- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Blue lives, black lives, yes, all lives matter.

The Dartmouth College Republicans received permission from the college to put up a “Blue Lives Matter” display honoring law-enforcement work during National Police Week. After just one day, the display was completely removed and replaced with Black Lives Matter signs, according to the Dartmouth Review, a conservative newspaper.

On Thursday, May 12, after a three-week process to gain access to the bulletin board, the College Republicans put up their display. By 9 a.m. the following morning, social media was buzzing about the display.

“News of the display gained traction on social media,” the Dartmouth Review reported. “One post stated in reference to the bulletin board, ‘In case recent news about inclusivity and diversity had you fooled, Dartmouth is still racist. Located in the student center atrium.’ “

Then, by 11 a.m., a group of students at the New Hampshire college had taken the display down completely, replacing it with four fliers that said, “You cannot co-opt the movement against state violence to memorialize its perpetrators. #blacklivesmatter,” according to Dartmouth Review.

The college intervened, and told the Black Lives Matter protesters they were in violation of college policy for taking down the display because the College Republicans had rightfully reserved it. The protesters said they were aware of their violation, but they refused to stand down.

The school reportedly told the College Republicans if they wanted to avoid confrontation, they shouldn’t remove the Black Lives Matter fliers that day, and that maintenance staff would overnight, which is what happened.

The Black Lives Matter group was also allowed to take ownership of a bulletin board down the hall from the Blue Lives Matter display, and they didn’t have to go through the three-week bureaucratic process that the College Republicans had to, Dartmouth Review reported.

In an email to the college’s president and board of Trustees, the College Republicans wrote: “All we ask is that the protections and freedoms of self-expression afforded to other student organizations be extended to us. We do not see the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements as mutually exclusive.

“It is possible to recognize the service and contributions of law enforcement officers while simultaneously pushing for reform to correct the grave mistakes of the small minority of officers. On National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, we just hoped to highlight the monumental sacrifices made by these officers to protect us every day.”

Indeed. Colleges need to do more to encourage this type of thinking.

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