Why I Wore Blue…

Posted: September 7, 2015 in Welcome

I’m perplexed; confused and in conflict with my mental state.

On Friday, employees were asked to “wear blue to honor Deputy Goforth” (the officer killed by an African American made in a Harrison County suburb outside of Houston) and other officers. But I felt so uncomfortable about the essence of the request.

Let me be clear:
1. I am not anti-police.
2. Deputy Goforth’s death is a horrible tragedy; he should be remembered.

However, for three years, (not including the hundreds that proceed it) people of color have been slain by both citizens and officers without a national or state acknowledgment. This “support” is an act that is tantamount to the Black Lives Matter movement to create a non-existent “us” versus “them” when this is clear a situation where we demand officer accountability.
If I die today, at the hands of a cop, it’ll be investigated with scrutiny. My entire life will become a media playbook to pick and choose whom and define what I was to this world. Moreover, they’ll perpetuate supposed narrative is never discussing my successes and much as my failures; it’ll be a tragedy.

On the other hand, officers are presumed innocent. I am not saying that Officer Goforth should have died or deserved to die, but I don’t know anything about him. Here’s what I know, he was an officer of the law and victim of a heinous crime that led to his death. You see, that’s often enough. It should be enough for me to feel an ounce of empathy.

Before you attack me, I understand that that is enough.

We won’t discuss any past histories or stories from his childhood; only that he was a man of the law who I should honor because his life was in service.

Well, that’s not the same treatment given to victims, especially of color, that lose their lives at the hands of officers.

When asked to wear blue, my favorite color, I feel a bit of condemnation to myself; and the movement against inequality, mass incarceration, and police brutality which is not something I felt comfortable doing.

If I didn’t wear blue, I would have received awkward looks, people would perceive certain things, and it might have impacted relationships within the office. I would feel more comfortable if next Friday, whites, in addition to Blacks, wore a Black Lives Matter t-shirt or symbolic color to honor/recognize lives lost over the years. But I know that is not happening. You see, African American people are ALWAYS asked to join a movement, but our white counterparts never reciprocate the support, collectively at least. Furthermore, this is another example of privilege and patriarchy because it’s more of a political statement that allowable in the office versus if I wore a shirt against it, it would be divisive.

To me, Friday set a bad precedent, and I seriously felt uncomfortable. THIS ACTION IS THE STRUGGLE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS. I doubt my white colleagues had to think twice about wearing blue. And maybe I am overthinking it, but I am VERY careful about what I do and do not support if it does not align with my personal or professional beliefs.

Friday, I wore blue, in support of our officers, but I also wore an invisible burden that essentially silenced Black and reminded us that white lives are valued more than anyone else’s. That’s the only resolve that I can find.

Friday, I am wore blue, in support of our officers, but I also wore an invisible burden that essentially silenced Black and reminded us that white lives are valued more than anyone else’s. That’s the only resolve that I can find.

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