Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement to the Black Lives Matter Movement. The Black Lives Matter Movement started with just a hashtag and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. The Black Lives Matter movement became nationally recognized for demonstrations after the murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City.
While black people and allies are in the streets, pleading for law enforcement accountability for the murders of black and brown bodies that could have been prevented, active and retired officers were designing a flag and actively marketing a campaign to silence the voices of the Black Lives Matter platform.
What they created was a flag and a platform intended to counter reports that they perceived to be anti-police.
What happens when a Black Lives Matter activist, like myself, is faced with a Blue Lives Matter flag provided to me for protection? Well, that recently happened and I’m still struggling with how to handle it.
You see, as I have written before, I am the daughter of a retired Law Enforcement Officer. My father gave 37 years as an honorable and respectable police officer. He wore his badge and his uniform with pride and dignity that seems to be lacking in many departments across America. When my dad put on his uniform, I felt protected. I was confident that he would protect our community and, in turn, they’d protect him.
With the recent incidents of police brutality and senseless murders committed by law enforcement officers, I have become more and more angry with anyone in uniform. I mean, if you tell me they all aren’t bad, then, why aren’t the good ones doing enough to prevent the abuse? How could three other officers either stand by or physically assist Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd without doing anything to stop him? Even while knowingly being recorded, why were these officers so nonchalant in the murder of another human being? https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-us-canada-52969205
I remember the work of my father and members in his department so I know that not all officers are bad. I know that many do enter the field to make a difference in their community. Yet, this flag, and the Blue Lives Matter movement tells me that, “while we aren’t all bad, our movement trumps your rights.” Law Enforcement, no matter how wrong many are, will always stick together.
So, I went home to visit my parents this weekend and, before I left, my father came in to tell me that he put a sticker on my car. My immediate thought was “oh shit.” I knew what sticker he already had on his cars. Sure enough, my father put a Blue Lives Matter sticker on my car and now I’m left to decide whether to keep it for “my protection” or start a never-ending discussion on why he needs to take that shit off my car.
Thing is, just like when I was a kid, daddy just wants to protect me. As a retired officer, daddy now looks from the outside. He sees some things he didn’t see when he was in uniform and his putting a sticker on my car was his silent way of letting me know that he understands a little. That all the arguments we’ve had over systemic racism and police brutality, somehow he feels that that simple sticker would put me on the good side of a potential bad cop. He even reminded me what to say if I get pulled over. I’m not sure if he was afraid of me flipping out on someone or he just wanted to prepare me for the possibilities of just existing.
Either way, this sticker is on my car and I’ve decided to keep it….. for now. Just like they’ve countered Black Lives Matter with this frivolous sticker and platform, I’m countering that sticker with my “Squad Goals” sticker that I proudly have on my car. That should confuse whoever tries to pull me over.
Many may disagree but I’m showing respect for my father, an example of what we should want in our Law Enforcement. Someone connected to the community, respected by the community, and held accountable for their work while wearing the badge.
You see, Black Lives trumps Blue Lives any day because, those uniforms can come off while, we will always be black. As for my father, once that “Blue” uniform came off, he still remained my BLACK father and it’s apparent, he only wants to protect me.
BLACK LIVES MATTER! Peace!