The phrase “Blue Flu” describes a unique phenomenon: when mass numbers of police officers call out sick in a coordinated manner to protest a public policy. In states where police are legally prohibited from striking this has been a tool used by officers to leverage political power and enact change in government.
This is not a new tactic; in the past, it has been a means to promote the interests of police officers exclusively. In New York City, 1971, twenty-thousand police officers coordinated calling in sick to pressure public officials into giving officers higher pay and increased benefits – at the expense of the citizens’ bottom lines. The city acquiesced, and taxes went up. Police have used the Blue Flu in cities across America to fight for law enforcement causes. It’s time we have one in defense of citizens’ rights and for the protection of police officers who are asked every day to enforce laws that pit them against the citizens that they swore to protect and serve.
The Need for Blue Flu
Between 100 and 200 police officers have been killed in each of the past ten years. and while there are many defenders of the badge and many who point out that police kill more than 1000 American citizens every year, few ask what behaviors police officers are exhibiting that lead to these deadly ends. Few are asking for the root cause of the increasingly rocky relationship between citizens and police officers.
Here are a few: Preventative policing, non-violent drug crime enforcement, excessive fines, higher incarceration rates, greater fear of officers, and an ever-growing list of rules for citizens to abide by. Their jobs require local police officers to enforce these whether they like it or not.
In reality, whether cops are actively pursuing us or not, we are all felons in this bureaucratic state. It is just a matter of when the crime you have committed becomes a focus for enforcement:
Enforcing Unjust Laws
As a society, we should stop giving police officers a pass for their enforcement of bad laws. Under that badge is a real human with a moral compass, choosing to act in a moral or immoral way. You do not have to hate the man who wears a badge. But you are not wrong to hate the man who wrongs you.
The argument that all cops are bad holds little merit, but every police officer who enforces immoral laws is guilty of something worse than being a bad cop: they are just a bad person.
An immoral law is any statute that impedes a person’s right to liberty and self-determination. A law that interferes with the natural rights we have held so dear since before the founding of this country.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it,”
Police officers sometimes do terrible things, but the people wearing the uniform are just that: people. Our neighbors, friends, and family. They deserve the chance to nullify bad laws through a Blue Flu, refuse to enforce laws that infringe on personal liberties, and earn back the trust of the American people. They ought to take that step for themselves in pursuit of a more just society.
A Blue Flu for Natural Rights
If the police officers of this nation called for the legalization of marijuana, the end of preventative policing, and serious reform of our justice system — then backed their demands with a Blue Flu, legislators would rush to fix these egregious problems. The public could then begin to heal the relationship between themselves and the police. All that’s necessary is for police departments to commit to legitimately protecting and serving communities.
If they do, America will be better off for it. The country will welcome officers who serve the community by preserving liberty and protecting our communities.
However, those that continue to trample on our human rights under the cover of the badge will increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of an angry America.
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