By Michelle Moreno Lira
The deaths of several unarmed Black people under the police force sparked outrage among communities on both sides of the political spectrum.
Protestors from Black Lives Matter took to the streets to protest a series of demands, while Blue Lives Matter protests turned it into a political parade despite claims that these protests are far from political.
Many Blue Lives Matter and MAGA supporters claim Black Lives Matter protests are encouraging hate towards police officers. But it is no surprise that the Black Lives Matter protests were sparked after the deaths of several innocent Black men and women.
People who support Black Lives Matter are fighting against years of systemic racism and are going against a political system built to tear them down. Black people have been fighting for their rights and against racism for decades without seeing any significant change.
According to the New York Times, pro-police rallies in Brooklyn, Queens have been “overwhelmingly white,” although the people organizing and attending these events have tried keeping politics out of the protests.
In Brooklyn, the following days consisted of pro-police protestors who seemingly displayed their political beliefs as they faced off against Black Lives Matter protestors. The New York Times reports that “pro-police participants waved American and Thin Blue Line Flags and election signs for President Trump,” despite most of the organizers claiming politics wasn’t the focus.
According to an article by Block Club Chicago, Blue Lives Matter protestors want to show appreciation for the police force in the midst of social outrage.
But by doing, so they’re avoiding the discussion of police brutality and racism within police departments.
Activist Djuan Wash explains “Police sympathizers need to realize Black people don’t feel safe around police and officers need to be held accountable. That starts with talking about race and changing the system.”
Showing support for corrupt police officers means justifying their actions and enforcing their power. Denying that there’s a need for a conversation about police brutality is turning a blind eye.
Protests have been held since May after the death of George Floyd, and they’ve continued throughout the course of these last few months. They’ve remained peaceful despite headlines and news outlets portraying them as violent and as an excuse to loot.
While there’s no excuse for the damage to property and looting which occurred throughout various cities, it’s not a reason to ignore the conversation about racism and police brutality.
Although Blue Lives Matter protestors claim it’s far from politics, they undermine the significance and importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and ignore the need for change within society.
Many Black Lives Matter activists claim that the Blue Lives Matter movement isn’t real because it’s a career choice, saying “Blue lives don’t exist because officers can take their uniforms off.”
They chose to become police officers, who contributed to the systematic racism and violence targeting innocent Black lives.
Corrupt police officers choose when to wear a badge and identify as a police officer; Black people don’t choose the color of their skin. They’re born into a race of targeted people based on the color of their skin –– being Black isn’t a choice or an identity they can switch off from.
Black people have been targeted by society due to their refusal to promote change and stray away from traditional views.
The majority of the Blue Lives Matter movement consists of white people demanding respect for police officers while portraying their support for Donald Trump and his slogan, ‘MAGA.’
In an interview taken from BBC with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, she brings attention to the anti-police chants used during Black Lives Matter protests and claims New York City’s decision to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ across Fifth Avenue is a symbol of hate. ‘
Donald Trump and his supporters refuse to recognize the chants and protests driven by racism and hatred towards Black people, yet draw attention to anti-police chants, which weren’t created or encouraged by the BLM organization as he argues.
All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter. This statement seems to draw a division between pro-police activists and Black Lives Matter activists.
Claiming Black lives matter isn’t encouraging hatred towards white individuals, it’s demanding to be seen as a person rather than as a target for racism that has been an issue for centuries.
Police officers are getting away with murders of unarmed Black people and are inflicting fear within Black communities.
The same people who claim ‘Blue Lives Matter’ turn a blind eye when whistleblowers expose police departments as having police gangs that encourage violence against minorities.
In an article taken from FoxLA, an LA County Sheriff’s whistleblower claims that the death of unarmed 18-year-old Andres Guardado guaranteed the entrance for police officers into the “alleged law enforcement gang known as ‘The Executioners.’”
The whistleblower claimed police officers gain entrance into the gang by killing minorities and even celebrate their deaths with parties and tattoos, which many officers have attended during COVID-19.
Although Blue Lives Matter protestors claim politics isn’t involved, it’s obvious that politics holds a big part in the conversation regarding police brutality against Black people.
I believe Black Lives Matter protests will continue until significant change finally happens, and police officers are held accountable for their past and current actions.
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