Black Lives Matter What is Blue Lives Matter and why do some...

What is Blue Lives Matter and why do some people consider it racist?


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ESCALATING tensions after the death of George Floyd have resulted in violent clashes between anti-racism protesters and pro-police demontsrators in the US. 

Blue Lives Matter is a countermovement that emerged after Black Lives Matter activists began protesting systemic racism and police brutality.

A man holds a Thin Blue Line flag as a motorcade accompanies the casket of a fallen Maine State Police detective
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Cop holds down a protester while another (back) sprays pepper spray as they clash outside the District Four Police station during a Boston protest
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NYPD officers and protesters clash during a demonstration against the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on Memorial Day
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Cops have recently come under fire after the deaths of a number of black men in police custody.

Floyd died on May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Blue Lives Matter has been slammed as a knee-jerk reaction to the anti-racism movement and for equating a removable uniform with a person’s race, as well as disregarding the disproportionate deaths of black Americans.

There are demands to defund or disband traditional law enforcement, replacing it with another means of public safety after a slew of violent incidents between civilians and cops during the Floyd protests.

A Somali-American injured man is helped by others as protesters clash with the police outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct on May 27, 2020 in Minneapolis
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United States Park Police clash with protestors near the White House on June 1
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What is Blue Lives Matter and who started it?

Blue Lives Matter was founded in 2014 by NYPD officers Joseph Imperatrice, Christopher Brinkley, and Carlos Delgado.

They started it after Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot and killed by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley in the Brooklyn borough of NYC.

Brinsley reportedly did it to avenge the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown in police custody. 

The non-profit organization is made up of active and retired law enforcement officers, who believe there is a “war on cops.”

Members have said killing a police officer should be considered a hate crime and believe cops are discriminated against.

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Protesters kneel during a Black Lives Matter demonstration[/caption]

In Louisiana, state legislators have made it a hate crime to target law enforcement personnel, EMTs and firefighters.

In 2017, the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), an NYC police union, released a video claiming “blue racism” against cops is prevalent.

“The average person doesn’t see those things that make me human,” it stated, equating the uniform with race.

“They don’t even label me based on being African American, Latino, Asian, Caucasian, and so on. They tend to see an even broader stereotype through an even more racist lens. When they look at me, they see blue.”

The movement also came in the wake of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality – a demonstration most Americans agree with.

Indianapolis Colts players kneel during the playing of the National Anthem take the knee in 2017 to protest police brutality
USA Today Sports
Black Lives Matter mural in New York
The Mega Agency

What is the Blue Lives Matter flag?

The Blue Lives Matter flag replaces the red of a traditional American flag with black and incorporates a blue band.

This represents cops’ “line of duty” and the “thin blue line” that keeps society from erupting into chaos.

But it has also has some racist connotations after being spotted alongside Confederate flags at the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, reported NPR.

NASCAR’s Kyle Weatherman and MHR Racing team used a “Back the Blue” paint scheme on their in support of police who are under fire for their handling of protests across the US.

NASCAR took a stance against racism last week by removing the confederate flag from their events and races to support protesters of social injustice and racial inequality.

The Blue Lives Matter flag is pictured here, featuring the “thin blue line”
The new paint job was revealed just before the race
MHR Racing

Why is Blue Lives Matter considered racist?

Despite Blue Lives Matter supporters claiming the “Thin Blue Line” stands for professional pride, some consider the countermovement to be racist because its flag has been flown by white supremacists.

The Blue Lives Matter flag appeared next to Confederate flags at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On August 19, Goodyear released a new zero-tolerance policy for several social justice movements it considers acceptable or unacceptable.

The tire and rubber company branded Blue Lives Matter as “unacceptable”, along with President Donald Trump‘s “MAGA” attire.

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The Blue Lives Matter flag appeared beside Confederate flags at the 2017 Unite The Right rally organized by white supremacists[/caption]

How many cops were killed in 2019?

FBI statistics show that 89 cops were killed in line-of-duty incidents last year.

Of these fallen officers, 48 died as a result of criminal acts while 41 others died as a result of accidents.

The data was released on May 4, three weeks before Floyd’s recorded death after using a counterfeit $20 bill resulted in mass outrage.

Since then, Rayshard Brooks was fatally shot in the back by Atlanta cops after failing a sobriety test and trying to run away.

George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police offer Derek Chauvin
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Former Atlanta Police Department officer Garrett Rolfe conducts sobriety test on Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s restaurant parking lot

In 2019, Mapping Police Violence compiled data of all police killings in the country and found that black Americans were nearly three times more likely to die from police than white Americans.

However, research suggests that black cops are just as likely to kill black suspects as their white colleagues.

“White officers do not kill black suspects at a higher rate compared with nonwhite officers,” concluded the team headed by Charles Menifield, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark.

But the 2018 study noted that even though only 13 percent of the American population is black, 28 percent of people killed by police are black.

Cops attempt to enter the CHAZ zone in Seattle this week but are blocked by people standing close together
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Some protests resulted in violent clashes with the cops
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What is Black Lives Matter?

Black Lives Matter is a human rights movement that campaigns against systemic racism and violence against black people.

The Black Lives Matter Foundation seeks to address the injustices endured by African Americans, underscoring the lack of accountability from society and law enforcement.

Police brutality is a key issue they address because it disproportionately affects black people.

Studies have highlighted racial disparities in cops’ use of force and solving murder cases.

BLM was started in 2013 by black activists, Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi.

The movement aims to eradicate white supremacy and dismantle systemic racism.

The created “a Black-centered political will and movement” after the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the acquittal of the man responsible for his death George Zimmerman a year later.

In seven years, the movement now includes over 40 chapters internationally, according to BLM’s website.

Floyd protests erupted all over the country
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A protester, wearing a face mask featuring Colin Kaepernick kneeling, joins a protest in Washington, DC

Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi
Black Lives Matter

BLM was started in 2013 by black activists Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, and Opal Tometi[/caption]

Trayvon Martin
AP:Associated Press

The movement was created in response to the death of black teen Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a white man in 2012[/caption]

Protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in San Pedro
Patrick T. Fallon

protester waving BLM flag
AP:Associated Press

Black Lives Matter has dominated the national conversation on racial injustice and police brutality[/caption]

Black Lives Matter protesters
AP:Associated Press

Black Lives Matter fights against systemic racism and violence inflicted against black people[/caption]

Black Lives Matter protester
AP:Associated Press

A major focus of BLM is police brutality, which disproportionately affects black people compared to white Americans[/caption]


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