Even though a handful of salespeople have been launching “Military Lives Matter” t-shirts from remote corners of the Internet for quite some time, this phrase has never really become mainstream. And rightly so, targeted acts of violence are generally not inflicted on military personnel and ex-combatants at the national level.
But that didn’t stop Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany from bragging about the November 8 launch of a “Military Lives Matter” line of t-shirts on Instagram, an unveiling featured alongside three other pieces. ” patriotic, “including an article that reads” Shamelessly conservative.
And while Aldean said a portion funds raised through the three-day flash sale of clothing – there is nothing quite like politicizing the military for profit – goes to the Special Forces charity trust, the singer’s wife failed to mention What percentage that could be. It’s also unclear what motivated Aldean to design “Military Lives Matter” shirts in the first place.
When George Zimmerman was acquitted in the July 2013 shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin, a civil rights movement seeking to end racial violence was born. The corresponding hashtag, widely used since, was #BlackLivesMatter.
Since then, variations of the original phrase have crept into the cultural zeitgeist, most notably “Blue Lives Matter,” which gained a foothold when NYPD operatives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed in Brooklyn in December 2014.
Opportunism on the part of individuals selected to sell goods inevitably accompanies a politically charged slogan. Black and white US flags underlined with a thin blue stripe can be purchased anywhere from physical stores to Etsy.
The term “thin blue line”, which dates from before 2013, was once used to describe police officers as the border between civilized society and chaos. Today, however, the phrase “Blue Lives Matter” is often seen as the rallying cry for the BLM and, like most slogans, has been adopted for widely distributed merchandise.
Join now to the fray.
Perhaps the next Aldean move will be to throw ideas on a thin line of camouflage.
The observation post contacted Aldean, but the request for comment was not returned at time of posting.
Observation Post is the Military Times’ one stop shop for anything going on outside of business hours. Stories may reflect the author’s observations.
Sarah Sicard is editor-in-chief at the Military Times. Previously, she was digital editor of the Military Times and editor of the Army Times. Other work can be found in National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.