If you needed more proof that law enforcement and its supporters feel threatened by Black Lives Matter, here’s something for you.
Tactical Magic, a Tennessee-based advertising firm, put up a billboard and some signs in Memphis saying "Blue Lives Matter" with an accompanying hashtag, #thankublu. Trace Hallowel, Tactical Magic’s creative director, said that "the message was simply to affirm the humanity of our men and women in uniform" and honor the memory of fallen officers.
Lamar Advertising Company, a Louisiana company infamous for racist anti-abortion billboards targeting black women, noticed the signs and donated 150 billboards with similar messages to go up across the country.
As reported by Western Michigan’s WXMI, the billboards have reached as far north as Grand Rapids, Michigan. Oh, and the campaign has a corresponding Instagram account. All of this propelled by at least one company that seems to be comfortable with pushing a right-wing agenda.
Some in Grand Rapids criticized the billboards’ cooptation of the "Black Lives Matter" message. "’Black Lives Matter’ was simply to call attention to a unique set of circumstances that was happening in the black community," Darel Ross, co-executive director of LINC Community Revitalization Inc., told WXMI. "To [in] any way undermine that or belittle that, [doesn’t add] to the relationship between police officers and the black community, or the community at large, because most people get it."
Cle Jackson, president of the local NAACP chapter, had similar comments. “All lives matter right? So that’s why we came to the table in a very I think civil and sober manner with local law enforcement here to say how can we actually work together to improve community police relations," he explained.
At press time, no law enforcement bodies made any official statements about the signs.