Hard to believe that Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay would get any flack for participating in a social media campaign to stand up against racism, yet Fraternal Order of Police President Howard McQuillan took offense, charging that McLay’s action is targeting the Pittsburgh police force as racist. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, McLay sent out a memo to the entire Bureau dismissing that take on the incident, saying that he is in fact committed to fighting against racism.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto lauded the Police Chief’s action, saying:
“Racism is against the law…The police chief’s job is to uphold the law. Basically, he was saying he would do all he can to make sure the law is equitably enforced in 2015. I can’t see why anybody would be upset with that.”
The Pittsburgh social justice group What’s Up?! Pittsburgh approached McLay to participate in their social media campaign to #endwhitesilence, with an aim to building the movement for racial justice. The more white people stand up for racial justice, the more conscious all citizens will become of systemic racism and how to fight it. As stated on the What’s Up?! Pittsburgh website:
Challenging racism in the workplace is not exclusive to the Pittsburgh police. We are challenging all police forces. We’re not talking about one restaurant, school, hospital, courthouse, city council, or government position; we are challenging racism in all of these spaces and institutions. It’s not about one white person, it’s about all white people fighting racism in ourselves and our communities.
Check out What’s Up?! Pittsburgh for groups combatting racism in Pittsburgh.