Further demonstrating the law enforcement community’s lack of concern for actual racial profiling, a New York City police union, the Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, released a video condemning what they call blue racism early on Monday.
Blue racism, according to the video, is a form of prejudice against police officers. The video claims the average person dehumanizes police officers by judging them for the color of their uniform.
“The average person doesn’t see those things that make me human,” the video’s narrator said. “They don’t even label me based on being African American, Latino, Asian, Caucasian, and so on. They tend to see an even broader stereotype through an even more racist lens. When they look at me, they see blue.”
The video explicitly treats the blue color of their uniform as a race and claims police officers experience a worse version of racism than minorities do.
This union neglects to understand is that being a police officer is not a race – it is a profession arrived at by a series of conscious decisions. It is not possible to be racist toward a police officer for being a police officer.
Claiming otherwise displays blatant ignorance and belittles the effects real racism has on communities of color. It particularly invalidates the experiences of those who are subject to biased law enforcement and persistent police brutality as seen in instances such as Philando Castille.
It seems the sole purpose of the term blue racism is to deflect from the real problem: police officers in America have racially profiled people for years and gotten away with it.
It is true that police officers may be subject to some forms of prejudice, but to compare it to racism is disturbing, reductive, insulting and tone-deaf. It is further evidence that law enforcement, as a community, is by no means listening to the conversation about race.
How can the NYPD expect the public to sympathize with them for what they deem as racist, when some police officers themselves have yet to own up to the systematic racism they consciously partake in?