Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter’s respective causes have permeated the skin of America’s society in unprecedented fashion.
It’s as if there’s been a lot of pent-up hostility waiting to metaphorically blow up. That time seems to be now, dating back to the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
The latest incident involving both BLM groups occurred at Dartmouth College last week.
The Dartmouth College Republicans had secured official permission to set up a “Blue Lives Matter” display on a school-owned bulletin board in honor of National Police Appreciation Week. After just one day, the display was completely removed and replaced with #BlackLivesMatter signs by students claiming to be acting independently of one another. (Campus Reform)
Okay, I’m a big supporter of my First Amendment right to free speech. I understand that I cannot just say I’m going to violently injure someone and claim that my First Amendment right protects me from any sort of consequence. I’m a little smarter than that.
I also have an immeasurable respect for police officers and everything they endure on a daily basis. They have one of the toughest jobs in the entire world.
I’m not claiming that all police officers are innocent. There are a few sour apples that perhaps commit some sort of disproportionate violence against citizens of color. Is this an epidemic that seems to have no end? Yes. Does it need to be fixed sooner rather than later? Yes. Has it been going on for too long? Yes.
I don’t want cops going off their rocker and taking matters into their own hands, whether to meet a quota or just because they feel like it.
Those who support the #BlackLivesMatter movement are more than welcome to voice their opinions, lead (peaceful) protests, and request change within police departments, both at the active duty and administrative level.
I’m not one to step in the way of their purpose, whatever it may be. However, when a BLM supporter sends out an email after many events transpired at Dartmouth and says the following, it makes me ask a question:
Our goal is to illuminate the severity of the violence people of color face on this campus. In not challenging this oppression against our bodies, instead reproducing this narrative is actively partaking in this violence. Silencing our narratives. If we didn’t take down the display we would be reproducing a violent narrative that works to silence us in masses. (Campus Reform)
Narratives are one of the big reasons, if not the biggest reason, why we are lacking unity across the country. Sorry to sound morbid here, but when the 9/11 attacks happened in 2001, we came together.
It didn’t matter if you were a cop, lawyer, detective, librarian, teacher or student. It didn’t matter if you were Latino/Hispanic, white, black, Asian, Middle Eastern, or of a mix. We were there for one another to get through the greatest terrorist attack in American history.
What I don’t understand is how there’s such a lack of respect for authority from the a good chunk of the #BlackLivesMatter crowd. While there is this terrible trend of cops gunning down black people, however often and wherever it may occur, it’s really mystifying that there’s a lack of respect for police officers.
I may be completely misrepresenting what they’re trying to convey, but what I see on a daily or weekly basis is a “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way” or a “My Way or the Highway” mentality.
What really grinds my gears throughout the discourse between cops, #BlackLivesMatter, and anyone in between, is the omnipresent double standard. The College Republicans at Dartmouth went through the process of getting approval for the use of this bulletin board. They went through the protocol to use something that wasn’t theirs.
Now, when the Black Lives Matter group didn’t agree with this display, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Is this the level to which we’ve reduced ourselves? Why have we become a people who are extreme in whatever our views may be? Why can we not engage in civil discourse and conversation on a daily basis? Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean you are superior to them in any way, shape or form.
Plus, why did the Black Lives Matter crowd need to protect the display that the College Republicans were using? Did they think their feelings would be hurt if someone tried to remove their banners/bulletins to promote their cause?
The final response, at least in the story, from the College Republicans had one of the best summations I’ve seen:
All we ask is that the protections and freedoms of self-expression afforded to other student organizations be extended to us. We do not see the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements as mutually exclusive.
It is possible to recognize the service and contributions of law enforcement officers while simultaneously pushing for reform to correct the grave mistakes of the small minority of officers. On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, we just hoped to highlight the monumental sacrifices made by these officers to protect us every day. (Campus Reform)
Do you see that? That was the motive all along. Nobody was trying to disprove the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Nobody was trying to shine anyone in a negative light.
In fact, it was to honor those who have died in protecting and serving the American people. What’s the harm there? Seriously, what is wrong with that? They covered their bases in that small paragraph.
You may dislike Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and others if you’re a liberal, Democrat, or something of the like. Conversely, you may heavily loathe Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, and others if you’re a staunch Republican, conservative or something similar.
When you engage in double standards, you are completely contradicting your cause. You cannot, and should not, tear down, vandalize and destroy someone else’s doing just because you don’t like it, and expect nobody to retaliate, to a similar extent.
Here’s a much more simpler approach: if you disagree with the sign, do you really need to make a stink about it? Is it really ruining your day that much that you need to deface someone else’s property? This is the biggest problem facing you (the individual) in your day today?
Priorities have become incredibly mixed up across a number of people. Remember, I’m not saying that what happens in the field of duty with police officers and black citizens is not something to sweep under the rug. However, there needs to be a more polished approach to voicing your cause.
If you’re a sensible human being, you don’t wish death upon any one person, regardless of their profession or their political views, whatever they may be. First and foremost, this loose-cannon mentality needs to be checked at the gate.
If you truly want to make a change, run for your local office and try and make changes as an elected official. Do not come to me to support your cause if you’re just going to blatantly disregard the law, authority, and the legal limits to which you’re allowed to voice your cause and purpose.