Briefing Room: Can Seal Beach residents engage in difficult conversations?

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Hi Nick,

I first wanted to thank you for the way you communicate with our community; you certainly express important matters we need to know and contemplate, but also offer the levity we all need. So, thank you again.

In the article published in September 10 Sun Newspaper, you mentioned being willing to engage in difficult conversations. I certainly am, but is it your opinion that residents be also be willing, or even to initiate political conversations or ones about BLM? I feel silly even asking this question, but after seeing the protests a couple weeks ago, I am honestly not certain of the best.

I grew up in the Inland Empire, and have never been racist. I don’t believe most of Seal Beach is racist either. However, what happened that Saturday was heartbreaking anything but peaceful from protesters and counter protesters alike; I don’t want to do ANYTHING that may contribute in any way to what I saw.

I apologize for the long e-mail, but at one point, there was someone with a megaphone shouting profanities and accusing all of Seal Beach of racism with children and the elderly present. Why is this considered peaceful?

Thank you sincerely,

Wendy

Hi Wendy,

Thanks for your email and kind words. I really appreciate it.

In your email you ask if I believe the community is willing to engage in difficult conversations. The short answer is yes, I believe most people in Seal Beach are willing to have tough conversations. Of course, whenever people feel passionately about something, there will always be those who are unwilling or unable to see things from the other person’s perspective. I understand why people shy away from having tough conversations. It isn’t easy and it isn’t natural. But it is absolutely critical, especially right now.

I can certainly appreciate the fact that you don’t want to contribute to the already high tensions of our society. However, there are ways to engage in meaningful conversations while maintaining respect and seeking a true understanding. This website from the National Museum of African American History and Culture provides some great resources on bias, identity, and what you can do to talk about race in our community. Please visit the website here: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race

Although there were many people from both sides of the issue yelling and screaming during the protest, this speech is generally protected under the First Amendment and not considered illegal. Was the protest peaceful? We witnessed physical altercations and our Detective Bureau is currently investigating them. However, at this point we have not had anyone come forward who is willing to be a victim and proceed with prosecution.

Lastly, and most importantly, we never want our residents to be scared, especially in their own community and homes. We are here 24/7 to protect this town. If you ever feel unsafe, please call our non-emergency line at 562-594-7232 and an officer will discuss your specific concerns with you.

Please keep your questions coming! Email askacop@sealbeachca.gov with your questions!