August 31, 2015

My Middle-Aged White Lady Perspective: Words Matter

Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon.

Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon.

Pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon.

So chanted the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrators as they marched - behind a contingent of police officers - towards the gates of the Minnesota State Fair on Saturday.

Just words; 30 seconds out of a peaceful protest of some four hours, according to organizers. Police had a different opinion; ask St. Paul Police Federation president Officer Dave Titus, who noted that the chant was heard just hours after a deputy in Texas was ambushed at a gas station and shot 15 times, apparently for the crime of being a policeman.
Statements and chants like that are just ignorant - I find it absolutely disgusting. I don't think chanting or singing what's basically promoting killing police officers is peaceful. 
March organizer Rashad Turner? Here's his take on things.
It definitely wasn't a threat. I don't know if they would have received it differently if we would have said 'on a stick' or something like that, I don't know....To pick out one chant or a couple of words out of a whole four hour march or protest, you know, I don't really have any more comments for them.
According to this report, Turner said the chant was meant to call for similar treatment between black people and police, and that focus shouldn't be on the chant but on recent police killings such as those in Ferguson, Missouri, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
We're not going to be distracted by their attempt to minimize our movement and focus on a chant that lasted 30 seconds.  
I don't know what other chants were used during the protest; one comment on the BLM Minneapolis Facebook page noted that there were multiple chants going on at the same time so you could have been there and not even heard this incredibly offensive and unhelpful one.

From my middle-aged white lady perspective, I see zero connection between "frying cops like bacon" and "similar treatment between black people and police."  And I see no benefit to movement from this type of publicity, unless the only thing that matters is 30 seconds of air time.

Mission accomplished?