actually reporting the facts, and who wasn’t just rehashing AP wire or official statements. I really didn’t like everything he said about us at the time, but I respected the honesty of the articles he wrote and his dedication to providing the other side, the unpopular side of the story. The side the major news outlets in the area were intentionally not covering. I fully trusted his coverage of the events.
After reading that story It was clear to me what SLO BLM, R.A.C.E. Matters, and Free Tianna, aka her family, friends, fellow protesters, and sadly misinformed attorneys were doing.
It was discussed with other counter protesters at the event, and as we talked we all became more and more enraged. I hastily made a sign at the rally, it was on black paper, barely legible, it wasn’t well thought out, it likely contained misspellings, and it said something like (they eventually stole the sign)
“BLACK LIES MATTER”
Step 1: Break Windows during your “peaceful protest.”
Step 2: Accuse any store owner who boards up their windows of white supremacy and racism.
Step 3: Threaten to destroy their reputation and boycott their business during the worst financial disaster since the great depression if they don’t give you money.
Step 4: Send football players to intimidate and threaten if “reparations” are not made.
Step 5: Collect $40,000 in two days.
Step 6: Fulfill your threats and destroy the online reputation of any business owner who does not pay the extortion money.
Step 7: Get poor uniformed Mr. Fisher caught bold faced lying to reporters while denying the immoral actions you took and didn’t bother to tell him about.
Step 8: Repeat.
The lie that mattered the most to me — innocent business owners who boarded up their windows following the suggestions from a letter sent to them from the city, were labeled as racist when they were anything but racist, just for BLM to get a little extortion money. And this degenerate scheme, while likely not illegal, was perpetrated on our local business owners by BLM/Free Tianna supporters.
The worst fears these business owners had for their families and futures in these far from certain times, were used to extort money from them when they did absolutely nothing wrong, racist, or creepy. I doubt any will speak up about it, fearing the retribution, and yes Mr. Papp the correct term for obtaining money through force or threats is extortion. That is exactly the definition of what these “Free Tianna” supporters did and they seemed very happy to admit it to all of us.
I’m sure Mr. Papp really would love to move on to a “more productive” discussion (as his pixie dust ran out at the beginning of that argument,) but I want to repeat the last thing one of the extortionists said to me before I left.
“Look, nobody gonna pay thousands of dollars just because somebody did that (lied about them being a racist.) If it’s a lie, and they been around a while, you know, nobody’s gonna believe it, they wouldn’t pay! But those ones, the ones that did pay thousands of dollars, and I don’t know how much they paid, you know it’s true, you know it’s gotta be true if they paid!”
So in the BLM/Free Tianna playbook:
Once you accuse somebody of racism, if they don’t pay the extortion they dont support BLM, that again proves them to be racists, and therefore it’s ok to destroy their lives.
If they do pay your extortion money, they are obviously racists, but if they pay enough we let them keep doing business and won’t tell anyone just how racist they really are.
Well, the protect groups and other pro-law enforcement/law and order groups will be holding their overpass rally this Saturday at 10 a.m. I will be at the one on Oak Park, just down the street from the Arroyo Grande Police station where a local officer served our community loyally for many years and was recently ambushed and tragically murdered.
If you are opposed to the twisted identity politics of the BLM movement targeting our police and justice system, or if out of simple support for all our officers (both those fallen and those still serving,) please join me and the other proud Americans at this event and those in the future, all proud Americans are welcome.
And to Tianna and her supporters, maybe rather than being publicly prideful about your videotaped crimes, maybe in this small town, rather than protests, boycotts, and busing even more angry protesters in to push the policing costs that you have already cost us into the millions, and likely trial costs into the tens of millions, perhaps you should just try apologizing to the people whose lives you endangered, whose property you destroyed, and whose money you extorted.
People around here are very good people and tend to accept heartfelt honest apologies for mistakes that were clearly poorly thought out. But if you wanna lose absolutely everything, likely ruin your future, and make a really big statement in hopes to change the world. That strategy sure didn’t work out well in the end for me in my righteous battle with the system, and it sure as hell didn’t work out for Charlie Lynch who was much more righteous than you or me, but good luck to you either way. Who knows, maybe your fight will be different.
And to the entire BLM, cancel culture, identity politicking, wave of extreme SJW PC wokeness that has plagued our country worse than any pandemic since the day Obama announced his candidacy: The rest of America is tired of being broke for your woke, honk honk, clown world is soon closing as the rent has not been paid, please make your way to the exits.
Rich Donald has been a county resident for 12 years, started the first advertised marijuana delivery service in the county, was the chairman of SLO Americans for Safe Access, acted as the United Food and Commercial Workers Union delegate to the International Cannabis Business Association, and was a faculty member at Oaksterdam University in Oakland.