Blacks Lives Matter, the movement born out of the fatal shootings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, is a lightning rod for controversy.
That’s because no matter the explanation about why it exists, largely as a statement against the questionable shooting of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers, folks tend to come down on one side or the other.
The whole Black Lives Matter-vs-Blue Lives Matter issue blew up again last month when retail giant Walmart agreed to stop selling t-shorts and hooded sweatshirts online that read “Bulletproof. Black Lives Matter” on them.
The move came after the Fraternal Order of Police wrote Walmart asking it to pull the shirts, which are actually sold via a third-party vendor — Connecticut-based Old Glory Merchandise — not by Walmart itself.
“Commercializing our differences will not help our local police and communities to build greater respect for one another. Turning a buck on strained relationships will not contribute to the healing process,” FOP president Chuck Canterbury wrote.
Regardless, before the FOP request, Walmart had come under fire from right-wing website Breitbart for continuing to sell the items while caving the previous year to left-wing groups by dropping items that displayed the Confederate flag.
The Post’s Dec. 21 story, “Walmart no longer selling ‘Black Lives Matter‘ shirts following police complaints” also prompted reader response. Many didn’t even know Walmart offered Black Lives Matter — and yes, Blue Lives Matter — apparel on its website.
Post letter writer Reginald Osbourne of Delray Beach took issue with Walmart’s decision as an affront to African-Americans:
As a black man and a law-abiding taxpayer who loves God and our great country, the removal of the Black Lives Matter t-shirts is not only offensive to me but also an outright disrespect to my family and the millions of black people who shop at these stores every day.
Black Lives Matter is not against our police or any other race of people. They are against the injustices and discrimination that’s taking place against a large segment of people of color.
If Walmart had shirts in their stores that said “Jewish Lives Matter” and a complaint was made by some customers that said that these shirts were offensive to them, would Walmart have these shirts removed? America is sensitive to the suffering of six million Jews and so are we, along with millions of black Americans who feel the pain concerning this Holocaust to our Jewish family.
However, it seems to me that a lot of people are less sensitive to the millions of our black ancestors who were brought over to America in slave ships and helped to build this great country, who have fought in every war, bled and died in these wars.
Walmart said in a statement, “Like other online retailers, we have a marketplace with millions of items offered by third parties that includes Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter merchandise. After hearing concerns from customers, we are removing the specific item with the ‘bulletproof’ reference.”