This originally appeared on Facebook in response to a question as to whether it was racist for a police officer to have a clipboard with the words “Blue Lives Matter” on it.
I can’t speak to this particular officer’s mind or what is in his heart. I don’t know who you saw so I don’t know if I’ve ever seen or talked to him. What I can tell you is the ONLY place I’d find “Blue Lives Matter” to not be offensive is if it is a police officer saying it. The rage after what happened to George Floyd has been directed at all police. Yes, there are bad police. But most are not. They quietly go about their jobs. And their morale is a mess. Anger directed at police as a whole rather than what needs to be fixed has hurt good people. So if a police officer is saying Police Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter, I see it as a self-affirmation in a troubled time.
As to the MPD in general, I have one officer who waves to me in support when I’m out holding my sign. I’ve had very good conversations (I wrote about it in a posting here yesterday) with another. What I’ve found are good people doing their best with a hard job. And I will flat out say, that should someone be violent, attack me, or whatever while I hold a #BLM sign? No part of me believes that the MPD would slow their response because of my sign. They would be there because they care about their community and I am part of it.
Now I have no doubt that someone, I can probably guess who, will ask why my statement doesn’t apply to a white person saying “All Lives Matter” or “White Lives Matter”. The answer is simple. That is not an affirmation in a troubled time, it’s a refutation meant to shout down the words that Black Lives Matter.
This may surprise some coming from me, so let me end with this: There can be no healing without respect and there can be no respect if we can’t listen.