Brandi Nicole Wilson was in for a rude awakening when she stepped into her local coffee shop and saw a sign reading “Back the Blue.” The young woman took to social media to express her complaints about the sign, which declares the store’s support for law enforcement. She wrote on Ground-A-Bout coffee shop’s Facebook page that seeing the sign made her feel uncomfortable and “hesitant” to visit again.
“Ok now let me say in the political climate we are in not a good look especially since people are very sensitive to what’s going on, it made me super uncomfortable being African American walking in it’s almost like a shouting ‘Black lives don’t matter sign,’” she posted. “I won’t get into my own politics, and I’m not saying this is what the company is saying, but it sure feels like it. Jackson is a conservative town, I get it, but some semo students live here, and I think diversity should be catered to.”
Wilson clarified that she does not have negative feelings towards police officers. In fact, she voiced support for the men and women who dedicate their careers to keeping communities safe. However, she believes that the “blue lives matter” slogan was created as a way to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement.
After Wilson’s message was publicized on Facebook, the company gave a prompt response.
“Brandi, we’re very sorry that you experienced any negative feelings while patronizing our establishment. Our support of law enforcement is IN NO WAY whatsoever, stating that ‘black lives don’t matter.’ We support racial diversity as well as cultural diversity and religious diversity,” the Ground-A-Bout wrote in response. “And we believe that supporting our law enforcement AND those issues can be accomplished together without exclusion. We’ll be disappointed to lose your business, ma’am, but the sign will remain.”
After Wilson’s complaint and the coffee shop’s response went viral, people from across the country started talking about whether blue lives matter or black lives matter more. The Ground-A-Bout establishment in Jackson, Missouri posted a status update thanking people for their support of the store and police officers after they received an influx of attention.
“While this is obviously not a way one hopes to gain exposure for their business, it’s apparent that this has struck a chord with many people. While not getting any further into anything political, we want to thank you. We cannot express our gratitude enough to our peeps!” the coffee shop stated.
The controversy of whether Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter is still present in America, especially with racial tensions as high as they are. Wilson’s distaste for the pro-police movement is shared by many others and this was illustrated last year when police departments had to prevent their budgets from being cut due to all the backlash from BLM protesting for things like more training on recognizing racial bias, which would hopefully lead to fewer instances of discrimination altogether.