The Blue in Racism 

Ishika Vyas, Staff Writer

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What is the blue race? Where do these perceived hate crimes occur? When did this systematic discrimination against this minority begin? 

These are the questions that came to me when I heard the phrase, “Blue Lives Matter.” I am sure you would ask the same questions yourself. 

Beginning in December 2014, Blue Lives Matter is a social movement that advocates for placing violence against law enforcement officers under hate crime statutes. It was adopted as a symbol for the police service to the United States and to commemorate those who had lost their lives in the force. 

According to the Washington Post, the movement also provides a “strong sense of identity and camaraderie,” especially for white officers. This movement’s platform was heavily influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement that began almost a year and a half prior. 

In July 2013, police officer George Zimmerman shot a young, black teenager named Trayvon Martin in Florida. Black Lives Matter was the response, a group of people hoping to bring awareness to racism, discrimination, and police brutality against black Americans. Since this movement’s establishment, it has developed international support and helps bring justice to others who have faced the harsh reality of systemic racism in America. 

Blue Lives Matter, like All Lives Matter, has been the controversial counterargument. The movement has the power to undermine Black Lives Matter by attempting to equate it. An article by the Washington Post mentions that “police — specifically white police — are telling the world that they are police even when their uniforms are off, part of a targeted community in need of special protection.” 

Remarkable respect should be given to the police force for what they do, and crimes against law enforcement should not be ignored. However, it is misleading to call this group a minority as well as to call these crimes against it “hate crimes.” Law enforcement is not systematically targeted, oppressed, and discriminated against, to the same extent as black communities in America have been. 

Discrimination stops when an officer removes his or her uniform. However, this uniform, unlike a skin color, can be changed, which fundamentally shows how Blue Lives Matter cannot have the same status as Black Lives Matter. 

Along with this, the data shows that crimes against black Americans occur at a higher rate than those against officers. Around 96 deaths of black men and boys occur per 100,000 people, compared to the 39 white men and boys.

Deliberate killings of officers are rare, in fact, in 2014, about 9 officers per 100,000 officers were killed with intention. Officers are deliberately killed at a much lower rate than black Americans. 

Blue Lives Matter is just a way for select white Americans to advocate for their status as a so-called minority. The movement is invalid because the police force can never truly be considered a minority. Skin tone, unlike an occupation, is not a removable part of identity.  

In the Lower Merion community, we do not see the implications of this argument. Our affluent and privileged neighborhood does not have a high minority population, and it is not heavily regulated by the police force. However, when we go east to Philadelphia, where the communities have higher minority populations, the brutality and the discrimination become reality. There, we see the disparity among police officers and black Americans and can understand why Black Lives Matter precedes Blue Lives Matter. 

Black Lives Matter is a powerful voice for all black Americans to deal with racism, discrimination, and police brutality. The campaign brings awareness to the challenges minority communities face and helps them gain what we all want: equality. Blue Lives Matter, on the other hand, undermines this campaign by trying to advocate for their own status as a minority, even though they do not face the same racism, discrimination, and brutality. The police do not deserve this attention. 

So I ask again: What is the blue race? Because it certainly is not a minority in the United States of America.

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