The NAACP is upset because a group of people have been selling shirts that say “White Lives Matter.” The White Marlin Marina near the city of Ocean City, Maryland is selling t-shirts that read “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” in order to try and bring increased awareness about the conservation of white and blue marlin fish. Of course the continuation is the association with White vs Black Lives Matter movement.
George Lamplugh designs the t-shirts and works at a marina. He told reporters he wasn’t attempting to bring up any controversy with his shirts. He said the response was primarily positive.
“Any person who sees the shirt and sees that flag will know what it’s for,” he said.
Lamplugh said marlin conservation is an extremely critical topic within the fishing community close to the beaches.
“We’re promoting people to use circle hooks, to bring them in safely and to release them back. Marlin conservation has been going on for 100 years, and it’s an important issue,” he said.
However the NAACP disagrees,
“Worcester County NAACP president Ivory Smith tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that the shirts could be interpreted as a mockery of the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements. Those two phrases have been rallying cries following police shootings of African-Americans and shootings of police officers, respectively.
“Let me be clear, all lives do matter, whether they’re white or black, cop or civilian, fish or dog,” Smith said. “However, we’re living in a time where African-Americans are suffering from a disproportionate amount of violence, and we do need to address that.”
Ivory Smith is the local President of the NAACP. Smith argued using White Lives Matter in a different and mocking way is counter-productive to the struggle of African Americans for equal treatment under the law.
“It’s just all around a bad idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone wearing these shirts got punched in the face. It just seems like they’re trying to start a problem. That they want to spark a controversy.”
While the decision to write White Lives Matter on t-shirts seems ill-advised considering the political and social climate it doesn’t appear as though they’re purposefully starting a problem. They simply made a poor choice.