Sunday, October 17, 2021

All Black Lives Matter

BLM founders Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors (Adweek)
The noise seems to have quieted down. But the controversy remains. The issue is racism. Is this country racist at the core?  Is there systemic racism in this country?  Are white police racist at the core? Is every black person automatically at a disadvantage because of the color of his skin?  Are black people more likely to be killed by police than white people? 

These are all legitimate questions the response to which depends on the political orientation of the respondent. The more liberal the more one will focus on the harassment of black people by the police.  The more one will see the black community at a total disadvantage. The more guilt there will be about how badly black people were and are still treated.

Are they right?

Well… yes and no. Yes, racism exists in this country.  Some of it overt. Some of it is subtle. And some of it might even be subliminal. One would have to be willfully blind not to see it. It’s probably true that black people get shot by police in greater proportion than do white people. But is that due to racism? 

Let us take a closer look. While some of that might be do to racism, that black people get shot more than white people is mostly because it is in poor black neighborhoods where crimes are committed. It is in those neighborhoods that criminals live (usually in the form of violent black gangs).

This is not to cast aspersions on black people. They are not genetically more inclined to be criminals. That would be a completely racist belief. It is merely to point out a fact. 

Why that is the case may very well be a product of past racism that has held black people back from getting an education that would enable them to get good jobs. That has contributed generationally to underclass of black people who have little to no formal education. And an illiteracy that breeds poverty  which then breeds crime. 

To be sure there are plenty of black people that have risen above their impoverished backgrounds and have succeeded wildly in all fields. They are highly respected by their colleagues. But that does not mean that everyone raised under those conditions can overcome them.  Even in cases where their parents try to impart ethical and moral values, sometimes the sheer crush of poverty will lead them to seek crime as a way out of it - leaving behind any ethics and morals their parents tried to impart. 

That has to be addressed. But wherever the fault may lie, it does not diminish the fact that those areas are high crime areas. 

The liberal Orthodoxy of movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM) focuses only on police shootings of black people which they blame on systemic racism. That does a disservice to the black community as a whole and in my view does more harm than good. Besides, the fact that big city police departments have a large contingency of black cops makes that premise questionable at best.

It is mostly because of the high crime and large number of criminal gangs that a higher percentage of black suspects are killed. But more importantly there are more innocent black people being killed by gangs than there are by police. Probably by orders of magnitude.

Chicago is the prime example of this very sad phenomenon. We probably have more shootings here than any other major city. This has been true for a long time. But they are mostly confined to the poor black  neighborhoods of the South Side and West Side. That is where violent black gangs reign supreme. And for practical purposes - do so with impunity.

Just about every day, the local media here reports of yet another innocent black child being shot in a drive by shooting. Always as an unintended victim of one gang trying to kill members of a rival gang. Every day, I witness on the late night news yet another black parent crying over the loss of a child in a drive by shooting.

I don’t know anybody that does not have heartfelt sympathy for the black parents that suffer a loss of a child in a drive-by shooting.

True the mainstream liberal media does not ignore this. But at the same time their rhetoric rarely addresses this as a primary issue for society. Their editorial focus is almost exclusively based on BLM rhetoric about the systemic racism in police departments. Drive by shootings of black children are virtually ignored in their editorial policy.

The oft heard BLM solution?  Police need to be replaced by social workers that can better size up a situation and prevent yet another black man being killed by a racist cop. Who sees every black suspect as guilty of whatever crime they are chasing down. As though that is going to stop gangs from shooting members of rival gangs.

What about those innocent children being killed in drive by shootings? 

What drive by shootings?!

Makes me wonder how the actual residents of these neighborhoods feel. My guess is that they are more worried about their child being the next victim than they are about a cop coming into their neighborhood and shooting an innocent black man. 

Does any sane person think these people want less of a police presence in their neighborhoods? My guess is the opposite is true. They probably want more of a police presence. If that is true, I agree with them.

But that is clearly not enough. The liberal justice system that seems to have more sympathy for violent gang members arrested as suspects in a violent crime than they do for their innocent victims.

It is time for the judicial system here in Chicago keep gang members arrested for crimes committed with a gun in jail until ta trial - instead of letting them go on their own recognizance. And if they are convicted, they ought to be given more than a slap on the wrist. They need to spend substantial time in prison for any crime committed with a gun. I don’t care what color they are. Justice must be blind – and not favor an underprivileged class even if they have legitimate grievances . Because all that does is cause more death and sorrow.

It should also be noted that there is a plus side for black people today. For the most part there is no racism against black high achievers. There are a great many black people of high achievement in all areas of society that are respected by their white colleagues. (Yes, there are exceptions – there are always exceptions.) Interracial marriage is common and has become quite mainstream. The idea that racism exists at every level of society ought to be put to bed. Where it exists, it must be corrected. But where it doesn’t –it ought not be claimed that it does.