It was a major news story when in 2015 the Supreme Court passed an unconstitutional law that forced “gay marriage” onto the entire nation, after years of the majority of states expressing their wishes to not allow the sanctity of marriage to be violated. In “celebration” of this act, the Obama administration had the White House lit up in a rainbow pattern. This drew some criticism from different groups when the administration showed a hard refusal to make similar displays of solidarity for other causes.
This will not be the last time that the White House will be lit up. It has been recently announced that the Trump administration will light up the White House again, this time not for a celebration of homosexuality or other health issues. Instead, the White House will be lit up blue to bestow honor on police officers with a newly proclaimed “Peace Officer Memorial Day” which will herald “Police Week.” During this Peace Officer Memorial Day, in addition to the White House lighting being blue, the flags will be at half-mast in honor of fallen police officers. The announcement also mentioned the worrying increase of police officers who have died in malicious attacks. There has been an increase of 40% from the last year.
It is apparent that the Trump administration has made itself a stark comparison to the previous administration in their relationship with law enforcement. Where the Obama administration saw law enforcement as forces of “racism” and a necessary evil that they were loathed to interact with beyond indictments and antagonistic thinly veiled insults; the Trump administration has set itself up to be partners with law enforcement and support one another. Seen in the previously mentioned National Police Week and the honor of lighting the White House blue for the officers, but also seen in the day to day speeches and activity of the Trump administration. Trump often makes reference to the work of the police officers and his support of them. The 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service was participated in and streamed by President Trump’s official Facebook account.
Many countries showed solidarity with France after it was the victim of a major terrorist attack in 2016. There were calls for the White House to make a similar showing but there was no response from the Obama administration. Another case was when a Black Lives Matter extremist went on a killing spree in Dallas, Texas killing five officers and wounding nine others, as well as wounding two civilians, which made it the deadliest encounter for US law enforcement since 9/11. Advocates for police officers demanded that the administration some show of respect for the police in order to discourage more attacks against officers. Obama, rather than making any show of solidarity with police, however, instead invited Black Lives Matters speakers to make a speech at the White House which was seen as openly antagonistic and disrespectful to both the fallen police officers and their surviving comrades.
That was just one of many instances when President Obama and his administration were seen as being antagonistic towards law enforcement officers. It became a commonplace occurrence for the Obama administration to make speeches in which they indicted the police force as a whole was a form of “racism”.
The White House was again lit up by the Obama administration the next year with pink lighting for Breast Cancer Awareness month and once more for a health related issue in April by the Trump administration with a blue light for World Autism Awareness Day. Both were relatively small events that were not noticed by many and generally praised by those that were aware.
Unsurprisingly, the police officer’s have been receptive to the support that they are receiving that was unheard of during the Obama administration. Joe Imperatrice, the founder of the Blue Lives Matter NYC group, when speaking with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on topics such as the National Police Week for 2017 and other relevant topics to law enforcement was quoted as saying “Absolutely, it’s an A-plus. They’re not afraid to go out there and let police officers know… President Trump was elected maybe a few minutes and in his opening speech he came out there and thanked those people.”