These days in America, if you have an opinion (no matter what that opinion may be), you are quickly labeled and ridiculed. It could be the most well-thought-out answer to a question. There is so much “noise” out there, it has drowned out the most important trait out there. It has many names, but I’ll just go with ‘reasonable’. There are so many social media platforms out there that lump you into a group. You will be labeled as a liberal or a conservative. I have a problem with that, as most of you should.
A couple of years ago, I recall Facebook labeling political affiliations based on someone’s online activity. I remember checking it and I was labeled, “ultra-conservative,” I laughed at that. My online activity involves a lot of research, writing, music, and various other subjects. I surmised that because I’m a cop and a combat veteran, I’m an ultra-conservative. In addition, I read all kinds of news, and posts, as well as follow a wide spectrum of journalists, U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and various government entities because I like to be well-informed.
I’ll ask you: Does that make me an ultra-conservative? Since when is being informed equated to being a radical? I ask this of both sides. How about instead of that label, we go with “reasonable.”
That’s all I am: reasonable.
Hot-button topics have plagued our newsfeeds. The dopamine dump of confirmation bias has become exponentially worse. A meme with false information becomes the talk of the internet and most people just fall right in line. Here’s an example: I was watching a YouTube video featuring Aziz Ansari, he’s a comedian if you don’t know who he is, and he was talking about the media. During a show, he asked the audience of their thoughts on the customer who complained to Pizza Hut management after finding pepperoni arranged as a swastika on his pizza. Aziz tells the audience to clap if they saw the picture.
Some did. Aziz then says to the audience to clap if they thought this person was just looking for attention, again people clapped. He went as far as asking someone in the audience if he had seen the picture and he said that he did. He also said he thought the customer was looking for attention. Aziz revealed to the audience that he made up that whole story and it never even happened.
The point he wanted to make was to show how gullible people are to believe anything they read or even think that they read or saw. People are no longer reasonable. They will just go with whatever is the hot-button topic. As Aziz says, people are trying to “out-woke” each other. It was very simple for him to do.
As a cop, I research a lot of different things, I like to be well-informed. I have read about different hate groups, communist groups, Black Lives Matter, ISIS, and different books about different ideologies. If you search my history, it’s going to be full of things like that. Does reading or researching any of these things make me a Liberal or a conservative? NO. It helps me understand the why. That’s what most have lost today, the ability to ask why. People no longer listen; they just talk over each other. The loudest and most obnoxious one wins.
I recently listened to DC lawmakers question Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley regarding a “woke” military, and I believe he said it best. “I want to understand white rage, and I’m white. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? I’ve read Mao Tse Tung. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So, what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend?”
The past few years, when President Trump was in office, I’d keep getting asked, “Are you a Trump supporter?” or “Are you a Biden supporter?” My answer has always been the same, I’m for whoever does right by the American people, veterans, and our Nation. That’s it. Does that make me left or right, liberal or conservative?
I have very close friends of mine, brothers-in-arms, and we discuss various issues. If we don’t agree, I don’t cut them off and not be friends anymore. Just because they have a different point of view doesn’t mean I can’t be friends. It does not matter to me. If you have an argument or a point of view, make sure you give me facts before your opinion, I mean, isn’t that what critical thinking is?
I am not a conservative or a liberal, I am just a guy who has a point of view on many different social topics. I research, I read, I listen and then I form my own decision based on all the facts. A lot of Americans do not do that anymore because it’s so much easier to be told what to believe vs seeking the truth out. That’s what made America great. It’s the thirst for knowledge.
My family’s home country of Lebanon is thousands of years old, and in America, we made it to the moon. A 300-year-old country beat the rest of the world on many things. Why? Because of our thirst for knowledge. Let’s bring that back, let’s start asking the hard questions, and let’s seek out truth versus being told what is true.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on July 22, 2021.
Ayman Kafel is the founder and owner of Hybrid Wolf Blue Line Strategies, LLC. A veteran-owned training and consulting company for Law Enforcement officers and agencies. He combines his military and law enforcement experience to bring much-needed cutting-edge training to the law enforcement profession.
Ayman is not only an active police officer but also a law enforcement instructor and has taught across the East Coast of the United States. He offers a wide variety of training, such as advanced patrol tactics, mechanical breaching courses, designated marksman, and Human Performance under duress.
In addition, Ayman is an Army Combat Veteran who was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. He became a police officer in 2007 after 8 years of service in the Army
Ayman has seen the ugliness of war and evil in the world. He survived two civil wars prior to immigrating to the United States in the late eighties.
His current position is the commander of his department’s Problem-Oriented Policing Unit. He leads a team of investigators that employs unconventional methods and Special Forces philosophy in achieving specific objectives in the communities he serves. These unconventional methods range from winning hearts and minds to specific strategic law enforcement actions to arrest and prosecute those who are the root cause of various crimes.
To reach Ayman, feel free to email him at email@example.com
As the Voice of the Veteran Community, The Havok Journal seeks to publish a variety of perspectives on a number of sensitive subjects. Unless specifically noted otherwise, nothing we publish is an official point of view of The Havok Journal or any part of the U.S. government.