White House, always prone to show its colors, rejects blue to honor police

by WorldTribune Staff, July 19, 2016

The White House has during President Barack Obama’s time in office been illuminated in different colors to honor causes. It was pink for breast cancer awareness in 2013 and in 2015 was lit in the LGBT rainbow to support same-sex marriage.

The people’s house, however, won’t be illuminated in blue to honor the nation’s police officers who are increasingly coming under siege and being killed in the line of duty.

The North Portico of the White House is illuminated with rainbow colors. /EPA
The North Portico of the White House is illuminated with rainbow colors. /EPA

Obama’s top spokesman wouldn’t say why the Obama administration is rejecting requests to illuminate the White House in blue.

“I don’t suspect that that is something that we will do,” press secretary Josh Earnest said on July 18 when asked if the administration will acquiesce to calls from police departments and others to do so.

“The president dedicated a lot of time to this, both in substance and in symbolism,” Earnest said. “The president’s strong support for American law enforcement officers is crystal clear.”

Obama believes that the “vast majority” of the nation’s police do “heroic work” that is “worthy of our respect and our praise — and not our scorn. The president feels quite strongly about that.”

Many in the police community are not convinced of how “strongly” the president feels. After three police were assassinated in Baton Rouge, Cleveland Police Detective Steve Loomis blasted Obama for refusing to specifically attack the anti-police rhetoric from groups like Black Lives Matter.

“Now, we see an escalation. This has got to end,” Loomis said. “The president of the United States has blood on his hands and it will not be able to become washed off.”

Just hours before five police officers were killed in Dallas, Obama said that the deaths of two blacks at the hands of police in Louisiana and Minnesota were “symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year.”

At the memorial for the slain police officers in Dallas, Obama tried to blame budget cuts for racial tensions between African Americans and the police.

After a Houston cop was ambushed in August 2015, Ronald Hoski, complained that “I don’t see and hear from the president when a cop gets shot and killed.”

Last September, Jerry Flynn of the New England Police Benevolent Association said that “our members are enraged at (Obama’s) lack of support of law enforcement. It’s clear that he has an agenda and unfortunately, the police are not part of his agenda.”

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