Katie Loncke 
Member since Sep 26, 2017

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Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

As one of the Stop Urban Shield coalition members in the room that day (among the Buddhist Peace Fellowship representatives), I'm disturbed and saddened by the racist vitriol in this email, but unfortunately not in the least surprised. In fact, I'm glad it has come to light, because it will help us reveal and discuss the racist, xenophobic, militaristic fear-mongering at the heart of Urban Shield -- its raison d'tre.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described racism, militarism, and extreme materialism as the giant triplets fueling oppression in U.S. society. We might add gender oppression, ableism, and ecocidal arrogance in there, too. Urban Shield, as a program, entrenches and exacerbates every single one of these fundamental antagonisms. And the fact that one of the few individuals entrusted to evaluate the program's efficacy not only espouses raging Islamophobic views, but *owns a gun shop,* is extremely telling.

Grateful to the East Bay Express for reporting on this. Such a revelation should, I hope, invalidate all of Mr. Grant's votes on the Task Force, and call into question the fundamental nature of the Task Force's procedure and findings. Its purpose, after all, as mentioned in the article, was to "address concerns that Urban Shield has militarized local police agencies and that some of its content has been racially insensitive." How can such concerns be addressed, let alone allayed, with sitting members holding aggressively bigoted views, and using those views to influence Task Force voting?

I hope Mr. Grant sees fit to apologize and make amends. If he won't, I hope the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will -- by ending Urban Shield.

Posted by Katie Loncke on 09/26/2017 at 6:23 AM

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