Life

Is It Wrong to Support the Blue?

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I stumbled on an interesting though worrisome conversation about whether it is still appropriate for you to say that you support the blue.

After a jury convicted Derek Chauvin of murder in the death of George Floyd, some may wonder if they should still “Support the Blue.” Others may wonder why anyone else would.

Chauvin, of course, is the former Minneapolis Police officer who, in May of last year, pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee to Floyd’s neck. A disturbing cell phone video of the incident sparked protests around the world.

On Tuesday, the verdict came down. The jury announced guilty verdicts on second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. In total, he faces up to 75 years in prison.

I suspect most people can agree that George Floyd should never have died. I think most people probably agree with the guilty verdict. Whether they agree with all three guilty verdicts or the level of guilt, well, that’s up to them.

But cases involving fatal encounters with police involving Black victims made many over the years distrust police in general. I can understand that feeling. If I were a man of color, I’m sure I’d feel very differently when I saw a police car than I do as a white man.

I can’t really put myself in their place to fully understand it. But I can imagine some aspect of it. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to be able to.

Some people have said terrible things about George Floyd. But they’re quick to point out that you can’t paint all cops to be bad guys because of “one bad apple.” They don’t mind painting all men of color as bad apples because of what they think they know about Floyd.

And let’s make no mistake: there’s another group who makes exactly the reverse argument about Chauvin.

I do support the blue.

I know plenty of law enforcement officers — of all races. They have a thankless job and are mostly doing the best they can against impossible odds.

They’re understaffed and under-supported.

And because some officers horribly, inexcusably overstep their bounds, all of them have to suffer because of it.

They’re doing the kind of job none of the rest of us would consider if it were the last job opening in existence.

Yet when we’re in need at some of the worst moments in our lives, they’re the first ones we call.

I do support the blue.

But I don’t support men and women who wear the badge and abuse their power. I don’t support those who infringe on the rights of others.

And I don’t condone those who allow the vestiges of systemic racism to continue to thrive.

It’s okay to support the members of law enforcement who protect civil rights. We all should support them.

But as we know — and as we keep seeing — there are some within their ranks who don’t.

That’s true, of course, in every profession. Yet after all this time, after all these cases, we somehow allow ourselves to feel “shock” every time we see what appears to be another blatant example of it.

I do support the blue.

But I also believe Black lives matter, too. And if your response to that is, “All lives matter,” let me stop you.

You see, never once have I heard someone toss out the “All lives matter” response to anyone who said “Blue lives matter.” Or, frankly, any other types of lives besides Black lives.

Don’t pretend like you don’t know why.

We all do.

Even if we don’t want to admit it.

It’s going to take all of us being on the same side to fix the racism in our country. It’s time we all worked harder.

2 Comments

  1. All lives do matter and you’re right noone says it in response to blue lives mater because they come in all walks of live black,white,Hispanic,men,women,old,young atheists,Christian,catholic,Jewish…. they represent America and its diversity

    1. I think in many cases, evident from other comments made by some of the same folks who say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter,” it has nothing to do with diversity in law enforcement.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.