#Blacklivesmatter- but not to black people

black lives

#Blacklivesmatter is a new hashtag activism campaign that claims to be “a response to the ways in which [black] lives have been devalued.” This socially virtuous campaign has gained considerable momentum recently as the country awaited the results of the grand jury investigation into whether enough evidence existed to indict officer Darren Wilson for committing a crime- the murder of Michael Brown.

The objective of #Blacklivesmatter- as stated on at least one website associated with the campaign- “is a call to action…which Black people can unite to end state sanctioned violence both in Ferguson, but also across the United States of America.” It also “aims to end the insidious and widespread assault on Black life that pervades every stage of law enforcement interactions; be it in custody or in our communities.”

The campaign seeks to bring attention to the fact that black lives are every bit as important and worthy of respect as everyone else.

It’s a worthy goal but tragically misguided. The focus of the campaign would have much more moral authority and would be taken much more seriously if it focused on those actions that do devalue black lives- which have very little to do with white cops and everything to do with blacks themselves.

According to data collected from 1980-2008, in 2008, the homicide offender rate for blacks was almost 25 percent, seven times higher than the offending rate of whites (3.4%).   The homicide victimization rate for blacks was about six times higher than the victimization rates for whites. Blacks were also 47.4% of all homicide victims and 52.5% of all homicide offenders. During the same period, blacks accounted for 62% of all drug-related homicides compared to 37% committed by whites. Over 65% of all drug-related homicide offenders were black; whites comprised 33 percent.

Blacks were 44.1% of felony murder victims and almost 60% of felony murder offenders. For gun homicide rates, blacks were 51.4% of all victims but 56.9% of offenders. Black offenders committed 93% of all black homicides.

The FBI statistics aren’t any better. In 2012, of the 2,648 black victims of homicide, blacks were responsible for 2,412. Of the 14,581 total murder offenders that year, 5531 (38%) were black.

This qualifies as an ‘insidious and widespread assault on black life.’

The internecine war doesn’t begin here; it actually begins in the womb. As bad as black criminality is- and it’s bad- the most dangerous place for a black child isn’t the inner city or cities disproportionately populated by blacks. It’s in its mother’s womb.

According to one report, black abortions accounted for nearly 36% of all abortions performed between 2007 and 2010. The same report said blacks accounted for almost 54% (16,738) of all abortions performed in Georgia (31,244 total), even though blacks are less than a third of the population. In Mississippi, between 1995 and 2010, blacks accounted for almost 72% (39,052) of all abortions while comprising 37.4% of the population.

In a 2012, report from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more black babies were killed by abortion (31,328) than were born (24,758) in New York City, totaling 42.4% of all abortions performed. In 2010, 60% of all viable, black pregnancies in New York City ended in abortion.

The babies fortunate enough to make it out the likely unmarried mother’s womb (black illegitimacy rate is 73%) appear resolute in their intent to finish the work of killing that many black mothers began.

Furthermore, the numbers of black abortions and the numbers of black murders at the hands of other blacks, respectively, both exceed- by far- the total number of blacks killed by lynching (3446) between 1882-1968.

Black lives matter? Not only is it questionable if black lives matter to blacks themselves, one wouldn’t be wrong if one sincerely questioned the depth of self-hate responsible for motivating blacks to kill themselves off with the type of reckless determination that pervades their actions.

When you combine the numbers of black babies aborted with the numbers of black victims who die by the hands of other blacks, you see that the attack on black lives has nothing to do with racist, white cops. If we blacks don’t take our lives seriously, why should we expect- or demand- anyone else to?

Again if #blacklivesmatter- and I believe they do- then black lives have to matter to black folk first, before they matter to others. And black lives have to matter just as much when they’re taken by blacks as they seem to matter when taken by others. 

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John Lewis Likens Ferguson to Selma

john lewis

On a recent episode of the Roland Martin radio show, Representative John Lewis (D-GA) took Martin’s bait and irresponsibly compared the shooting of blacks by police officers- including Michael Brown- a “modern-day Selma.”

Think about that. Blacks being shot by police officers are equated with the March to Selma, Alabama in 1963.

For far too many blacks, it will always be the 1960’s. No matter how much visible and overtly obvious progress the country has made in overcoming racial discrimination, in the minds of still too many blacks, we still haven’t “overcome.”

And in reality, the fact that every incident involving race- no matter how peripherally- is intentionally and desperately compared with past incidents like Selma, actually proves how much of a non-factor systematic racism is in today’s America.

Back to the racial instigator- the ‘civil rights icon’, John Lewis.

Lewis told Martin-

Selma was the turning point. And I think what happened in Ferguson will be the turning point. I think people are waiting, they’re watching, and we’re gonna see within the next few days what’s going to happen — and that would be massive, nonviolent protests all over America. When we were beaten on that bridge in Selma, people couldn’t take it, for they saw it, they heard about it, they read about it, and it lit a sense of righteous indignation. When we see a miscarriage of justice in Ferguson, they’re going to have the same reaction they had towards Selma.”

“Miscarriage of justice?”

First- to say this is to suggest that Michael Brown was innocent. The information released and leaked so far indicates that Brown wasn’t the gentle giant his family and the media claimed he was, nor was Brown out “spreading the word of Jesus Christ”- a lie his cousin offered up at Brown’s funeral.

Based on the same leaked information, Michael Brown was culpable in his own death. Further- is Lewis calling for officer Darren Wilson’s indictment even if the evidence demonstrates Wilson’s innocence? Where’s the justice in that?

Were the protestors who marched in Selma, Alabama for voting rights the moral equivalent of Brown stealing a box of cigarillos and attacking a police officer?

Were those who peacefully marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge the moral equivalent to the “peaceful demonstrators” who’ve looted, damaged businesses and organized chaos in Ferguson Missouri?

Is Bloody Sunday the moral equivalent to the criminal disobedience the country has witnessed in Ferguson since August?

It’s clear that the statements of John Lewis- emblematic of the average ‘hands up don’t shoot,’ Michael Brown supporter- isn’t concerned about justice. He- along with every other person who’s emotionally involved in this case already has his or her minds made up. The narrative of ‘racist cop shoots innocent, unarmed back teen’ as proof of unending white racism can’t- and won’t- be pierced, regardless of what evidence to the contrary the grand jury reveals.

With all due respect to John Lewis and what he experienced during the actual march to Selma-including a severe head wound, engaging in emotional manipulation by racially inciting the black residents of Ferguson discredits what he and many others personally witnessed in Selma. With statements as reprehensible as these, he trivializes what Selma marchers experienced on Bloody Sunday while giving credibility to the self-destructive, anti-social behaviors of Ferguson protestors.

Disgusting.

The Stigma of Bad Black Behavior Hurts our Race

By Derryck Green

Rather than waiting until specifics about the Michael Brown case are known — such as autopsy results, detailed officer reports, toxicology or other details regarding his death — some Ferguson residents, Brown supporters and various hangers-on decided to act.

Learning nothing from the Trayvon Martin case, people took to the street with demands for “justice” and homemade protest signs. They were aided by a media seemingly excited about exploiting the narrative that Brown’s death was at the hands of a brutal and possibly racist cop in a militarized police force that cares little about black residents.

Ensuing nights after the shooting brought out the worst in people — including looting and burning businesses, vandalizing property and the likes of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson seeking to “organize” the masses.

Regardless of one’s feelings about the Brown case, there’s a need for honest reflection about the behavior of people assembling in Ferguson, Missouri.

The self-destructive and self-defeating behavior on display in Ferguson was inexcusable. It’s a disservice to residents because it takes a sympathetic, accommodating view of the anti-social, regressive behaviors present during the riots, most of which were, unfortunately, committed by blacks.

Sympathizing with looting, vandalizing, personal violence and confrontation with law enforcement essentially excuses it, which emboldens perpetrators. Furthermore, this bad behavior is at the expense of law-abiding local residents whose lives were disrupted by this turmoil — the majority of whom are black.

Aside from being disgraceful, this dysfunction has severe economic consequences for the residents of Ferguson. While vandals reveled in self-created chaos, they made the case that opening businesses there may not be worth the risk.

All this stems from moral decay. There is a noticeable absence of moral values and ethical virtues in the nation as a whole these days, but it seems more concentrated in the inner cities, which are disproportionately populated by blacks. Churches have flunked their mission. The optics are devastating as the stigma associated with these incidents of violence and unrest are projected onto blacks as a whole, unfairly defining an entire race by the misdeeds of a relative few.

Whether the disruptive behaviors witnessed in Ferguson are from locals or self-seeking opportunists from other areas is really of no consequence. Regardless of race, class or residency, people shouldn’t hesitate to condemn bad behavior. But it seems too many whites won’t publicly condemn this condemnable behavior, even though they may earnestly desire to do so. Whites appear culturally conditioned these days to withhold honest commentary and astute observations on race, particularly about blacks. Common sense has been labeled “racist” by the racial grievance industry.

Compounding the problem is that the stigmas of these disgraceful activities and inverted morality behind them are projected onto blacks as a whole and are extremely difficult to overcome. To use a sports metaphor, blacks swallowed their whistle. We’ve forfeited our obligation of self-policing and society seems far too hesitant to publicly confront the conduct undermining the reputation of a race. This stunts our socio-economic progress.

A “soft bigotry of low expectations” is created when we refuse to denounce disruptive behaviors within our own community.

We too often excuse and remove the stigma of detrimental behavior, minimizing the shame that once accompanied dysfunctional, destructive activity. Counterproductive behavior is justified as the legacy of slavery and discrimination. We act as if we are a standard unto ourselves, separate and unaccountable from what society should expect — and actually demands — from other races.

Excusing inexcusable behavior has sullied our reputation and proved to many that we’ve spent our currency as a moral, cultural and political force. The bar is set so low that many aren’t shocked by what happened in Ferguson (or in Chicago, Detroit or other places).

And on the occasions bad behavior is called out, the predictable and reflexive reaction is that such critique is racist.  Once again, the behaviors of a disproportionate few define blacks as a whole. The radicals perpetuate the very stereotypes that make them cringe.

Blacks aren’t done any favors when behaviors we’ve seen in Ferguson are excused by white enablers or black defenders. Racial solidarity and racial empathy unfortunately seem more important to these people than dealing with the overwhelming responsibility of overcoming the stigma associated with undistinguished behavior.

Blacks have a moral obligation to reclaim values and dignity worthy of respect and admiration.  It is likewise incumbent upon blacks, particularly the black middle class, to forthrightly and aggressively condemn attitudes and behaviors that thwart our progress and impugn our collective character.

This begins with public and consistent condemnation of these stigma-creating behaviors.

Project 21 New Visions Commentary