Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Blue Vs. Black

I was unaware of Blue Lives Matter until I read this article by the BBC. Blue Lives Matter is a Twitter handle for Andie Pauly, who widely shares her cultural perspectives that strongly lean toward the political right. She writes primarily within the context of police officers and their families and the challenges that the police face in their public service; hence, "blue lives"  matter -- reflecting the color of most police department uniforms across the US.

As the BBC points out this woman's perspectives have become a lightning rod for both support from the right and intense criticism from the left. So divisive is the ongoing Twitter feud between her supporters and critics that it has become demonstrative -- in the words of the BBC -- of "how toxic America's culture wars have become."

I've examined in this in previous posts, that Americans are slowly but inexorably separating themselves not only emotionally but even physically from their political opposites (see The Dividing America series of posts).

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Image: FreeThoughtProject
One of the most ardent and vocal opponents of Andie Pauly and her Blue Lives Matter crusade are the supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is a movement to draw attention toward police violence against inner-city African Americans. The Black Lives Matter movement came about as a reaction to the multiple murders of unarmed black men by (predominantly) white police officers -- murders that were frequently caught on camera and dispersed widely through social media, shocking Americans of all stripes and colors.

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Image: Politico.com
It is fascinating and unfortunate that the supporters of both the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements are such resolute opponents of the other. Although this might sound terribly pollyannaish, don't both black and blue lives matter? Why the disconnect? Why the hostile opposition of the one group toward the other?

Our society is coming apart at the seams. The BBC is right, our social strife is becoming toxic. Where are the bridge builders? Where are peace makers?

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Image: AG News

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Emphatic language can be couched in kind words. Let's all be adults here and use our words constructively.