Tyler Perry accepted a humanitarian award at the Academy Awards last month and made a statement with his acceptance speech. “Don’t hate anybody. I refuse to hate someone because they’re Mexican or because they are Black or white,” he said.
“I refuse to hate someone because they’re a police officer or because they’re Asian.” Wait … what?
Several in the audience were not happy, and a debate popped off on social media. This isn’t the first time Perry’s had something controversial to say about policing, though.
After George Floyd’s death last year, Perry said he disagreed with the movement to reallocate police funding. In fact, he said we need MORE police, and that he has police friends who are good people.
But, what does that matter when the system itself is designed to be bad?
Refinery29 editor Kathleen Newman-Bremang said what many in the audience and at home were thinking:
“Police officers are not an oppressed group. No one 'hates' the police because of undue prejudice. It's because they engage in state-sanctioned violence against all of the groups Tyler Perry said we shouldn't hate."
Tyler Perry's speech feeds into the idea that police are an identity – and not a job, much like saying “Blue Lives Matter” in response to Black Lives Matter. It’s not "hate" when we react angrily to a system created to oppress us!