I sent the following email to the AAUP mailing list at the University of Washington (local chapter of the American Association of University Professors) on 6/3/20.
I listed as the subject of the email "blue lives also matter." I should have learned from Heather MacDonald's experiences that on college campuses any use of the "lives" phrase other than Black Lives Matter is considered "an unspeakable provocation." I regret using it because it distracted from the main point I was trying to make.
Here is the text of the message:
It is commendable that our university leaders have put so much effort into asking us to consider the difficult circumstances our students face right now and to encourage us to show flexibility in helping them to get through this challenging time. I have been disappointed that there hasn't been much discussion of the police officers and national guard troops who have been performing such a vital task to keep the city safe. The police and national guard have literally been on the front lines, often forced to contend with angry protesters. They have had to manage despicable acts of rioting and looting. I'm sure that many of them have been working extra shifts to allow the city to keep a strong police presence all through the day and late into the night. They deserve our respect and our gratitude. We also should denounce the unfair stereotyping of police officers that we see coming from some protesters. It is important to call out those few police who behave badly, but we shouldn't denounce the entire police force. The vast majority of police are well intentioned individuals who take their professional responsibilities very seriously. They are working to preserve order in our community while applying standards of justice equally to all citizens. We are all too familiar with historical examples of injustice where a group is painted with a broad brush and an entire community is denounced because of the actions of a few. We should, therefore, reject reprehensible slogans like ACAB which has been spray-painted on many buildings downtown (meaning "All Cops Are Bastards"). We must come together to find a way to work through our issues and that includes honoring and thanking those who are working hard to preserve order and the rule of law in our society. --Stuart Reges, Principal Lecturer, Computer Science & Engineering https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~reges/