Listen to this article here
Three Oklahoma legislators authored a bill allowing cities to green light blue lines painted on city streets. After passing the Senate along party lines with a vote of 39-6, the ‘Back the Blue’ bill now moves to the House chamber for further consideration. If approved, it would go into effect in November of 2021. State Senator J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso) was the lone Democrat to cross party lines to vote in favor of the bill.
Just months ago, the City of Tulsa ripped the Black Lives Matter mural from the historic Greenwood Avenue.
The legislators are State Senator Blake Stephens (R-Tahlequah), State Senator Darrell Weaver (D-Moore), and House Representative Ross Ford (R-Broken Arrow). Weaver and Stephens authored Senate Bill 834 – ignoring the irony of their silence on the deadly mob of terrorists who recently attacked law enforcement in Washington D.C.
In a Feb. 10 press release, Weaver said, “I think law enforcement today has been under attack. I was in law enforcement for three decades, and I can tell you, these men and women are heroes who put their lives on the line every day to keep us all safe.” He continued, “I believe Oklahoma towns and cities should be able to honor law enforcement.”
Sadly, the three legislators responded differently in the wake of the brutal murder of United States Capitol Police Officer and military veteran Brian Sicknick, the suicide of an officer and the assault of more than 140 other law enforcement officers.
Statements from Weaver, Stephens and Ford addressing the assault officers endured on January 6th: Weaver: _____. Stephens: _____. Ford: _____. This isn’t a typo or editorial mistake. None of these Oklahoma legislators released statements about the terrorism law enforcement endured at the hands of Trump supporters. Back the Blue! Right?
Without a doubt, law enforcement was not supported at the Capitol that day. For example, insurrectionists said things like: “Fuck the Blue! Fuck the Blue!” “You’re a TRAITOR!” “You’re outnumbered a million to one! There’s a million of us out there. What are you going to do?”
Additionally, Buzzfeed News reported one Black officer’s emotions as he recounted being called the n-word repeatedly.
“BuzzFeed News spoke to two Black officers who described a harrowing day in which they were forced to endure racist abuse — including repeatedly being called the n-word — as they tried to do their job of protecting the Capitol building, and by extension the very functioning of American democracy.”
Additionally, many officers reported witnessing their colleagues assisting the terrorists.
The hypocrisy is glaring but, sadly, right on par with what we expect from them.
They weren’t moved by the attack at the seat of our democracy. They could have strengthened our protections against domestic terrorism or worked to root out racists and terrorist-sympathizing officers. But they chose to continue the dog-whistles of racism that are behind the creation of the “Back the Blue” facade.
And lest we forget, we are months from the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. The white supremacist and anti-government ideology that drove Timothy McVeigh to murder 168 Oklahomans, including 19 children and three pregnant women, is the same ideology that led to the Capitol siege.
In other words, these men are attempting to latch on to a “movement” they don’t even support; Back the Blue, unless they’re murdered and maimed by Trump supporters.
Editor’s Note: The Black Wall Street Times is calling on the City of Tulsa to reject requests to paint Blue lines on our streets or to hang pro-police signage on public property unless they intend to extend the same courtesy to groups supporting the civil rights movement.