BLUE LIVES MATTER FLAG
Blue lives Matter is a topic that has been simmering for years, just like the Black Lives Matter movement. But it gained more traction recently in the wake of George Floyd's brutal death at Minneapolis law enforcement officers' hands. First and foremost, the Black Lives Matter movement, which has gained worldwide attention, exists as a necessity to raise awareness of the plight of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the United States.
While the Black Lives Matter movement has continued to trend in the aftermath of George Floyd's death at the beginning of this year, a similar movement that is relatively incomparable has come up. This movement that has made its way back into our daily conversations is the Blue Lives Matter movement. So, what that brings to our mind is, what does Blue Lives Matter mean?
From different quarters, some would argue that the Blue Lives Matter movement is just, but a knee-jerk and perhaps a racist counter-movement to the Black Lives Matter movement. Whereas its timing doesn't help either, the reality is rather different.
The meaning of Blue Lives Matter
At the very least, Blue Lives Matter is regarded as a counter-movement to the Black Lives Matter movement. Originally founded in 2014 by three law enforcement officers, the Blue Lives Matter movement again picked up steam in 2020. Around the same time, the Black Lives Matter protests were being held globally in objection to the Black lives lost under police custody, coupled with systemic racism endured by minorities in the United States.
So, what is Blue Lives Matter movement? The foundation of this movement is the advocacy for the protection of law enforcement officers in the sense that all criminal petitions for crimes against police officers be considered hate crimes. The term 'hate,' in the United States, hate crimes refers to any form of bias against people or certain groups of people with specific characteristics as stipulated by the law.
The Blue Lives matter, as a counter-movement, advocates that those prosecuted and convicted of a crime against police officers should be sentenced under the hate crime statutes. For that matter, hate crime refers to a prejudicially motivated crime that occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership to a particular social group or race.
According to the U.S. Federal law, hate crime laws include, but are not limited to, crimes committed on the basis of the victim's perceived or actual color, race, nationality, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any form of disability. And amid a historical over the state of law enforcement in the United States, there are fewer societal issues that are as polarizing. The Blue Lives Matter has also caused sharp divisions within the police departments themselves.
In Louisiana, for instance, state law has been passed that does criminal acts targeting police, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel to be prosecuted under hate crime statutes. The argument is that hate crimes do not imply a person's choice of career. Of course, being a law enforcement officer is a job and not necessarily a person's identity.
Within the police departments, the divisions have been loud and clear for everyone to see. The associations that represent minority officers have objected to the Blue Lives Matter movement. They have refused to back it while noting that this movement represents a brand of identity politics and nothing more. The associations have also said that police officers' support and an end to police brutality against Black people and minority groups in the United States is not necessarily a political choice.
The controversy surrounding the Blue Lives Matter movement
Blue Lives Matter's primary goal is to protect the police from being targeted while they are in their line of duty. But you might be asking, why do people take issue with the Blue Lives Matter movement? Whereas it is important to leave room for others' opinions, supporting law enforcement officers and supporting good policing shouldn't be viewed as two separate things. The neutrals say that the purpose of the police is to protect everyone. Regardless, that hasn't stopped politicians from floating the entire idea as for or against the police.
The controversy is rather superficial, though. The Blue Lives Matter movement has served little but to generate more controversy in various quarters. On the surface of it, this movement implies that anyone working in law enforcement is either equivalent to or analogous to being Black. On the contrary, there is no long-running history that involves law enforcement officers being oppressed, enslaved, or racially discriminated against.
On the flip side, law enforcement officers have, for the most part, been treated with respect and favor. The following are some of the reasons why the Blue Lives Matter movement has proved controversial and done little to push its course:
A political line is being drawn.
Supporters of Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter alike would tell you that the situation feels dichotomic. That is a trap being set up. Well, the original message for both movements was to amplify and bring more people to the fold in the fight for social justice. It turns out that the former is being played out for right-wing supporters, whereas the latter is being regarded as a push for the plan of left-wing supporters.
In the United States, unfortunately, far too many people have fallen into this trap. As such, most people believe that you can either support one movement or the other, but not both. On the contrary, what this dichotomy creates is false. It is basic political fodder and nothing more.
Generally speaking, honest people on either divide of politics can support both the Blue Lives Matter and the Black Lives Matter. The choice to support both has no ideological distortion or conflict at all. That is contrary to what politicians want us to believe. The left-wing has called for police reforms and the entire criminal justice, which any honest American can see, of course. On the other hand, the right-wing has blatantly regarded the calls for police reforms and racial justice as personal attacks on individual police officers, which is a Sunday school argument.
It is a misrepresentation of the social life of the police.
If you have the slightest clue of what the police experiences are, you would agree that regardless of race or gender, law enforcement officers traverse the social spaces with proper respect and honor. The police, just to mention a few, are offered free meals, services, not suspected as freeloaders or thieves, and they are awarded free news coverage's and paraded funerals. That's the life of law enforcement officers. As such, those who dig out the controversy say that Blue Lives Matter has always mattered for the most part.
The police experiences in the social realm are of privilege and preferential treatment. So, to imply that law enforcement officers' plight is off widespread oppression, through the Blue Lives Matter movement, hasn't come without its critics. That has been viewed as a side-show or a way to steal the necessary attention required to converse about the real issues being addressed by the Black Lives Matter movement.
It is a profound misrepresentation and somewhat disrespectful to develop an analogous hashtag to cloud the real conversation. Honest Americans would agree that blue lives' experiences are nothing compared to the experiences of Black lives. The connotation of police lives being analogous to the Black lives is utterly offensive, wrongheaded, and pretentious.
In a nutshell, the lives of police officers haven't been devalued whatsoever. On the contrary, the police undergo training that empowers them to protect themselves by all the necessary means. Besides, no one is born pre-destined to be a police officer at birth. It is merely a choice – and a noble one, for that matter. On the flip side, you are born Black, and because of how the system is set up, your skin color gets you into trouble every day. You cannot take off your skin like a police uniform at the end of your shift.
As such, it is hardly impossible to reconcile why people have taken issue with the Blue Lives Matter movement. Even that phrase alone, as some claim, has been considered a defensive jab at Black Lives Matter. Moreover, others who can't publicly acknowledge that they are racially biased have used the slogan as a false affiliation with patriotism.
It connotes law enforcement as a social identity similar to race.
The police job is as good as any other occupation. To make it appear like working in law enforcement is as significant as the Black race is considered offensive. These acts are only meant to be used as cover-ups for the mistreatment of Black lives under police custody. That is what this boils down to because no one wants to handle the elephant in the room, which is systemic racism in the name of privilege.
It is a historical juxtaposition.
The entire idea of Blue Lives Matter is an attempt to misconstrue history. Unlike Black lives, Blue lives have never lived under pressure or their lives being treated as less valuable or hostile to order in the United States. The foundation of Black Lives Matter was based upon the urgency to create awareness of the manner in which Black people have been mistreated and continue to be across all the spheres of society, and more so the criminal justice system.
From ancient times to colonization of the West, history is on record that black lives have been treated as property and mere use-value. Besides, the black community, especially in the West, and more agonizingly, in the United States, have been viewed as being dangerous to social order. In that spirit, social order has been in place ever since to disempower and disenfranchise Black people and other minorities. This social order has been constituted by precarity and the ever-present potential of imminent death. That, put into context, is utterly unthinkable. However much depressing that might sound, but it is the truth.
On the contrary, Blue lives have no such similar situations, say like slavery, which requires equitable treatment towards recovery. History doesn't suggest so. If anything, the hashtag Black Lives Matter has it mattering more because of the history that the black lives have endured. On the contrary, blue lives have no such historical record analogous to what the black sociality has endured over centuries. That explains the controversy and the reason why apparently everyone is taking issue with the Blue Lives Matter hashtag.
Whereas law enforcement officers have been unjustifiably mistreated, this is not supposed to justify the Blue Lives Matter movement's controversy. As always, police officers have and should be treated with honor and respect. But for the most part, the police experiences of the world are constitutively different from Black lives' experiences, who have and are treated in the social spaces as social dangers by merely their appearance and existence.
Therefore, the misguided belief that one can only support one side and not both are harmful to developing progressive policy priorities that are key to the American society at large. No one has to pick sides when it comes to policing. And if that is the case, then the Blue Lives Matter movement's puppeteers are living in denial. As much as it is meant to be an expression in support of the law enforcement officers and first responders, the phrase would simply be reduced to imply a violent and baseless defensive mechanism born out of systemic racism that has been blown open by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Furthermore, the outrage the Blue Lives Matter movement has received is rather symbolic. Some view it as a reactionary and racist movement that is meant to delegitimize the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement and as well target and combat activists and people of color to intimidate them into silence.
Besides, its timing couldn't be worse either. When black people are facing heightened inequality and dealing with systemic racism in literally all the institutions in society, the Blue Lives Matter movement is the least thing that could have happened. That, coupled with the reality that their lives could be taken away from them at any time without consequence, is deeply excruciating. It was for these reasons that they got back to the streets with placards to serve as a reminder that their lives matter too.
Therefore, the Blue Lives Matter proponents, with their utter dishonesty and the lack of accountability, choose to counter the wave by coming up with a movement of their own. Their idea was laid bare; to keep control of their narrative. So, it's no coincidence that the two movements almost simultaneously gained traction, hence the controversy. The bottom line is that All Lives Matter. But to choose to ignore what one movement is trying to address since time immemorial is considered pretense.
Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter; which movement came first? And why?
As mentioned earlier, the Blue Lives Matter was formed as a countermovement to the Black Lives Matter. Therefore, the latter came up first.
Understanding the rationale for the Black Lives Matter movement
Black Lives Matter is a decentralized social movement that advocates for an end to police brutality, an end to racially motivated violence against black people, as well as having peaceful civil disobedience is such incidences. That is a peaceful movement fighting for Black Americans in the quest for racial justice and equality.
This organization started in 2013 in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Years have gone by, and the organization has garnered a network of activists raising awareness around the issue of equality to achieve equal treatment for Black Americans in the U.S.
The Black Lives Matter movement campaigns against systemic racism and violence against black people. It was founded to address the injustices that African Americans endure while emphasizing the lack of accountability from law enforcement and the larger society. The key highlight is the disproportionate police brutality that is aimed at black folks.
Research has shown that there are racial disparities in the way cops use force and how criminal justice handles murder cases. The Black Lives Matter movement was started in the year 2013 by three black activists, namely;
- Alicia Garza.
- Patrice Cullors.
- Opal Tometi.
These women created this apolitical movement after the fatal killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the subsequent acquittal of the perpetrator, George Zimmerman, in 2013. Since then, the movement has made it a center stage to eradicate white supremacy and end systemic racism.
Who started the Blue Lives Matter movement?
The Blue Lives Matter movement was founded in 2014 by three New York Police Department officers, namely;
- Christopher Brinkley.
- Joseph Imperatrice.
- Carlos Delgado.
This movement began in the wake of officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu's fatal shooting in Brooklyn, NYC. The perpetrator, identified as Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, reportedly carried out the atrocity to avenge the murder of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in police custody.
The movement started as a non-profit organization, and its membership comprises both active and retired police officers. Their shared view is that there is a war being waged against law enforcement personnel. Besides, they assert that anyone who murders a police officer should be convicted under the hate crime statutes.
In Louisiana, for instance, the push for this reform has already been implemented. State lawmakers have already made criminal activities targeting law enforcement officers and firefighters a hate crime.
What started the Blue Lives Matter movement?
In the wake of the homicides of law enforcement officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, police officers decided to form Blue Lives Matter movement. That happened in December 2014 when around the time when the media anti-police rhetoric was perceived to be high.
The Blue Lives Matter movement comprises of both active and retired police officers. Currently, the national chairperson of this movement is the retired L.A. Metropolitan P.D. Lieutenant Randy Sutton. A year later, after the official launch of this movement, more than 100 LA police officers rallied in support of Blue Lives Matter in Hollywood. That was around the same time when there were widespread reports of ambush killings of law enforcement officers across multiple cities.
The Blue lives Matter movement identifies its foundations from the incident in which two police officers were murdered in New York City. They inadvertently blamed the two deaths on Black Lives Matter. What further reinforced their perspective was killing five police officers by a lone gunman in July 2016 at an otherwise peaceful rally in Dallas. The perpetrator was reportedly angered by the much-publicized murders of African Americans at the hands of police officers. In the wake of these events, the Blue Lives Matter officials still blamed the Black Lives Matter for encouraging perpetrators to inflict harm on law enforcement personnel.
Legislative response on Blue Lives Matter
A myriad of legislation, notably the one in Louisiana, has come up with the focus on increasing sentences for motivated offenses against police officers. In Louisiana, the policymakers decided that offenses against law enforcement and other first responders should be covered under the hate crimes statutes category. What that legislation meant was to enhance or authorize severe punishments for attacks on police officers.
However, such legislations haven't come without their fair share of criticisms. Both liberals and conservatives have gone or recorded opposing such punitive legal measures to enhance the Blue Lives Matter movement's agenda. Liberals assert that such legal approaches are unnecessary. They believe that the punishment for attacks on police officers is already severe. As such, it doesn't help as much to strengthen those measures by including hate crime requirements.
Additionally, liberals argue that law enforcement officers do not fit the criterion for hate crime legislation – which is a provision that protects groups that have historically been persecuted and subjected to systemic discrimination. Besides, liberals fear that juries might stretch these laws and apply them to those deemed to be resisting arrest at the hands of police officers and not necessarily physically attacking them.
Critics have said that such laws aren't objective in terms of their application. One observer has noted that these pieces of legislation only protect those cops who use excessive force or hassle innocent people by providing them a legal framework to defend themselves against innocent victims.
Lest we forget, the Blue Lives Matter movement came up amidst the much-publicized ambush attacks on law enforcement officers, and so did these pieces of legislation. Despite the assertions, the data obtained from the FBI indicate a different statistic. Blue Lives Matter claim that violence against police officers is growing at exponential rates. This claim isn't consistent, though. Data from the FBI shows that felonious assaults and murders of law enforcement personnel have been on the up and down for every individual year over the last ten years. And there is no disproportionate increase in victimizations on a consistent upward trend.
Criticisms directed towards the Blue Lives Matter movement
- The Blue Lives Matter movement has been criticized for equating one's job to something significant as one's racial identity.
- Observers say that black identity has historically suffered the ever-present threat of erasure. That can't be said of police officers because they are empowered to protect themselves at all costs.
- Additionally, law enforcement officers are generally respected and honored across all social spaces. That can't be said of black identity suspected of being thieves and freeloaders, even without consequence.
- Liberals say that the Blue Lives Matter movement's proponents are either deliberately or unintentionally in favor of a system that is historically known to discriminate and racially profile people in the policing department.
- Other critics say that there are already sufficient laws that cover the punishment of violence against the police. As such, legislation to enhance this punishment is rather redundant.
Implications of Blue Lives Matter on community policing
Advocating for Black Lives Matter is not a recipe to wage war against law enforcement and other first responders. Additionally, being pro-Black Lives Matter is not an endorsement of a culture that deliberately defies law enforcement. But using the Blue Lives Matter as an umbrella for cover-ups and subsequent acquittal for impunity on the part of law enforcement is overtly dangerous.
Asking for Black Lives to Matter like the rest isn't rocket science. It merely means police should be accountable in instances where they are deemed to have used questionable force. What the Black Lives Matter movement is uncovering is a systematic and daunting pattern of events that have been happening since time immemorial, long before the recent instances have been caught on camera.
For proper community policing, especially in light of these slayings on our screens, experts argue that law enforcement officers have to own up to their mistakes for them to do their jobs better. And that is simply the tip of the iceberg. The criminal justice system has to be overhauled inside out.
Criminologists assert that there will be a disproportionate amount of distrust between law enforcement and BIPOC communities unless police officers admit or own up to the well documented historical injustices and abuses. That is the starting point for minority communities to heal.
This distrust makes it impossible for police officers to solve crimes. Take, for example, if a community isn't willing to cooperate with officers on investigations, it is merely more difficult to crack a case. That is where the Blue Lives Matter proponents get it all wrong.
These people fail to contextualize that when communities – and not just in America, but all over the world – don't trust the police or fear the police, then they cannot work with the police on issues concerning law in their communities. With time, the issues within these communities get out of hand, and since law enforcement can't handle that, the community takes on the mantle to handle them on their own. What you get from this is violence.
The problem with policing in America is profoundly unacceptable. What you occasionally see on your screens is simply a microcosm of the entire police department. And not only are these problems seriously, but most of the people responsible for bad policing don't want to acknowledge that. Instead, they dismiss that and try to keep up. That explains why it is hardly impossible to reconcile, while movements like Blue Lives Matter exists.
Besides, the challenges facing law enforcement in the United States aren't far-fetched. People are rightly criticizing some police factions because police officers are employed in the public service with the sole purpose of protecting all of us. On the contrary, there is disturbing evidence that law enforcement officers are doing something entirely wrong. To mention but a few, police research has shown that there are racial disparities in the use of car crash citations, speeding tickets, use of force, and murder solve rates.
As a way to cloud people's attention to these ills, the Blue Lives Matter movement is effectively shifting from hostilities perpetrated by law enforcement to those committed against the law enforcement officers. As such, the misconception painted out there would be that the Black Lives Matter is waging a civil war against the police. This false narrative further discredits all the necessary efforts by activists put in the fight for racial justice and equality.
Do Blue Lives Matter?
All lives matter, no matter what. It is utterly unthinkable that you will sip on your drug and wake up the following morning thinking that someone's life matters more or less than yours. Your maternal uncle probably thinks his life matters more than your dad's! Man, snap out of it. It is propaganda. The fundamental human rights apply to every one of us regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or race. So, to imagine that your life is more valuable than your neighbor's is a pipe dream. Quit the bandwagon you are riding on.
Blue Lives Matter, for sure. The constitution has given police officers the mandate to protect and serve the citizenry unconditionally. As such, some rules and regulations guide them in their lines of duty, which implies that they have to follow the law while administering their functions. If at any instance, a police officer misuses or abuses their mandate because of their prejudicial predisposition, they have to be held accountable, just like the average civilian.
Pointing out abuses by police in their line of duty isn't racist or in any way advocating for vengeance against law enforcement. That is the falsehood the Blue Lives Matter proponents are fueling their plan on. This movement's fictitious foundation wants to equate a police job to a racial identity, which we all know is quite a sensitive matter in the United States.
The result is that the civil rights of those in authoritative roles are depicted as being more privileged than those intrinsic to humankind. Besides undermining the push for equality that the Black Lives Matter movement stands for, the Blue Lives Matter countermovement has divided America into reductionist falsehoods.
By so doing, they mislead the general public to believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is anti-law enforcement, which is not the case. Well, America has a long-standing history of police brutality that can't be debunked overnight.
DON'T ALL LIVES MATTER?
And why do people take issue when someone says all lives matter?
Blue or Black, all lives matter as much as any other life. It surprises me that we have to write that down. But as you would expect, the debate continues. The Blue Lives Matter movement purports to raise awareness of a secret war being waged against the police. No one knows about this war. On the other hand, the Black Lives Matter is simply a phrase that seeks to focus attention on the plight of Black lives throughout the history of the United States.
So, why do people get upset at the phrase, all lives matter?
One observer once had a proper way to think about this situation: She likened it to your wife asking you if she is pretty, and then you respond to that with, 'all people are pretty.' Do you think that is the response she expects at that moment in time? That is the same effect the Blue Lives Matter movement has caused in the Black Lives Matter wake. No one has asked for their lives to matter more than the rest. What they are asking about is fairness and equality.
According to data from the FBI, between 900 to 1000 people have died every year since 2005 at the hands of police officers. But surprisingly, a measly 35 police officers have been held accountable in that timeframe. That says it all. There are profound inequalities embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system that unfairly targets people of color. That is the basic foundation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Founded in 2014 as a countermovement to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Blue Lives Matter revolt has since fractured America into reductionist falsehoods. It is driven by a self-proclaimed need to pit law enforcement against the Black Lives Matter movement's goals. There is still a dotted line between the civil rights activists' purpose and the baseless nature of law enforcement's intentions.
Protections accorded to Blue Lives.
Besides the police being empowered and accorded preferential treatment, there are calls to back the Blue lives. Moreover, law enforcement officers have mechanisms to stay unaccountable for their abuses. In a nutshell, the police are by far the most protected groups in American society. They have sufficient privileges, not to mention the court rulings that already go in their favor. Overall, a law enforcement officer's protection is prioritized over the ordinary civilian under the congressional statutes.
Some states independently passed bills to increase penalties against perpetrators who harm police officers. Additionally, the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which received unanimous bipartisan congressional support, is in place to protect law enforcement because it makes hate crime against police officers a federal crime.
How to support police officers through the Blue Lives Matter movement
If you have already been to the Blue Lives Matter website, you probably have read their mission statement. Whereas the strong language used there implies their dedication to protect police officers, there is more to it. The organization looks to expand its membership to regular citizens who aren't necessarily active or retired police officers.
This organization's subsequent aim is to help officers, whether in or out of the line of duty. For instance, if an officer's kid needed emergency medical attention that requires a kidney transplant, then money can be raised through the organization within minutes or hours. That, you will agree, would be a better way of looking at the big picture instead of pitting Blue Lives Matter against Black Lives Matter.
The risk of violent victimization
Lest we forget, the police are up against significant risks every day in their line of duty. Policing is not easy, not only in America but across nations on the globe. The policing profession doesn't come without its challenges, from violence and physical harm to the potential risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Therefore, the real help that should be given to the police has to do with the challenges mentioned above and not help them stick with this impunity culture. There should be a focus on understanding the workspace of a police officer, with training psychologists who can handle the collateral damage.
Besides, law enforcement officers should have access to effective protective equipment, a proper communications system, and video equipment. The idea is to protect the police in their line of duty and enhance accountability. As such, the provisions of the above three categories of equipment can help do the following:
- Helps impede physical attacks.
- Can help accelerate calls for backup.
- Can capture on-scene evidence that is an accurate account of what happened.
That, if you asked me, would be a better and broader wavelength to use in helping make the lives of police officers better while simultaneously protecting the public from biased targeting of people of color.
How do you actively push Blue Lives Matter's narrative in light of the Black Lives Matter movement?
The vibe you get is that one organization is pitting itself against each other, one with an open course supported by history, while the other is, paradoxically, the accused. In the wake of Black Lives Matter, all you see being championed by these activists is a true course in fighting for equality from a system that has failed them. Lest we forget, the Black Lives Matter was founded on discrimination from the criminal justice system, which law enforcement happens to be part of. The system has historically disadvantaged communities of color, as well as endangering them.
From observers' reports to study findings, racial discrimination in the United States criminal justice system is well documented. The only probable, and perhaps the honest, way to push the agenda of Blue lives purported narrative is for the justice system and the policing to be self-critical, first and foremost. The real question should be, why Black Lives Matter? And not necessarily pitting Black versus Blue.
The fictitious foundation of the Blue Lives Matter, coupled with its timing as a countermovement, implies that its proponents live in denial. This phrase is being used as an alibi for the blatant rejection of the issues being raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, which is police misconduct. As such, the lingering question becomes, are you these officers apprising the Blue lives narrative opposing criticism?
Even the most clueless police officer would tell you that having fair law enforcement – community relations is the dream situation. Therefore, the Blue Lives Matter's baseless formation is considered a reflexive defense mechanism against the substantiated criticism directed at police officers. That is hypocritical because no one is ready to own up to their mistakes, potentially damaging to the entire policing profession in the U.S.
The way forward should be for the policing profession to act like they haven't been saints in all these. The writing is on the wall already, so there is no harm. Secondly, the policing profession should listen and understand the concerns at the heart of these communities. That is the preliminary step towards good policing. Besides, it is not like the two are independent. Whether it is the community and policing, one needs the other, but the cooperation shouldn't be biased towards certain elements.
Why is the Blue Lives Matter movement unrelenting despite a fictitious foundation?
The Blue Lives Matter organization has shown its willingness to push its agenda no matter what and vilify the Black Lives Matter movement as an organization opposed to the police, preferably personally. They have even drowned the genuine voices within the police departments who are willing to listen and understand the concerns being raised by BIPOC communities.
Honest Americans would tell you that the Blue Lives Umbrella does not stand for what it is purporting to stand for. Instead, some twists and turns reflect a picture that most Americans know and are used to; racial discrimination. Even a liberal alien from planet Mars would tell you that the policy goals suggested by Black Lives Matter are genuine and inherently legitimate. Now, whether you agree or not, they double up as policies you can sit down and debate on how best to move forward. Some of the policy goals being championed by the Black Lives Matter movement include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring the police workforce is adequately represented as per the racial diversity make-up of the U.S. population.
- Law enforcement officers to wear body cameras on duty.
- Pushing for the implementation of police union contracts that can hold law enforcement officers accountable in instances of misconduct.
- Having an independent body that is responsible for investigating and prosecuting misconduct by law enforcement officers.
- Putting an end to the police use of equipment meant for the military.
- Requiring that police officers undergo more diversity training.
Having looked at that list, you will wonder where the fuss is coming from. People are fond of putting themselves in too much of a bind to the extent that the simple rationale for any course leads to political influence in their choices.
The bottom line
The Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement that came up in the wake of the homicides of two New York City P.D. officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. The movement is made up of both active and retired police officers. It was a reflexive reactionary organization formed to push law enforcement officers' protection in their line of duty. By so doing, their main push was for legislation to be passed that prosecutes perpetrators of violence against police officers under the hate crime statutes.
It was a counter-movement in the sense that it was founded a year after the Black Lives Matter movement came to the fore. The two movements have had their fair share of media coverage in 2020, especially after the brutal death of George Floyd, which sparked global protests and solidarity against what is perceived as the U.S. justice system's racial discrimination and unfair treatment of people of color by the law enforcement officers.
The movement hasn't come without its critics, though. Critics say it is merely a side-foot by the system to put off attention and delegitimize the Black Lives Matter movement's efforts. No wonder you rarely find a sentence with Blue Lives Matter that doesn't imply Black Lives Matter in it. Is that right?
The most unfortunate part of all this is that the politicizing mentality has already ingrained itself into the American psyche. We have seen people take sides on the two movements while blatantly ignoring the fundamental principles of how and why the two movements exist. What that mentality has served to do is fracture America into two polar positions, and nothing could be more polarizing than that. Besides, most people now see it as a stand in which you can either support one or the other, but not both.