RACE

“Blue Lives Matter” Pops Up On Over 300 Billboards

The signs have almost nothing on them except the brightly emblazoned slogan

Oct 11, 2015 at 4:18 PM ET

“Blue Lives Matter” is freckling deep-blue billboards nationwide, drawing backlash from critics bashing them as racist and distasteful. But it appears that those behind the signs don’t understand why the public campaign, which follows the rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, is igniting fury.

The Louisiana-based Lamar Advertising Company has unleashed more than 300 of the signs that bear “Blue Lives Matter,” in all caps, at the center. A badge with the words “police officer” lies to the left.

Trace Hallowell, managing partner at Tactical Magic, the branding company that created the billboards, has said he was “dismayed to hear” that anyone would think the ads were offensive to African Americans, according to blogger Davy V., who says he spoke with Hallowell.

“The heart of the message is that no human should be hated or targeted for violence simply because of the color of clothing that they wear,” said Hartwell, who did not immediately respond to Vocativ’s request for comment. “I would hope this message is simply seen as being in harmony with that philosophy.”

Stephen Hebert at Lamar Advertising told NBC Connecticut said: “We wanted to recognize the local police departments and men and women that put their lives on the line everyday.”

Black Lives Matter activists, though, called out what they see as bigotry in the campaign. Writer Lincoln A. Blades at NBC-owned The Grio made waves this week when he wrote of the ads’ creators that the billboards were “propagating their white supremacy.”