The steering committee of Miami University’s JANUS Forum will host two speakers who will discuss the mounting conflict between the #blacklivesmatter and #bluelivesmatter movements at 6 p.m. this Thursday in the Farmer School of Business’s Taylor Auditorium.
The event was originally scheduled earlier this month and was set to feature political commentator Heather Mac Donald and documentary filmmaker Dawn Porter. However, due to illness, the event was postponed. In Porter’s place, former governor of Maryland and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley will be speaking.
The Black Lives Matter movement, is “a national organization working for the validity of black life,” and that actively works to “(re)build” the Black Liberation movement, according to their website.
The Blue Lives Matter movement “[seeks] to honor and recognize the actions of law enforcement,”according to their website. Additionally, they endeavor to “strengthen public support and provide much-needed resources” to those in law-enforcement and their families.
This semester’s JANUS Forum will spark dialogue between two controversial figures. Heather Mac Donald has been outspoken on the Black Lives Matter movement since the riots in Ferguson, during which she described a “Ferguson effect.” O’Malley, representing the Black Lives Matter side, served as Maryland’s governor during the riots in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015. O’Malley was criticized for saying “All lives matter” in 2015, but he later apologized and has since came out in support of Black Lives Matter.
Someone marked their distaste for the two speakers on a flyer of the event posted outside the Armstrong Student Center. Both pictures of the speakers were crossed out; “NO!” was scribbled by MacDonald’s photo; and “NO FASCIST POLICE STATE” was scribbled by O’Malley’s photo.
Mac Donald, a conservative political commentator and journalist, will represent the perspective of pro-proactive policing. She is a Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank, and serves as an editor for the Manhattan Institute’s quarterly magazine, the City Journal.
Mac Donald has been granted numerous awards for her journalistic coverage of contentious topics like immigration reform and crime prevention, namely the Civilian Valor Award from the New Jersey State Law Enforcement Officers and the Quill & Badge Award for Excellence in Communication from the International Union of Police Associations.
Time Magazine credited O’Malley as “one of America’s top five big city mayors” during his 1999-2007 stint as mayor for the greatly reduced crime rate in Baltimore. During his tenure as Maryland’s governor, O’Malley legalized marriage equality, passed the DREAM ACT to promote college education to more local adolescents and ended the death penalty in his state.
Janus Forum attendees are encouraged to tweet questions for the speakers during the forum with the hashtag #janusmiamioh.
The event will is open to the public and will be followed by a reception in FSB.