*The Fraternal Order of Police in Fairfax County, VA have called for a boycott of Centreville’s Cox Farms after the business posted a sign in its window supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The Cox Family, who reportedly has a history of supporting marginalized groups and equality for all people, released a lengthy Facebook post expressing surprise over the FOP’s response to the sign.
“We have always believed that we had a very positive relationship with our local police department,” the statement reads, noting that the business employs Fairfax officers for security, supports the department’s fundraising efforts and offers discounts for law enforcement families. “As a family, we believe that black lives matter, and we find it alarming that the statement incites such a backlash. Neither our sign nor the Black Lives Matter movement says that ONLY black lives matter, or that black lives matter more than anyone else, and the sign certainly doesn’t say anything about police officers.”
The police group’s original Facebook post calling for the boycott has since been deleted due to angry backlash, but it lives on through the magic of social media. Read below:
— Mola Lenghi (@MolaReports) October 15, 2015
Cox said valuing black lives and law enforcement are not mutually exclusive:
“Most of the people who are really mad about the sign are so offended because they believe the sign message is a direct attack on police officers. Yes, we have read the Black Lives Matter manifesto. From their website: ‘#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.’ That statement is absolutely in line with our family values. As a family, we are anti-racist and pro-justice. We recognize that systemic racism is real, and we embrace our roles as allies working to dismantle it.
“At this point, when completely mainstream presidential candidates openly embrace Black Lives Matter as a legitimate organization and a crucial voice in the conversation about racial justice and racism in this country, it was shocking to us to see the vitriol expressed about the sign in our family’s window. Is this some radical declaration from Cox Farms? No. Is the Cox family endorsing killing police officers? Of course not, and if you read anything from the actual organization, neither is Black Lives Matter.” (Scroll down to read the full statement.)
Cox noted that about 15 years ago, some customers were upset because Cox Farms flew rainbow flags over the hay tunnel. The flags are still there and the business has continued to grow.
“As a family, we know that when you’re on the right side of history, love wins,” the statement reads. “Right now, it means that some people in our community no longer feel comfortable supporting our business, and we respect that. We realize that some police officers no longer feel welcome at our business, and to them, we extend an invitation to dialogue with us about that, or to just come and play with their families.”
Watch a video report from WUSA9 below:
Read the Cox family’s full statement below: