Friday, June 17, 2016

Special Pleading: On the Identity Politics of "Blue Lives Matter"
"Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is currently poised to approve House Bill 953, which the State Senate approved 33-3 last Tuesday, following a 91-0 approval in the State House. Known as the 'Blue Lives Matter' bill, HB953 will extend the list of 'protected classes' recognized by existing Louisiana hate crimes legislation to include law enforcement professionals and firefighters. In other words, present or past employment as a cop (or a prison guard, a traffic officer, etcetera) will now stand alongside 'race, age, gender, religion, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or ancestry' as a category of identity awarded special protection against victimization under the law.

Although Louisiana, like most other states, already penalizes people for assaulting police or interfering with their activities, HB953 will mandate up to an additional five years of jail for felonies committed against police and their property, up to six months for misdemeanors, and escalated fines for both."

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