Hashtag TYPHILLYPOLICE – Philly Police, Social Media, And False Support?

On New Years Day 2015, people on social media showed their support of Philadelphia police officers with the hashtag #TYPHILLYPOLICE. Now, I know I’m going to get some shit from some people (if they read this) for going down the path I’m about to go down, but you know what? Fuck it. Obviously I have no problem with people showing support for their local police. Obviously I have plenty of respect for police officers doing a job that is often thankless and certainly dangerous. So, what’s my problem? My problem is that this hashtag, this effort, and similar efforts like it, are clearly in response to protests related to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and other black men (and children) killed by police officers in recent months. I wonder how many of the people using this hashtag are doing so genuinely, and more importantly, solely in support of Philadelphia police officers or their local police force? Or could it be they are also using this hashtag to voice their own form of protest against Michael Brown and Eric Garner protestors? Please excuse my cynicism, but I just don’t buy it. I don’t remember this much of an outpouring on social media in support of police until people had an “other” in society for which they needed to voice their own protest against.

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