Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Blue Lives Matter" is the new "Support Our Troops"

If you really believe cops'  lives matter, what do you think needs to be done to improve their working conditions? 

They seem to feel "threatened" often enough to kill an alarming number of unarmed civilians. How can we come together as a nation, as states, as counties, and as communities to better help those who "serve and protect"? 

Blue Lives Matter NYC seems mostly focused on helping the families of police officers killed in the line of duty. The first tenet of their "mission statement" is "to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of Police Officers." I feel like that's a generally agreeable mission, but I don't know how they plan on going about that, or how they spend their donations to achieve that end. Meanwhile, on Facebook, the (what appears to be most official) Blue Lives Matter page is dedicated to highlighting the goodness of police officers, as well as the harsh reality that their jobs are both necessary and difficult. 

All of this, on the surface, is well and good. But that it's also all a response to "Black Lives Matter" seems to be rather insidious. With no substantive call-to-action, the "Blue Lives Matter" movement appears to exist for one purpose, and that is to silence the voices of Black Lives Matter protestors. Billboards are now apparently popping up around country in support of the police. The same cannot be said for Black Lives Matter, and those billboards are not cheap. Hmm.

Every day, my local news affiliates publish stories about good cops. I have no qualms with these stories, but it would be weird if they highlighted examples of any other public sector employees simply doing their jobs. Again, what exactly are we doing to help the good cops, apart from acknowledging them? That's not to say acknowledgment is bad in these, uh, trying times. But, while I shudder at the thought of being a police officer myself, to say there is currently a "war on cops" is either ignorant or disingenuous. 

So what is the end-game? All I can ascertain thus far is that "Blue Lives Matter" exists for the sake of maintaining the status quo. This is insidious because, not only do they want Black Lives Matter protestors marginalized and silenced, they don't seem to genuinely care about improving the lives of cops. It's complete and utter bullshit. It's easy to get behind the boys in blue, just as you'd have to be a complete psycho cretin to not want to "support our troops," but ultimately what are you actually doing apart from paying lip service? 

Maybe that's all I'm doing, paying lip service to the absurd. But the truth is I want more good cops. I want the police to be as good as they can be. I'm willing to vote on a local, state, and national level for political candidates who share these values and who have a plan for making it better to be a cop. Unfortunately, for most of the people who claim to believe that Blue Lives Matter, this more than likely means raising taxes and enacting stricter gun control measures. 

I don't hate the cops, I hate the system that oppresses my fellow man and emboldens and empowers psychopaths. I want good cops, but I want the bad cops to more frequently have their actions corrected and/or to receive genuine and substantial punishment for their detrimental actions. I support the Black Lives Matter movement because I recognize that systemic racism is hurting certain people more than others, and that it is necessary to declare that those lives, black and Native lives, matter. Because time and time again it simply appears that those lives do not matter, and that the people who took those lives matter a hell of a lot more. And for what reason?