A charity event in honor of a fallen police officer has been cancelled. The reason: local police chief and a Democratic politician didn’t want Trump supporters at the event. The state: California.
The charity flag football game was to honor Ventura County Sgt. Ron Helus, who lost his life when he rushed to the scene of a mass shooting at a bar in 2018. The game would have raised money for Helus’ family.
It was to be the kind of event that in the past would have brought the community together. It would have been elegiac but devoid of politics. It would have been a chance to comfort the bereaved family and an opportunity to remember that we are all part of a community.
In today’s climate, this I what happened instead:
The Blue Bowl speaker list was bipartisan. It included Gov. Gavin Newsom's public safety liason, Trump supporter Scott Baio, who went to the same church as Sgt. Helus, as well as Trump-supporting singer Joy Villa, who was to sing the national anthem.
[Event organizer and Vice President of the Fallen Officers Foundation Mike] Randall says in a phone call, [Thousand Oaks Police Chief Tim] Hagel questioned why the Trump supporters were invited.
"He basically said over and over in the conversation this is not Trump country, that slogan 'Make America Great' is not favorable, popular, within 1,200 square miles, that we don’t want Republicans here, I could not believe it… We were totally floored by this comment, 'the only thing,' and I quote, 'the only thing you coulda made this worse, Mike, was to invite dick Cheney and Sarah Huckabee Sanders,' and I went…wow are you kidding me?" Randall said.
Randall told FOX 11 that Hagel also said he was contacted by Democratic Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin who was allegedly upset that her previous election opponent local Republican attorney Ronda Kennedy had been invited.
Randall says Hagel told him to get rid of the Republican speakers or else he would tell the Venturas County Sheriff's Department and local politicians to pull out of the Blue Bowl. When he refused, he allegedly received a text from Hagel saying that after speaking with the Sheriff, they were respectfully pulling out, then, confirmed the decision in a phone call.
"He goes 'yeah this ain’t gonna work for us,' I said you’re not gonna support this with the honor guard and he goes 'no we’re not bringing the honor guard we’re not coming we’re not going to be there, not supporting it'," said Randall.
It would have been understandable if there had been a concern that the invited Trump supporters were going to talk about the President or politics.
But that apparently wasn’t it. It is harmful to the fabric of society when sharing space with people with whom we disagree is impossible. How can we find common ground or diffuse bitterness when we can't even go to a charity ballgame together?
The donations were returned and as of this writing will not be made to available to the family the brave officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. Shameful is the best word for this situation.
Finder’s Fee: PJ Media.