Brandi Nicole Wilson enjoys her coffee. But after stepping inside of a Jackson, Missouri coffee house, she was shocked to see a sign. She took to social media to complain about the sign, which declared the shop’s support for the men and women in blue, by writing a complaint on the Ground-A-Bout coffee shop’s Facebook page. The sign that appalled Wilson read “Back the Blue,” and seeing it made the young woman “hesitant” to patronize the coffee shop.
“Ok now let me say in the political climate we are in not a good look especially since people are very sensitive to what’s going on, it made me super uncomfortable being African American walking in it’s almost like a shouting ‘Black lives don’t matter sign,’” she wrote. “I won’t get into my own politics, and I’m not saying this is what the company is saying, but it sure feels like it. Jackson is a conservative town, I get it, but some semo students live here, and I think diversity should be catered to.”
Wilson does not have a personal vendetta against police officers. In truth, she said she supports the men and women who dedicate their careers to keeping communities safe. However, she believes that the “blue lives matter” slogan was created as a “direct response” to the Black Lives Matter movement and was meant to erode the power of the Black Lives Matter message.
The company wrote a direct response to Wilson after her message was made public on Facebook.
“Brandi, we’re very sorry that you experienced any negative feelings while patronizing our establishment. Our support of law enforcement is IN NO WAY whatsoever, stating that ‘black lives don’t matter.’ We support racial diversity as well as cultural diversity and religious diversity,” the Ground-A-Bout wrote in response. “And we believe that supporting our law enforcement AND those issues can be accomplished together without exclusion. We’ll be disappointed to lose your business, ma’am, but the sign will remain.”
After Wilson’s complaint and the coffee shop’s response went viral, people from across the country started talking about the discussion about blue lives matter versus black lives matter. Because the shop was suddenly being noticed by people outside of Jackson, Missouri, Ground-A-Bout posted a status update thanking people for their support of the establishment and for their support of police officers across America.
“While this is obviously not a way one hopes to gain exposure for their business, it’s apparent that this has struck a chord with many people. While not getting any further into anything political, we want to thank you. We cannot express our gratitude enough to our peeps!” the coffee shop wrote.
As racial tensions in America continue to ride high, the debate about Black Lives Matter versus Blue Lives Matter continues to rage. Wilson is not alone in her criticism of the pro-police movement, as was illustrated throughout 2020 and 2021 as police departments across the country had to defend their budgets from cuts as Black Lives Matter protested for more police training on racial bias and other common forms of discrimination.