About that pro-police rally in NYC on Dec. 19

#BlackLivesMatter in Paris, France.
#BlackLivesMatter in Paris, France.

There’s a pro-police rally in New York City at City Hall. (As is their right, *** updated Dec. 18 and as commenter ‘Love It’ points out, is not sponsored by the NYPD but by police supporters.) As a public relations professional, I think it will further hinder relations, making them sound like they’re anti #BlackLivesMatter. I mean, really, what other way can it possibly look?

Why not do something like this, this, or this?

Police in Lowell, Michigan, have a good PR strategy.
Police in Lowell, Michigan, are DOING, not talking.

So many examples of showing how you’re “WITH” the people out there, and those are just from recent days. It’s a shame the NYPD doesn’t see that. Talk about missing opportunities to win people over on your side.

I discussed this rally, and how we debate contentious topics such as guns, abortion, or the police, with a colleague and friend today. We both think the ‘you’re either with us or against us,’ attitude individual police (or police-related) friends we both have, is misguided. Especially when so many of us are willing to have nuanced discussions about this topic, that–news flash!most of the world is now paying close attention to.

It is not every police officer. That should be a given, though, I guess I can’t be surprised it comes off that way when people take things personally. As I’ve said in the past, when Bernie Madoff was arrested, did every banker feel offended at the criticism? When a teacher is arrested for statutory rape, do others go on the offensive? When a doctor is sued for malpractice, does every physician panic that the public at large is watching? Yes, I know, these are not apples to apples comparisons, but my point is it’s bigger than YOU.

And then my friend put it perfectly: “It’s part of a larger culture. Violence is how we get things done [when it comes to ‘others’]. (Ed. words in parenthesis mine.) It’s not education, or empathy, it’s violence. It’s the same reason we can’t open schools in Pakistan, but we can send drones over there.”

Well said.