NJ Top News 2/26 – Is ‘Thin Blue Line’ Now a Symbol of Hate?
Holmdel is one of many New Jersey towns that has a "thin blue line" painted down a local street to honor police. The town's Human Relations Committee has recommended that it be removed because it is a symbol of hate.
In a preliminary report to local officials, the HRC claims the thin blue line has been "appropriated by white supremacists groups." As a result, the HRC says it makes some Holmdel residents feel unwelcome and even threatened.
The committee also noted the Blue Line flag was carried alongside Confederate flags and Nazi insignia during the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.
Holmdel Ad Hoc Committee on Human Relations
In early November 2016, a quarter-mile long blue line was painted down the center of Crawfords Corner Road in front of Town Hall-Police Headquarters. Permanent road paint was accidentally used instead of temporary paint, which is why the line remains today. Regardless of the town's original intent, it is clear that the line means something different today to many. The symbol has been appropriated by white supremacists groups and the Blue Line now has the effect of making some members of our community feel unwelcome, and even threatened, in Holmdel. The HRC finds this impact unacceptable. It should not be ignored that the Blue Line flag was carried alongside Confederate flags and Nazi insignia by the insurrectionists who breached our Nation's Capitol on January 6th, 2020. The HRC therefore recommends that the HTC abstain from maintaining Holmdel’s Blue Line. When it comes time for the section of Crawfords Corner Road that contains the blue line to be repaved, we recommend to the governing body that the Blue Line not be replaced. We advise that our roads only be marked for the purposes of traffic safety.
A number of New Jersey towns began painting blue lines down local streets in recent years to show support for local law enforcement. Increasingly, the lines and the Blue Line Flag have become controversial.
In Flemington, Mayor Betsy Driver had the town's blue line removed before a Black Lives Matters rally in October. She claimed many Black residents told her they saw it not as support for police but as opposition to their experience. Someone repainted a section of the line outside the local police headquarters and local officials branded it "vandalism."
In Robbinsville, some residents started a petition to remove a blue line flag that had been flying outside the municipal building calling it "a controversial and divisive symbol opposing the Black Lives Matter movement."
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