No, I was not at the Back the Blue March on Saturday. Yes, I was at both of the Black Lives Matter marches. There is a difference. The Back the Blue turned political and to some extent religious. The BLM was about bringing social change to systemic racism.
For those who are saying I do not support law enforcement, I will put my law enforcement and military credentials up against any of the elected officials or candidates who spoke Saturday. I have taught many law enforcement students as a certified laws enforcement training instructor by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. I hold the Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate from the N.C. Sherriff’s Education and Training Standards Commission. I am a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a Certificate of Achievement in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
I have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from WCU and an AAS from SCC. So, I resent being accused of not backing law enforcement because I did not attend the Back the Blue march. I did not feel it would be appropriate of me to take part due to the partisan nature of it.
I support our military. I am an OCS graduate and a member of the Retired Reserve. For those of you who believe I am some kind of liberal, socialist, Marxist, I have a DD214. For the record, I do not believe in the violent protests taking place in our nation at the moment, but I also understand the frustration of those who are protesting. I survived the Civil Rights movement. I trained with the National Guard in riot control. I have seen firsthand and experienced the abuse of power.
I was not contacted to speak and if I had, I feel it would have been inappropriate for me to do so. The town did cooperate with traffic, allowing the use of the Gazebo and making sure it was in good shape, and this morning emptying the trash cans. This was not a town event.
For those wanting me out of office, you will have your chance in November 2021. In the meantime, I will continue to serve every resident and visitor of Franklin, regardless of race, religion or politics.
I will not pander to hate and fear. There is way too much of that now. In the meantime, I will continue to be a mayor who believes in the Constitution.