'No Such Thing as Blue Lives': Local NAACP President Rips Police, Race Comparisons

A pastor and local president of a Massachusetts NAACP chapter called on police officers and other supporters of the "Blue Lives Matter" narrative to stop comparing their career choice to he and other Black Americans' lives.

Bishop Talbert Swan, who is president of the Springfield, Massachusetts chapter of the NAACP, told Newsweek Monday he believes people who are promoting "Blue Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter" are being disingenuous with their narrative. A Sunday tweet from Swan urged white Americans and police officers to stop conflating one's race, skin color with the choice of one's job. He noted that no American ever said "All Lives Matter" or "Blue Lives Matter" until Black people began saying "Black Lives Matter."

Swan said the idea that police officers' lives matter "is nothing that Black people didn't agree with." He called on critical white Americans to uphold the same respect for the BLM movement, which he said is aimed primarily at the elimination of police brutality against unarmed Black people.

"There's no such thing as BLUE LIVES...Stop comparing your JOB with my LIFE...Your CAREER is a choice, my BLACKNESS isn't," Swan tweeted Sunday, prompting immediate scorn and praise.

Speaking with Newsweek Monday afternoon, Swan said "All Lives Matter" and "Blue Lives Matter" narratives are "disingenuous" at best. Many BLM supporters have criticized the zero-sum game concept that any positive movement on behalf of Black people or other minorities is directly paralleled by some sense of loss among white people.

The Massachusetts pastor said white people, police officers and other supporters of the Black Lives Matter "rebuttal" hashtags are very aware that BLM is intended only to highlight that "Black people are being treated unjustly by law enforcement in terms of the extrajudicial murder of unarmed Black people." Instead, Swan said many "Blue Lives Matter" backers are attempting to "gaslight" by claiming they are "somehow offended by Black people affirming the worth of their lives."

"Gaslighting" is a term used in psychological circles which refers to when someone manipulates another person into questioning their own sanity. The insidious tactic typically associated with narcissists and cult leaders is often used to gain more power or to create a victim by causing someone to re-think whether it is themselves who has parted with reality.

There’s no such thing as BLUE LIVES...

Stop comparing your JOB with my LIFE...

Your CAREER is a choice, my BLACKNESS isn’t.#BlackLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter

— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) September 13, 2020

Swan said many who disagree with Black Lives Matter have attempted to twist and confuse the anti-police brutality message and instead "use it to gaslight and negate and rebut the worth of Black lives." He repeatedly told Newsweek via phone Monday that "our blackness is nothing we choose, nothing we can change and it's something that has been looked down upon from the time our ancestors were stolen from Africa."

Jeff Gaddie, a Florida man whose homeowner association told him to remove the "Blue Lives Matter" flag from his yard in 2017, told Fox News that he rejected the anonymous complaint which described the flag as "racist." Instead, Gaddie said, "blue is not a race."

Swan shared several direct messages, social media posts and other vitriolic responses to his Sunday tweet. Many posts appeared to criticize his belief in God and some issued direct threats against his life.

"Whiteness is not a choice, but it's also not oppressed in America and there's no history of systemic oppression in America against white people," Swan said. "Slavery patrols weren't intended to keep white people in check ... they were there to protect white property owners."

blue lives matter flag blm
"There's no such thing as BLUE LIVES. Stop comparing your JOB with my LIFE. Your CAREER is a choice, my BLACKNESS isn't," said Bishop Talbert Swan, president of a local NAACP chapter in Massachusetts. Screenshot: Fox News | YouTube