Eric Garner famously victimizing some of New York's finest
In a stupefyingly tone-deaf turn of the racial tables, the NYPD's ever-offensive Sergeants Benevolent Association has released a new video claiming that its noble cops are the hapless victims of a "strange form of racism” engulfing the country - a "blue racism" that is “even more racist” than, you know, real racism based on the color of your skin - which FYI you can't take off like a uniform - and the brutal, historic, systemic oppression many have endured because of it. "Our city, state and nation are under severe breaking points," notes a union leader in a Facebook post introducing the video. "Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such division of all people...(and) we too have become the targets of racism." Along with appropriating and misquoting Martin Luther King - for white people, always a bad sign - the video condemns "broad brush attacks, generalizations, and assumptions by college professors" and other heartless elites that make police afraid to say in private, "I am blue," and just like you.
This, from an egregiously racist police force that for many years has disproportionately targeted, imprisoned and killed more African-American men and women that can be counted, including at least 624 shot and killed this year, often for no apparent reason; that helped spark a recent, obscenely misguided Blue Lives Matter bill rendering aggression against police a hate crime; that once ran a campaign shaming the city's tens of thousands of homeless people; that choked to death Eric Garner and only put away the guy who filmed it; and that last month furiously protested the indictment for murder of Sgt. Hugh Barry, 31, for shooting and killing Deborah Danner, a 66-year-old schizophrenic black woman, in her apartment. The indictment, the union complained, showed Barry was just "a pawn in a political game." In other words, “Black people need to just stop complaining when we kill you guys.”
And lookee here: Barry, it turns out, is one of the heroes of the new video. We see shots of him at court as he whines in a voice-over, "Because I am blue, I am vilified." Uh, no, actually, you and your ilk are vilified - in normal parlance, being held accountable like anyone in any job that's not outside and above the law - for killing a 66-year-old schizophrenic black woman, in her apartment, for no good reason. Blithely ignoring the hundreds of such egregious deaths, the video focuses on the rare, and yes reprehensible, deaths of officers - and, in one case, the refusal to sell them donuts - before lamenting, "The average person doesn't see those things that make me human." People "don't even label me" ethnically, it says; they see "an even broader stereotype through an even more racist lens. When they look at me, they see blue." Kinda like cops seeing black, you mean? Okay, maybe irony really is dead.
The response to the video's blindly revisionist history has been...less than sympathetic. Many argue that if cops weren't such racist dicks, people wouldn't hate them. And that wearing the uniform of a job willfully chosen - a job you can quit any time, thanks - is different from skin color. And that unless you're "born a police," "That is not a blue life. That is a blue suit. If you don’t like it, take that suit off and find a new job, because I’ll tell you right now, if I could quit being black today, I’d be out the game." Perhaps the best refutation of the video's ludicrous premise came this weekend in Brooklyn, when dozens of NYPD officers, almost all black, gathered to support Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who has found himself unemployable after repeatedly taking a knee during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against his own. Kaepernick is being blackballed, said NYPD Sgt. Edwin Raymond, for daring to raise "the issue of racism in America and policing in America...for speaking the obvious truth" - being black and suffering at the hands of blue.
Cops standing up for Kap