Black Lives Matter Claims Bloomington ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Rally Is Front For White Supremacists, Demands PD Denounce
Black Lives Matter Attacks Bloomington Blue Lives Matter Rally
Bloomington, IL – A local Black Lives Matter group is accusing a “Blue Lives Matter” rally to be a front for white supremacists. They are now urging the chief of the Bloomington Police Department to denounce the rally.
The rally has no affiliation with an established Blue Lives Matter organization or with the Bloomington Police Department, but Black Lives Matter’s claims of racism seem suspicious.
The event is scheduled to be held in front of Bloomington City Hall at 5:30 on Monday, according to WJBC.
The local chapter of Black Lives Matter sent a letter dated August 13 to Bloomington Police Chief Brendan Heffner (see below). In the letter, Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal asked the Chief to “denounce and discourage” the event.
They said that the event’s “chief organizer” is an “outspoken racist who has a history of pulling together small groups to publicly display the Confederate battle flag, as well as signs with xenophobic and intolerant messaging.”
The group acknowledged in the letter that the event was not organized by the Bloomington Police Department, but said the group had asked the BPD to attend, and that the event was being held in the BPD’s name. The group also said that they had received information that a counter-protest was planned at the same time.
The request for the rally was submitted weeks before the tragedy in Charlottesville this past weekend. Elias Mendiola, Bloomington Police Department Public Information Officer, said that the agency was aware of the event, but would only take action if “the situation called for it.”
He said, “As in the past, the Bloomington Police Department respects the First Amendment Rights for all groups to assemble in a respectful and peaceful manner. BPD is aware of the event and will respond appropriately if needed.”
While there have in been white nationalists who have falsely claimed that they were aligned with Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter has a history of falsely labeling people as racists. Black Lives Matter groups also have a history of promoting Black Nationalism.
Unless Black Lives Matter has more specifics which they are not releasing, the center of their claims of white supremacy at this rally appears to be focused on the organizer’s Confederate flag.
The Anti-Defamation League keeps track of hate symbols, and they state: While a number of non-extremists still use the flag as a symbol of Southern heritage or pride, there is growing recognition, especially outside the South, that the symbol is offensive to many Americans. However, because of the continued use of the flag by non-extremists, one should not automatically assume that display of the flag is racist or white supremacist in nature.
Blue lives are made up of people from all ethnic backgrounds, and it is impossible to support both Blue Lives Matter and any form of ethno-nationalism or supremacy.
At this point in time, we are unaware of any connection with this community rally and any white supremacists, and by all appearances it is a rally with the intent on showing support for police. Considering Black Lives Matter’s history of falsely labeling people as racists, any claims of racism from the group should be met with skepticism.
A copy of the Black Lives Matter letter to Chief Heffner is below:
“In the wake of the horrific and murderous acts of violence inflicted by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, we implore you to denounce and discourage the upcoming “Bloomington Police Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter” rally that is scheduled for Monday, 8/14, at 5:30pm.
The chief organizer of this event is an outspoken racist who has a history of pulling together small groups to publicly display the Confederate battle flag, as well as signs with xenophobic and intolerant messaging.
While we understand that Monday’s rally is not being organized by the Bloomington Police Department, and therefore cannot be called off by you or any other city official, this group has publically called on you and your officers to attend, and is holding this event in the name of your department and your officers.
We are concerned that this action will embolden those who seek to spread hatred within our community, and will publicly align their worldview with our local police force. Additionally, we are concerned that members of our community, who wish to show their support for BPD, will find themselves in the midsts of known white supremacists who are exploiting a pro-police position to build their ranks.
Because of the escalated tensions felt across the nation in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, and for the safety and wellbeing of our community, Black Lives Matter Bloomington-Normal is instructing its supporters to keep away from Monday’s event.
We feel that it is your responsibility as the chief representative of your department, and as a public servant, to make it clear that the worldview of those organizing this event is not the worldview of the Bloomington Police Department by denouncing this event, and by instructing your officers to withhold their participation in this event.”