The “blue lives matter” slogan is nothing but an attempt by racists to oppose the Black Lives Matter movement’s protest of racially motivated police brutality and racism within our criminal justice system.
There is no such thing a a “blue” life
As a threshold matter, there is no such thing as a “blue” life. People choose to become police officers, just as they choose any other occupation. They are free to change careers, and when off of work they are indistinguishable from any other member of society. Contrast that with skin color, and the absurdity of saying police are “blue lives” becomes apparent. A person’s skin color is not a choice the way a job is a choice. While a person’s occupation can tell us a good deal about their character, a person’s skin color tells us nothing about the content of that person’s heart. A person’s skin color is also visible 24 hours a day, and cannot be taken off like a cop’s uniform.
Police are also generally treated with respect and deference as a result of their jobs, which is the exact opposite of how many black people are treated due to the color of their skin. While there is a long history of black people enslaved, murdered, abused, and otherwise mistreated as a result of their race, the same is not true for police officers. Quite the opposite, it is the police who have engaged in much of that abuse of black people. Indeed, through the legal doctrine of qualified immunity, cops are elevated to a position above that of ordinary citizens and imbued with legal protections that often allow them to escape liability for egregious misconduct.
The true goal of “blue lives matter”
The so-called “blue lives matter” crowd doesn’t actually care about police officers, but does care deeply about promoting racism. A few examples demonstrate that fact:
- Pro-Trump rioters who invaded the Capitol on January 6, 2021 beat a black cop with a “blue lives matter” flagpole while calling him the N-word and carrying confederate flags.
- The Blue Lives Matter flag appeared next to Confederate flags at the 2017 Unite the Right Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- The Blue Lives Matter Facebook community calls for the massacre of Black Lives Matter protesters have grown more frequent and pronounced. Cops and their supporters have proposed denying police services to citizens who publicly support Black Lives Matter, posted discredited statistics about race and crime produced by a white nationalist website (and promoted by Donald Trump), and spun out fantasies of an ongoing race war.
- In Davenport, IA a “blue lives matter” rally organized by a person with a swastika tattoo, extensive confederate flags, and a facebook page full of racial hatred.
Much of the danger in policing is overstated and self inflicted
Being a police officer is actually a rather safe job. Many jobs such as pizza delivery driver, roofer, airplane pilot, and farmer are more dangerous. Much of the danger that police do face is of their own making. As an example, the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor were raiding a house looking for someone who didn’t live there and was actually in police custody already, meaning that Ms. Taylor’s death and the danger to the police officers came about as a direct result of the cops own sloppiness.
Indeed, police in America are so violent and trigger-happy that they are accidentally killing each other, yet such deaths draw no attention from the “blue lives matter” crowd. This is unsurprising, since the goal of “blue lives matter” isn’t to actually care about the lives of cops. A couple of examples from a single week:
- In Texas, a deputy constable was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy as the two of them investigated a report that some “suspicious” person had run down the street, leading those police officers to look around the inside of a nearby house. No one else was present in the house besides the two police officers.
- In Arkansas, police officer threatened to shoot through his door at any hypothetical “protesters” who might show up, despite no such people having ever appeared at his door. When another police officer from his department came to pickup a squad car, the police officer shot through the door, killing that fellow police officer.
In 2020-2021, the leading cause of death for cops in the USA was COVID-19. Over 4 times as many cops died from COVID-19 as died from being shot. After COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, many police officers refused to be vaccinated and then died preventable deaths from COVID-19.