The age of the camera phone and social media have made it nearly impossible to control what does or does not become public. This has made it less lucrative for news and media organizations, but has made independent reporting more possible. I am happy to say that the “Blue Line” can no longer hide themselves. We are left with with (too) numerous examples proving both “Blue Fragility” and how that and other factors lead to the “Blue Plague.”
I am drawing these references from a book I recently listened to, but I am sure they’ve been used by others. ( Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson) Many people are have a visceral reaction to Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and defunding the police. I am not. For me, Black Lives Matter does not lead to All Lives Matter unless that moves on to: If All Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.
Defunding the police does not mean literal anarchy. They are overfunded to such a degree that they’ve become an occupying military force. If you disregard their origins (as slave trackers), that was not their purpose. They were meant to serve and protect. The funding currently going to extreme equipment and to many poorly trained and self-righteous individuals needs to go to support services and training … to new ways of responding and new staffing priorities. That kind of defunding, I can easily support.
Finally, the idea that minorities, especially Black citizens, are more dangerous leads to insidious over-response and unnecessary escalation. When that escalation and resulting abuses are challenged, you get Blue Fragility, meaning much the same as White Fragility. That is, the inability to evaluate actions or response which question authority or demand accountability and the refusal to accept responsibility. As long as individuals holding and supporting the “Blue Line” are protected from liability and criminal or civil charges, nothing will change. And we’ve needed change for a very long time. The age of the camera phone, social media and independent reporting are making it harder and harder to ignore that need.