‘Blue Lives Matter’ Sends the Wrong Message on Race and Violence

A “Blue Lives Matter” flag was recently reported flying over the South District Police Station in Buffalo. Hats off to Buffalo News urban affairs editor and columnist  Rod Watson for not only bringing the matter to light but for calling on Mayor Brown and  Police Chief Lockwood to order the flag taken down.  We checked before going to press and the flag is no longer there. 

“Blue Lives Matter” is the slogan often hurled back at Black Lives Matter activists protesting police violence.Blue lives do matter. All lives matter. But in America, Black and Brown lives have always mattered less, and “blue lives” have always mattered more. People of color are targeted, criminalized, incarcerated, and killed at rates vastly disproportionate to those of White people who commit the same offenses. In 2017, for the third year in a row, police killed nearly 1,000 people, 19 of whom were unarmed Black men. While that was a decline from 2015, Black people remain proportionately much likelier to be killed while unarmed than any other group.