I saw a cop wearing a Blue Lives Matter wristband. Should I be offended?


#1

I get why “all lives matter” is, if not outright offensive, certainly ignorant. I’m 100% down with this.

I was on a routine mission at the police station to fix a ticket I got for my tags being out of date, and I noticed the cop who checked my plates was wearing a Blue Lives Matter wristband.

Should I be offended by that? I wasn’t sure.

  • I get that police are a privileged class and, beyond that, an explicitly empowered class as in (pretty much literally) “the man”, with special training and guns and stuff so they aren’t so much at risk in the line of duty. But it’s also their duty. So what right do they have to claim their lives are especially valuable?

  • But on the other hand, I get that a cop doesn’t like the idea of themselves, or other cops, dying in the line of duty… hence the wristband.

I dunno. I was conflicted.


#2

I dunno; are you Black, Brown or any other “minority” that is regularly abused and killed by LEOs with impunity?


#3

Nope. White guy, per Jim Belushi’s SNL White Guy Rap.

I am just not clear on the axis of offensiveness where BLM sits, versus “all lives matter” which is pretty bad.

Also I guess it is different for a non-cop to wear a Blue Lives Matter wristband, versus a cop? That’d be weirder.


#4

Well, if Black people and Brown people and anyone who does not have the ‘complexion for the protection’ were not perpetually getting unfairly incarcerated, beaten, and killed at alarming rate by police officers with no consequences or repercussions, then BLM wouldn’t exist.

It seems to me that being a police officer is an active choice; anyone wearing the uniform willingly signed up for a job that can be dangerous or even lethal under certain circumstances.

Meanwhile being a person of color is NOT a choice, and as far as I know, none of us signed up to be “living targets.”

So there’s that difference…


#5

“Blue Lives Matter” is a racist authoritarian movement founded to promote impunity for police brutality and murder.

Their self-serving framing of what they stand for is bullshit. Context matters.


#6

I agree with what you both are saying, and reframing it as

White Lives Matter

would CLEARLY be super MEGA fucked up :scream_cat: , so I get that part completely.

But this is more like a profession as @Melz2 noted, so it’d be akin to

Plumbers’ Lives Matter

Except these aren’t plumbers, they’re the police, official legal authorities with the authority to kill, in some circumstances, and (in theory) extensive training around their risky jobs – that they opted into!

It’s interesting to consider that a lot of people were taught that it’s impolite / racist to talk about race, or specially call someone out based on their race, so they get uncomfortable around the whole concept. Whereas

(profession) Lives Matter

seems more palatable (less racist?) since it doesn’t involve race. I guess that’s the paradox here. To be less racist, we have to bring race to the forefront.


#7

There’s also the official Wikipedia of course

I probably should have started there…


#8

Which neatly ignores the main reason Black Lives Matter exists: White and Blue Lives Matter more.


#9

Funnily enough, that blue lives matter wristband is far more likely to transmit the additional message “and non-blue lives are meaningless” than the converse with a Black Lives Matter band.

In fact I’d say that a blue lives matter wristband isn’t very different than a uniform worn by the police to show they’re actively at war with racial minorities. Since cops are basically at no risk of injury and death compared with the people of color they keep beating and killing.


#10

That’s just a bullshit excuse on the part of people in willful denial, sorry.

Black Lives Matters only exists because of the current status quo, where our society acts as if Black lives are completely expendable.

If ‘all lives’ truly mattered, there would be no need to have an entire movement reminding society of that fact.

In hindsight, had the organizers included the word “Too” there would be less false equivalencies and attempts to marginalize the message, but some would still exist because the truth is ugly, and painful, and some people just don’t want to face it, ever.


#11

Seems like a good place to link to this:


#12

Well, right, it does seem kind of redundant at some level.

There’s a policeman wearing a Blue Lives Matter wristband. What additional information does this give me that I did not already have? That cops support other cops… pretty much unconditionally even when they shouldn’t?

I mean you can’t even say that about the average (race) person – what are the odds that person will vote in lockstep with all other people of that race, or believe the same things, or have the same values, etc.


#13

That there is an even higher than usual likelihood of that cop being a dangerous fascist.


#14

I’m wondering what the dialog tree would look like if I had asked the cop about this wristband. I did think about it, but even as a white person, I deemed it too risky a dialog tree to engage in at all…

White I may be, but I ain’t never gonna antagonize a cop for no reason. That’s just stupid.


#15

This also seems relevant:


#16

That is a fucking terrifying flag.


#17

Yeah. You’ll want to pick the [charm] options and leave the [intimidate] dialogues until you’ve maxed out your two-handed and heavy armor skills.


#18

But he’s already maxed out [whiteness]. Isn’t that enough?

Wait, what do you mean ‘They won’t stop at minorities?’


#19

More like a street gang with a fantastic pension plan, most places.


#20

In most street gangs, the pension typically amounts to pouring one out for your homeboys upstate.