Wednesday, June 03, 2020

No one has a blue life

I really think it was a mistake when police started thinking of themselves as some kind of ethnic group.  Being a police officer is a job. That's all it is. I realize that cops work odd hours and so in that sense it can become central to their lives. And I also understand that it a stressful job and stressful jobs can forge a kind of close camaraderie. But there are other stressful jobs with odd hours. No one yells "surgeon lives matter" or hangs a "thin surgical line" flag in front of their house.

Every once in a while someone will tell a lawyer joke in front of me and think I might be offended. I don't give a shit. Being an attorney is my job, it's not central to my identity. I don't feel personally threatened when people make fun of my profession. If someone hates lawyers I don't view that as an attack against my being. Besides, a lot of lawyers are assholes. Like a lot of cops.

When cops started thinking of themselves as a distinctive "blue" ethnic group, it brings out all the chauvinism and ethnographic-nationalism that can be really destructive for a profession that is supposed to be about serving the public. I don't know how the community can address that issue, but I do think in order for there to be real police reform we need to stop all this blue lives shit.