One of the trademarks of Donald Trump’s campaign has been “law & order,” claiming to be a champion of law enforcement agencies despite the fact that he has routinely called for the FBI to be abolished and committed obstruction of justice. The reality is that for some time, “law & order” has been a not so subtle racist dog whistle that Trump is fully embracing, well aware of how his base understands it, even encouraging police brutality during his rallies. He especially likes to draw a contrast between himself and Joe Biden, boasting about his police union endorsements during their first debate together. This is where Trump’s new problem comes in.
Due to these endorsements, a number of Black police officers are distancing themselves from their unions, including Rochelle Bilal who was elected the first Black female sheriff of Philadelphia last year. Earlier this month, she spoke openly at several gatherings with other Black law enforcement groups in Philadelphia to condemn the Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsement of Trump, since he’s done everything in his power to make racial tensions worse throughout the country.
The city’s FOP Lodge 5 chapter, which consists of 6,500 members even went so far as to make a statement that the union’s decision to endorse Trump doesn’t speak for them – that despite being the largest lodge in the state, and the state considered most crucial to the presidential race, they were never even asked to vote for a candidate before the endorsement. It’s not just in Pennsylvania either, as members of the Police Benevolent Association in New York City were also not asked before the organization endorsed Trump without warning back in August, and a few individual chapters of police organizations are considering rescinding endorsements by the end of October. This bit of news certainly cuts away the argument that law enforcement is solidly behind Trump, and much of America isn’t behind him either. This is why we need to run up the score with phone banking and voter registration to elect Joe Biden on November 3.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making