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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

‘Blue Lives Matter’ Billboards Starting To Pop Up Across the Country

Blue Lives Matter Billboard

Nationwide — Lamar Advertising, a Louisiana-based advertising company, has donated company-owned billboards across the country to a new campaign called “Blue Lives Matter” that is designed to bring attention to the amount of police officers that are killed each year. The billboards have been seen in Tennessee, Connecticut, and Ohio, and the campaign includes a social media aspect too using the Twitter hashtags #BlueLivesMatter and #thankublu.

“We wanted to recognize the local police departments and men and women that put their lives on the line every day,” said Stephen Hebert of Lamar Advertising. “I don’t know how they do it, and we just wanted it to be part of the community.”

Hebert said that they have more than 300 #BlueLivesMatter billboards across the nation with the message.

However, some African Americans have taken the campaign offensively. They see it as a way of copying and belittling the original “Black Lives Matter” movement, which was created to draw attention to racial profiling and police brutality amongst African Americans.

Darel Ross, a director for LINC Community Revitalization Inc, commented, “I think in some aspects it’s shameful that the brand is being co-opted, but once again it was never meant to say ‘only black lives matter’. Black Lives Matter was simply to call attention to a unique set of circumstances that was happening in the black community; and to any way undermine that, or belittle that, ultimately in no way shape or form adds to the relationship between police officers and the black community, or the community at large, because most people get it.”

But “Blue Lives Matter” isn’t the only campaign that has jumped into the “Lives Matter” arena. There are other campaigns such as “All Lives Matter,” which has attempted to create a message that such campaigns should not just be focused on one ethnic group, and also “Christian Lives Matter,” which focuses on religious freedom around the world.

What’s next?