The Blue Lives Matter Rhetoric To Come Out Of The Queensland Shooting Is Fkd And Racist

Sydney opera house lit up blue for the Queensland police shooting

The media has become a circus of uncritical pro-police sensationalism after the shooting which killed two police officers in Queensland. Once again, Blue Lives Matter rhetoric has reared its ugly head while people marginalised by police remain ignored and swept under the rug.

Three Evangelical Christian conspiracy theorists fatally shot two Queensland police officers on Monday in a premeditated attack designed to kill cops. Four officers arrived at the shooters’ home to investigate a missing person’s report and two escaped.

Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were killed. Alan Dare, a 58-year-old neighbour of the shooters and a civilian, was also killed after he ran over upon hearing gun shots.

A lot of misplaced outrage has followed the shooting, mostly among Blue Lives Matter folk who might not outright say the racist slogan, but they certainly embody it.

You’d think now would be a good time for the media, and the public at large, to discuss the rapid rise in conspiracy theorists across Australia. Or the fact that the shooter reached out to One Nation’s Mark Latham with concerns a year ago. Or how even right-wing extremists have become alienated and distrustful of the police, when anti-police attitudes are typically associated with the left. What does that tell us about how fucked policing has become in our country?

Instead, all that’s come out of this shooting has been a sensationalised public overreaction that has seen these police officers fetishised, turned into saints and placed on a pedestal.

The two officers who lost their lives have suddenly become fictional heroes who were fighting a great evil, martyrs on behalf of all of us, the very image of a (white) Australia lost and under attack — even though they were literally just cops doing a standard job. It’s the Blue Lives Matter of it all: that police are somehow as oppressed as groups like First Nations or Black people and this proves it.

Tributes remain flowing five days after the shooting for the two slain officers. Headline after headline has condemned the dead shooters and held up the image of the officers like they’re Jesus on the cross.

The Sydney Opera House was even lit up with blue lights to mourn the two cops, despite being in an entirely different state. And this is where I have to draw the fkn line.

Whenever I’ve tried to voice criticism of the brazen displays of patriotism, white supremacy and Blue Lives Matter BS to come from the Queensland police shooting, I’m met with arguments like “all loss of life is sad, have some humanity”.

But if this was really about the mourning of lives lost, the Sydney Opera House wouldn’t have lit up as blue specifically: a colour choice made to mourn police officers only. Alan Dare, the civilian caught in the crossfire, seems to have been forgotten.

If this media circus and general hysteria was really about the fact that death is always sad, it would mean we mourn every person killed by cops throughout the year and every year before, too.

I’d love to see the Opera House lit up red, black and yellow to mourn all the Indigenous people cops have harassed, maimed and murdered. I’d love to see any accountability at all with cops who abuse their power (or really, just use it as it was intended).

Queensland Police Service (the very institution currently praised) made headlines just weeks ago after a serving cop leaked audio of his colleagues saying all kinds of heinous shit while on the job.

The various conversations included jokes about sexually assaulting an Indigenous woman in custody, beating and burying First Nations folk and skull-dragging protestors. Cops were also recorded saying Australia will be “fucking taken over” by Muslim and African immigrants. Some called for Ebola to wipe out Africans.

Do you think that got even half the attention this story has? Even when, at the same time, an inquiry was being held into claims of rampant misogyny and domestic violence allegations within QPS? Was this acknowledged during the mostly uncritical and clearly favourable reporting of police we are seeing about the Queensland shooting right now?

Of course not, because as we already know, the hysteria around this shooting is not just because it’s “sad”. What has really left conservative media shocked is that even privileged people like young, white police officers can die in shootings, and that’s what’s fucked up. That’s what offensive.

qld police shooting double standards
Literally what people sound like right now.

I know there will be some that will say “but everyone deserves be safe at work”. A phrase co-opted from teachers, sex workers, front line workers, hospitality staff, and women in general who are at greater risk of shootings, gender-based violence, illness or customer aggression.

Contrary to the argument, this actually cannot be applied to police because their role as an institution literally hinges on the existence of violence. Everything they do is justified because of it. A police officer’s actual job is to enforce state laws, with force if necessary. And even when unnecessary.

Some would say this isn’t the “right time” to be having critical conversations about police given the circumstances. But when is the right time? Some of us have never stopped talking about it.

The world continues to ignore police brutality as an issue, even when it’s happening live. Truly, when is it a better time for us to call it out?

Every day is an appropriate day to talk about the dangers our police system imposes on marginalised folk and specifically First Nations people, because every day these communities have to wake up and contend with police.

We sure as hell shouldn’t expect to stay silent about racist and white supremacist double standards regarding victims just because it’s not “the right time”.