SAN LUIS OBISPO, California — Following the murder of San Luis Obispo Detective Luca Benedetti, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant on May 10th, the Department memorialized the officer by hanging two Thin Blue Line flags in front of police headquarters. The community came together in the aftermath of the tragedy, tying blue ribbons on trees and attaching Thin Blue Line flags to their vehicles in support of Benedetti’s family and law enforcement in general.
In the midst of the grief, Cal Poly music professor Scott Glysson called these actions ‘racist.’ Glysson explained on Facebook that “The flag with the blue line is not a sign of community support for police.” And he further declared—without citing any evidence—that the Thin Blue Line flag “is a racist symbol. It was popularized at the same time and in direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Sorry Glysson, you’re completely wrong—and we invite you to explain how the thin blue line and the Thin Blue Line flag shown here are “racist.”
Law Officer has reported numerous times the truth about this so called controversy. Just a few weeks ago, a Thin Blue Line flag placed outside the Paso Robles Public Safety Center sparked controversy in the North County city, leading to the police chief ordering the flag be taken down according to Cal Coast News.
Glysson said that he “can’t even imagine what a person of color must feel when they drive by a police station displaying this flag… Even if unintended, it tells a person of color their struggle is not important.”
Glysson, who is Cal Poly’s director of choral activities is also white. Which makes his speculation of what people “of color” think about a memorial symbol that has existed for well over 100 years seem flatly ignorant. So much so that we should wonder if Glysson believes that people “of color” are actually as stupid as he is in fouling up identity politics—and disrespecting a flag so closely related to religious ceremony.
Ironically, we wonder if Glysson holds contempt and feels outrage about his own employer. After all, Cal Poly, where Glysson is a director, lists 36 faculty and staff in the music department—and not one is a person “of color” for whom Glysson seems so eager to speak out, but apparently not so eager to work with.
Using Glysson’s logic, it appears that he and his employer, even if unintended, are telling people “of color” that their struggle in not important.
While everyone is entitled to their opinion. Telling others what a symbol means—by disrespecting a symbol of religious remembrance and honor for sacrifice and service—isn’t just hypocrisy on Glysson’s part: it’s proof that we’re letting incivility and stupidity rule the day.