BY: DYLAN YOUNG, CONTRIBUTOR
Black lives matter.
Now who would disagree with that statement? Is there honestly any belief that black lives don’t matter? I’m not going to simply say that “black lives matter” should really be “all lives matter,” as that would be missing the point entirely. In theory, the aim of the Black Lives Matter movement has been to express that black lives matter also, not to say that only black lives matter.
The Black Lives Matter movement began in the summer of 2013 as a hashtag trend on twitter after the killing of Trayvon Martin, but has since evolved to showcase flawed and few cases of alleged police brutality; Instances like the Michael Brown and Alton Sterling shootings, where both “victims” had extensive violent criminal records were completely justified by the Department of Justice.
What Black Lives Matter supporters and I disagree with, is the way to solve the root cause of racial disparities in this country. It is my opinion that unity will not be achieved by demonizing and undermining our institutions, but rather by supporting crime prevention and education within disenfranchised communities that face hardship. Now, I’d like to define exactly what it is Black Lives Matter stands for, as according to their own website.
“We are an intervention in a world where black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. [We are] resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”
They also say that they wish to uproot the “Western prescribed nuclear family,” stating that rather than having two parent families we should have a network of tribal villages. Black Lives matter, above all, has touted the abusive and demonic institution of our police force that leads an open season of hunting blacks in America. This belief has been at the core of the Black Lives Matter movement and continually fails to be factually justified in any manner.
Census Bureau statistics show that an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed African American getting killed by a cop. So right there, the narrative that blacks are being hunted by cops is de-legitimized. Furthermore, unarmed black male victims of police shootings in 2015 amounted to a per capita rate of 0.0000018 unarmed fatalities by police. The rate of officers being killed is 45 times the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. A study conducted by Washington State University concluded that officers were three times less likely to fire at unarmed black men than at unarmed white men. Clearly here, the rampant police brutality Black Lives Matter talks about is all but a phenomenon in reality. When police brutality does occur and there are racist cops that kill innocent African Americans, we ought to stand by the families of those innocent people, but that does not mean there is an institutional issue of racist police officers.
What statistics show is that black on black crime is the real issue that plagues the safety of African American communities. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 93 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other African Americans who commit violent crimes at a rate of 7 to 10 times that of white people. According to FBI data, 4,906 black people were murdered by other blacks in 2010 and 2011. To put that into perspective, that is 1,460 more black Americans killed by other blacks in two years than were lynched from 1882 to 1968. This reality has been all but ignored by the Black Lives Matter movement, while they blame police brutality as the reason why many African American communities are unsafe in America.
What Black Lives Matter supporters often cite as institutional racism is the disproportionate representation of blacks in the criminal justice system. Now, this issue isn’t because the police over-arrest blacks, but rather because blacks commit disproportionately more crimes in America. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks committed 52 percent of homicides between 1980 and 2008, despite composing just 13 percent of the population. In Chicago, blacks committed 76 percent of all homicides, despite composing 35 percent of the city’s population. Blacks are 10 percent of the population in LA, but commit 42 percent of its robberies and 34 percent of its felonies. In New York City, blacks committed 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime, despite only composing 23 percent of the population. Additionally, in 2009, “blacks committed 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 largest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties.”
The notion that police over-arrest African Americans is actually quite the opposite. When you add up the percentage of crimes in all categories, the African American arrest rate is 14% lower than the percentage of blacks identified by witnesses as perpetrators. Even looking at the alleged racial disparity in prison sentencing, criminologist Alfred Blumstein determined that “blacks were significantly underrepresented in prison compared with their presence in the arrest data.” The sentencing issue is even further dispelled when context is provided for those imprisoned for drug offenses, such as blacks harshly legislating against specific drugs like cocaine that plague their communities.
After leading 1,892 protests and riots, Black Lives Matter has failed to achieve anything positive, but rather has set forth two major harmful impacts on our society.
Firstly, the movement has divided people along racial lines. The constant outcry against racism only perpetuates discrimination in our society. The simple fact is that the people who protest “institutional racism” are only making racism out to be a greater issue than it actually is. In the United States, every American regardless of their color is able to pursue their dream and work towards their socioeconomic goals accordingly, free from the constraints of discrimination due to the legal doctrines that protect them from said behavior. Now, I am not denying that there are individuals in the United States whom have racist thoughts or have commit racist actions. However, the entire narrative that Black Lives Matter is built on is that American institutions are systematically racist, which completely refuses to acknowledge the successes of the civil rights movement under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that resulted in legal action to rectify discrimination.
When in America, our first African-American president was elected to the highest office in the nation twice, when underrepresented minority status on any kind of application is a blessing rather than a burden, and when white kids of our generation outnumber black kids as fans of African-American rap artists – are you really convinced that today, we live in a systemically racist society plagued with white supremacy?
Secondly, Black Lives Matter’s call for the destruction of the “western procured nuclear family” will only expand the cycle of poverty that single-parent families trap African-American children in; Two out of three children in African-American single parent families live in poverty, making those children far more likely to drop out of school and be ensnared in crime. As economist Thomas Sowell points out, before the 1960s “most black children were raised in two-parent families.” During this same time period black crime rates were lower even though black poverty was higher and racial discrimination was rampant and legal. In 2013 however, over 72 percent of blacks were born out of wedlock. The only way to solve for the disproportionate amount of crime and poverty in black communities is through rebuilding family structures to support two parent families, something Black Lives Matter is diametrically opposed to.
Thirdly, the movement has repeatedly called for reduced spending on law enforcement across all levels of government. This cry for lawlessness would only result in less black lives, as the only true way to protect black Americans is by increasing law enforcement to prevent the rampant black on black murder that constitutes the leading cause of death for African-American males ages 15-34. Crime and poverty aren’t going to fix themselves with less police enforcement, but for some reason Black Lives Matter is committed to making less safe black communities a reality.
The Simple truth about Black Lives Matter is that it is a movement with a good name that very inaccurately expresses what the movement really stands for. Black Lives Matter is a movement built on lies and a false narrative that has been used to play into the hearts of liberal-minded Americans and distract them from realizing the true issue within black communities. The factually accurate issue at hand has been the breakdown of families and single motherhood that results in a disproportionate representation of African Americans in the criminal justice system. It isn’t something outrageous to target the root issue, rather than follow a false emotional play that further divides Americans along racial lines. Now it is really important that we, as humans, rather than blacks or whites or any other color, see each other as people and individuals first. Furthermore, we need to come together in pursuit of helping one another solve the real issues that impact our communities, rather than rally around morally charged social media trends with a blank and misguided purpose.
Leave a comment down below of what you think about BLM.
Photo Credit: The Odyssey Online