A New York City police union released a video to highlight a "strange form of racism," much different from the traditional meaning of the word.
The Sergeants Benevolent Association posted the clip Sunday on its Facebook page and the title of the video, "Blue Racism," says it all. In the video, the narrator says, “the average person doesn’t see the things that make me human." And among those identifying factors is race.
The video comes as the issue of race is undoubtedly at the forefront of many Americans' minds, following the white supremacist terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. Heather Heyer, 32, died in that attack when a white supremacist man drove a car through a group of counterprotesters.
At least 19 others were injured. Two Virginia state police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash while responding to the violence.
The deadly attack triggered a national debate over whether Confederate statues should remain in place, be removed, or be relocated.
But while millions of Americans debated this race-related issue, hundreds of thousands of others thought about a different race-related topic.
"They don't even label me based on being African-American, Latino, Asian, Caucasian and so on," the narrator in the police union's Facebook video says. "They tend to see an even broader stereotype through an even more racist lens. When they look at me, they see blue."
The voice reminds viewers that hundreds of thousands of officers across the country swore oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution, as well as laws in their respective localities.
"Yet, even in such numbers, I'm a minority as this strange form of racism continues to engulf the country," the narrator states.
The video goes on to mention the numerous incidents across the country involving police officers, many of which resulted in deaths.
An ongoing problem
TheBlaze covered many of these events, including the Dallas shooting, the deadliest day for law enforcement officers since 9/11. Twelve officers were shot in the Dallas shootings, including five who were fatal.
That same month, in July 2016, three police officers died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Another three officers were injured.
Also in July 2016, a man wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt fired at least 17 shots into an Indiana officer's car and home as he reportedly yelled about how he hated police. Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack. The alleged shooter was arrested.
More recently, there have been a disturbing number of other shootings of police, from Florida to Pennsylvania.
On Friday night, six officers were shot in those two states. Two of the shootings occurred in Kissimmee, Florida; both were fatal. And, in Jacksonville, Florida, two Jacksonville Sheriff's deputies were shot. Both officers were in stable condition Sunday, WTLV-TV reported. The alleged shooter in that incident died.
Also on Friday night, two Pennsylvania State Troopers were shot in Fairchance, Pennsylvania; both are expected to survive, ABC News reported. The suspect died.
These aren't even all of the shootings of police that have occurred in recent months, further highlighting the invisible targets on officers' backs.
"Because I am blue, increasingly, I am vilified," the narrator in the police union video states. "Still, I'm sworn to protect our community from injustice. In spite of broad brush attacks, generalizations and assumptions by college professors, politicians, community activists, merchants and people I am committed to serving and, in spite of being afraid to say in my private life that I am blue for fear of physical injury, death or the safety of my loved ones."
While there are many recent incidents involving employees at businesses who refused to serve police officers, one of the most recent of these stories happened at a Dunkin' Donuts location in New York City.
The Detectives' Endowment Association, a New York City police union, considered a boycott of Dunkin' following that incident.
Despite all the danger and discrimination police officers face on a daily basis, however, the narrator in the video vows that those who swore an oath to protect will never back down because "racism of any kind will never be tolerated."
(H/T: The Hill)