Black lives matter? As ironic as it may seem, it would be cause for a great Juneteenth-like celebration if only 227 blacks were murdered by blacks annually in the United States. The annual number of blacks killed by blacks nationwide is much higher. It is close to 10,000 per year.
Black lives matter when police take them. The 227 number is the national average of police-involved fatalities of blacks. From 2017-2020, police across the country have averaged annually 227 fatal shootings of black citizens. Most justifiable. Some questionable. During that same four-year period, in Chicago alone, the fatal shootings of black residents by black residents averaged 335 per year. Again, that is the annual average of murdered blacks in just one city alone compared to the national average of black fatalities at the hand of law enforcement.
So, why is police reform at the top of America’s social and governmental agendas? When it comes to police reform, America needs to ease off the accelerator. It is a very popular cause right now to call for complete reform of law enforcement across the country. From federal to state and local jurisdictions, the police overhaul bandwagon is full as the White Sox bandwagon on Opening Day.
Yes, there is good concern for the number of preventable police shootings. Yes, citizens have a right to hold government entities accountable for their conduct. Law enforcement is no exception. However, the public oversight of police conduct has been selective at best. The major issue is the number of police-involved gun fatalities of black citizens. The public, activists, hustlers and media tend to concentrate on select police shooting incidents. In particular, almost exclusively, police shootings that involve black citizens make headlines that cause public outcry and arouse political reactions. Necessary, yes. But is it fair?
Is it fair that police shootings of black citizens receive more scrutiny than fatal shootings of non-black citizens? Is it fair that police shootings are magnified more than non-police-involved fatal shootings of black citizens? In a word, no.
If a national debate can be made for police reform because of 200-plus shooting deaths per year of blacks, why is there no debate for black reform based on the nearly 10,000 annual black murders at the hand of black shooters?
A culture that allows a minority of its members to murder innocent citizens while the majority of its good members look the other way or remain silent warrants accountability. The systemic enabling of the deliberate killing of its people is genocide. Black reform should be a higher priority.
Black reform first must include an acknowledgment by black America that it is killing its own. The KKK is not killing thousands of blacks per year. Other white supremacists are not killing thousands of blacks per year. No other US demographic is murdering blacks by the thousands annually.
Secondly, the reform can and must be carried out by black Americans. The epidemic of blacks killing blacks is a black problem. The onus is upon black America to put an end to this ethnic cleansing and stop demanding the government or the rest of America to heal the cultural ill of black America.
Thirdly, the common factors often used to justify or excuse violent behavior must be taken off the table. Poverty cannot be used to justify black murder because poverty exists in poor white communities without murder being the highest cause of death. Lack of education and health services cannot be used. Poor health and lack of education exist in poor white communities across this country. There is no comparable bloodletting.
Fourth, get rid of the notion of a black leader. If a person is not elected by the majority of the eligible constituency, he or she is not a leader. There are no white leaders. We would not stand for such. Black Reform must consist of more than public attempts to pray away the violence, march away the violence, sing away the violence or legislate away the violence.
When people are merely sad, they sit and complain and hope for change. When people are mad, they move to make change. Black America is not mad about the senseless daily killing of its innocent and young.
Less than 250 police killings of black citizens annually versus nearly 10,000 killings of black citizens by blacks annually, that’s like comparing a pimple to late-stage cancer.
Even a fifth-grader can understand that.