NEWS

Veteran becomes an activist

Ken Pearcy

Veteran becomes an activist

A group of motorcycles and cars paraded throughout Scripps Ranch on Sunday, July 19, protesting racism – a unique way of protesting as hundreds of Black Lives Matter demonstrations have taken the country by storm.

This form of protesting drifts away from the normal foot-marching as the organizer, long-time Scripps Ranch resident Ken Pearcy, is an avid motorcyclist and retired U.S. Navy sailor. Beforehand, Pearcy said 10 to 15 bikers RSVP’d but noted it’s not uncommon for bikers to show up to events unannounced.

A group riding motorcycles and driving cars participated in a parade against racism on Sunday, July 19. (courtesy of Ken Pearcy)

Pearcy planned for the participants to make their way from Scripps Lake Drive to Pomerado Road and Scripps Ranch Boulevard.

His goal was to raise awareness of what’s going on in the world to his community and show his children what it looks like to “stand up for what you believe.”

“I always knew I had some leadership qualities, but I never knew that was where my life was going to take me,” Pearcy said.

The 20-year neighborhood resident hasn’t always been the activist he is today. Pearcy credits the catalyst bringing him to participate in the movement to the video showing the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

“For some reason, I felt the need to bear witness to that,” Pearcy said. “Something snapped in me, something changed in those moments.”

He said something had to happen and that he could not “be a bystander.” That’s when Pearcy found a Facebook page for Scripps Ranch neighbors to discuss racism and diversity. It’s called Scripps Ranch for Diversity and Inclusion.

Pearcy said that being a white man in America gave him the privilege to want to give back.

“I have had every opportunity to succeed in my life because I was, by a genetic stroke of luck, born white,” he said.

A Bikers Against Racism parade, organized by Ken Pearcy, took participants through much of Scripps Ranch on Sunday, July 19. (courtesy of Ken Pearcy)

The U.S. military veteran and Black Lives Matter advocate said discrimination didn’t wait long to come for his efforts.

After Pearcy’s first event on June 28, he said a Scripps Ranch neighbor sent an anonymous letter to his employer to discount the Black Lives Matter movement and Pearcy’s motives.

“I’m trying to approach a point where I can learn to interact with people to share my hope and aspirations and what I feel deeply that the God I worship means for us to be,” Pearcy said.

Pearcy said that his fear is that he doesn’t want the community of activists to become an echo chamber, and wants to continue pushing people by creating more events.

“White people created this problem, and white people need to participate in fixing this problem,” he said.

Regarding Scripps Ranch, Pearcy said there is work to still be done to help the community.

“A lot of people talk that we’re all for equality, but they don’t want anybody different from them moving in next door,” he said.

For Pearcy, “there’s no end in sight” for his journey in leading demonstrations.

“Change begins at the heart, and when that begins on an organically sustained level, the world changes, one person at a time,” Pearcy said.

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