The first place I saw mention of it was a bottom, front-page ad in the Times-Picayune recent Sunday edition, which could have only been thrown at my front door as part of a promotion to get me to renew my subscription of the thrice-weekly print version of the local paper.
Nice try. No thanks. I let my subscription lapse for a reason.
But it was there. It was obviously complimentary; and I do love complimentary. So I pulled it out of its wet, plastic wrapper and I immediately saw the ad promoting Geaux Blue NOLA Day on Sept. 7, an annual day to recognize police officers for the service to the community by wearing blue clothing or ribbons or decorating homes, mailboxes and businesses with blue wreaths, bows or lights.
I must admit that my response was the same.
Nice try. No thanks. I am over fabricated, manufactured laws and observances designed to distract from the real issues that impact the lives of the people who are most in need of attention.
This Geaux Blue NOLA Day is of the same ilk as Blue Lives Matters and All Lives Matters. Anyone that dares to suggest otherwise is insincere (that’s the nice word for it). It all derives from the ridiculous notion that just because there are people saying “Hey, take a look at what is happening to Black lives at the hands of some agents of law enforcement; and we need to do something about this” that they are also saying police don’t matter or that all police are bad. So now everyone needs to do something to prove that police matter and these Black Lives protesters are wrong? Why else would we need a Geaux Blue day in 2016 in the nearly 200 year history of organized policing in New Orleans?
It’s almost as if they are saying that anyone who is for justice…real justice is against police, so you need to put on something blue to indicate otherwise. That sort of thinking is frivolous and unintelligent. I will have no part in it.
When have we not appreciated and honored the work of police officers or recognized that theirs was a tough job and unenviable task? So hold on before any of you launch into a tirade, calling me anti-police. I am not. I truly believe that many police officers take very seriously their oaths to protect and serve the people of their communities. I also know that many fall short of that duty. And I appreciate the efforts and the sacrifices the good ones make just as much as I abhor the intentional disregard, recklessness and sometimes outright failure and refusal of the others to do their jobs without prejudice or abuse of force and power.
But unless and until we start dealing seriously and in an extreme and earnest manner with all the ones that fall short, I don’t have time to geaux blue—not when black bodies lie in the streets after their red blood is shed and justice is still a white unicorn—something we hear about, but no one has ever seen.
What do I look like wearing blue when no one—no one has served a day in prison for the actual murder of Henry Glover?
What do I look like wearing blue when the men—former police officers—responsible for the deaths of Ronald Madison and James Brissette and the injuries of several others made a farce of our justice system by negotiating light sentences for themselves in a case that had already been adjudicated thanks to so-called prosecutorial misconduct, which was seemingly only misconduct depending on the day of the week. They have now received what amounts to slaps on the wrists for their wanton behavior, and it infuriates me to no end. SO maybe when the city of New Orleans passes a resolution to lay black wreaths at the base of the Danzinger Bridge every year from now until perpetuity, maybe then…maybe, I’ll think about geauxing blue. Maybe.
I am still peeved that the ONE time Louisiana decides to actually be first in the nation in something it was to enact a totally pointless law that provides hate crime protections to police officers in a state where increased penalties were already in place for those convicted of targeting police officers.
When we should be having very real conversations about accountability and responsibility and the manner in which sworn officers of the law conduct themselves, someone actually wants me to put a blue ribbon on my front door? When we should be putting as much time and resources as we can afford into ensuring that a federal consent decree overseeing what are supposed to be substantial changes to the way our local police department operates, we want to make a big deal about wearing a blue ribbon or a blue shirt or sticking a sign in a front yard as if any of that really matters.
And I guess that is at the heart of my contention. Ours is a nation of ceremony instead of substance, we are more concerned with pomp and pageantry, instead of people.
So nope, nada…I want be geauxing blue. As much as I love them because they are so comfortable and versatile, I will make it my point to not even wear blue jeans tomorrow. I don’t want anyone getting the wrong idea.
And another thing! Could we please stop using “eaux” to make the long “o” sound? It is annoying.