In honor of MLK day, I wanted to join my voice in echo of the current trending statement that Black Lives Matter. Yes of course all lives matter, but on a day we set aside to honor those who marched and the man who often led those marches, I felt it was fitting to give a significant nod in recognition that, perhaps more than ever the message needs to get out that, black lives matter.
I do not need to say “some of my best friends are black” in order to qualify me to speak on this subject, I have numerous nieces, nephews, and other blacks who have either been adopted or married into my extended family. My own daughter lives and serves in Tanzania populated by 99% blacks.
I believe the black community is doing a great job of getting the message out there in order to raise social awareness of the tremendous imbalance of blacks being killed in America as opposed to all other races. But for the most part that message seems to be aimed directly at white cops and the white community. It is at this point I have to bring out a few facts which might almost have the power to have MLK shouting from the grave for a whole new purpose to march.
In the last decade, statistics show that 93% of the 8-10,000 blacks killed in America each year are at the hands of other blacks. Over 52% of all murders committed in America are committed by blacks. And whereas blacks make up only around 12% of the population, approaching 40% of all babies killed each year by abortion are black. And even though over 50% of the violent crime in America is committed by blacks, whites are killed by cops at a rate that is almost twice that of blacks killed by cops. These statistics are jarring and sad, but the truth also matters.
Perhaps a far more appropriate march in support of black lives mattering would be white churches or a crowd of white cops and white communities marching in the streets of black neighborhoods carrying signs and pleading the cause that Black Lives Really Do Matter. This very white American voices his support of the value of all lives and, today, especially those who are black.
UPDATE: Sad but ironic update to this blog. Yesterday, over 3 full weeks after it happened, a video was released of a police officer shooting another black man who had his hands up. The only difference between the two most recent, and highly publicized, deaths of black criminals and this one was that it was a black officer who pulled the trigger. There were no protest, no riots, no appearance by Al S or Jesse J, no burning down businesses and perhaps most telling – no public comment by POTUS. If black lives really do matter, and of course they certainly do, then the black community needs to open their eyes to the harsh reality of their culture of ignoring black on black street violence and start working WITH the police by naming names, testifying, pointing out criminals and welcoming them into their neighborhoods. As long as the police are viewed as the enemy there will continue to be escalating tensions, blame casting and a culture of death and distrust.