Politics dictionary

Blue Lives Matter

[ bloo lahyvz mat-er ]

What is Blue Lives Matter?

Blue Lives Matter is a pro-police slogan and movement, registered as a nonprofit in some states. According to the Blue Lives Matter NYC website, the organization was established to support police officers and their families during times of need. 

In 2014, Blue Lives Matter spread as a countermovement to Black Lives Matter, which opposes police violence against Black people. Similar to the phrase All Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter is a phrase used by some people who oppose the Black Lives Matter movement for various reasons.

Related words

Blue Alert, Thin Blue Line, Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer

Where does Blue Lives Matter come from?

The phrase Blue Lives Matter seems to have emerged around December 2014. It was used by a group of pro-police supporters who organized a rally in New York City. On social media, the group used the phrases “Police Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” to promote the rally. Attendees of the rally held Blue Lives Matter and other-pro police signs at the event.

Both the event itself and the Blue Lives Matter phrase were heavily criticized at the time. Blue Lives Matter has come under criticism for minimizing the issue of racially motivated police violence, co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement with an obviously similar name, and equating racial identity and oppression with a career choice. All Lives Matter, a phrase that also originated around 2014, has also been criticized for minimizing the issue of racially motivated police violence.

In December 2014, Blue Lives Matter NYC was founded by police officers, and this group refers to itself as the “Official Blue Lives Matter” on its website. Around the same time, a media company acquired the name Blue Lives Matter on every social media platform in December 2014, and this company also refers to itself as the “official” Blue Lives Matter

Over the next several years, Blue Lives Matter would become a movement of its own and increasingly gain supporters just as the number of highly publicized incidents of police violence against Black Americans also increased. These include the killings of Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. The Blue Lives Matter movement became a pro-police response to the increase of criticism, mistrust, and anger with law enforcement. 

The phrase Blue Lives Matter has come to be used by a wide range of people who support law enforcement, including police officers themselves. 

In 2016, Blue Lives Matter made headlines after Louisiana successfully passed legislation making violence against police officers and firefighters a hate crime. Opponents of the the bill say existing laws already “provide more serious charges for violent acts against officers.” 

Examples of Blue Lives Matter

Two More Black Men Shot In St. Louis Saturday. Why No #BLM Protests? The victims are cops, ages 29 & 30. The younger officer, shot in the head, is in extremely critical condition. Pray for him. #BlueLivesMatter
@GeraldoRivera, August 30, 2020
Blue Lives Matter supporters arrested with slew of firearms outside Kenosha after police received tip about possible shooting, DOJ says
Alexander Mallin and Meredith Deliso, ABC News, September 3, 2020

Who uses Blue Lives Matter?

Blue Lives Matter is a polarizing phrase and movement. It receives praise from supporters of police and occasionally from police officers. It is also fiercely criticized for being an opponent of Black Lives Matter, and some have accused the movement of being motivated by racism.

Supporters of Blue Lives Matter often use a flag known as the Thin Blue Line. This flag was created around the same time that the Blue Lives Matter movement emerged, but the creator claims it was not motivated by the movement itself.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Blue Lives Matter like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Blue Lives Matter that will help our users expand their word mastery.