WHY Black Lives Matter

July 10, 2016

There is dire need for a fundamental perspective around the concept of WHY Black Lives Matter (BLM).  

 

In recent reports, two Black men, Alton Sterling of Louisiana, and Philandro Castile, of Minneapolis, were gunned down by police officers. In both murders, it appeared neither posed a weapons threat toward police officers.  However, the first line of defense in law enforcement seems to be shoot to kill, not wound, not incapacitate, just kill unarmed Black men.  

 

The media narrative follows, immediately labeling the victims thugs, gangsters, or it scrounges to dig up past offenses - an effort to desensitize the nature of the crime, and vilify the victims. Too often it works.

 

Unfortunately, following the murders of Sterling and Castillo, a sniper (not affiliated with BLM) opened fire during a Dallas, Texas protest killing 5 police officers, and wounding 7 others.  Immediately there was an outcry of injustice. Hence their lives had value, they mattered.  

 

Segueing into the premise of WHY Black Lives Matters

 

Black men murdered by police officers are dehumanized and vilified. No mention of being fathers, sons, brothers, and certainly no mention of them being NOT GUILTY of a crime -partly due to the media controlled narrative that immediately paints a picture of victims as thug-criminals with a "history of violence". 

 

Police officers murdered:  "It's horrible, those men had families." 

 

Was it not just as horrible that two (Black) men and countless others gunned down in cold blood and deprived of their American liberties were taken away from their families, especially their children?  Black Lives Matter.  

 

If the desensitized society continues to dismiss Black Lives Matters as a militant, divisive campaign, their reaction to police violence against unarmed Black men will be viewed as just another routine killing in America that does not matter because he was a person of color and must have been doing something to provoke his murder, or resisted unlawful arrest, or asked an officer: Why are you harassing me? Why am I being pulled over? Or because he ran away to spare his life and lost it anyway with a bullet in his head, back, or spine.  

 

When I say Black Lives Matter, it does not imply that other lives do not.  It certainly does not invite the counter rhetoric: "But...Black people kill each other."  There is intra-race violence in ALL demographics.  There is cross-over violence that occurs in ALL demographics. Following on with examples of recent American massacres: Orlando Pulse Club, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, South Carolina, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School in CT.

 

Lamenting that Blacks kill Blacks is a reckless narrative that justifies injustice, deflects and distracts from the imbalanced justice system.  It also undermines the notion that Black people are entitled to equality and equity in America.  

 

Lack of police accountability for their actions outside the scope of protocol, and disenfranchising socioeconomic, educational, health, housing, political and legal RIGHTS of Black people, directly impacts the overall well being of the Black community and its ability to sustain and survive in a country divided seemingly into two Americas.  

 

If Black lives and their constitutional rights are devalued and/or dismissed by a desensitized society, then by default, ALL LIVES CANNOT MATTER if Black lives are intentionally not factored into the liberty and justice for all equation.  

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