Thursday, 08 September 2016

Making Black Lives Matter

Written by  C. Mitchell Shaw

While the Black Lives Matter (BLM) crowd insists that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” includes the silent and implied “Too,” as in “Black Lives Matter, Too,” the reality is that it actually includes the silent and implied “Some,” as in “Some Black Lives Matter.”

The basic premise of the BLM narrative is that racist white cops who systematically and routinely target black men for violence and murder are the single greatest threat to black men. That narrative, though — like so many others — is predicated on a lie that is designed to hide a simple truth. That truth, if the numbers are allowed to speak for themselves, is that black men are themselves the single greatest threat to black men. Before this writer is accused of racism, I did not say that. A black man did. That black man is Jay Stalien, a police officer in Palm Beach County, Florida. In a viral Facebook post, Stalien made the salient point that crime statistics tell a very different story than that which is put forth by the BLM crowd.

Because, as Stalien said, both his experience and his research — begun in an effort to make sense of his experience — convinced him that

Black Lives do not matter to most black people. Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter. The other thousands of lives lost, the other black souls that I along with every cop, have seen taken at the hands of other blacks, do not matter. Their deaths are unnoticed, accepted as the “norm,” and swept underneath the rug by the very people who claim and post “black lives matter.”

Stalien said he began his career as a police officer because — growing up seeing black-on-black crime as the norm — he “wanted to help stop the bloodshed.” He wrote:

I wanted to help my community and stop watching the blood of African Americans spilled on the street at the hands of a fellow black man. I became a cop because black lives in my community, along with ALL lives, mattered to me, and wanted to help stop the bloodshed.

As he — along with other police officers — worked to defend the idea that “black lives matter,” he saw that black lives do not matter enough to enough black people themselves. For instance, when — as is disproportionately the case — a black man was killed by another black man, the same people who yell and scream that “Black Lives Matter” flatly refused to help the police solve the murder:

I remember the countless times I stood 2 inches from a young black man, around my age, laying on his back, gasping for air as blood filled his lungs. I remember them bleeding profusely with the unforgettable smell of deoxygenated dark red blood in the air, as it leaked from the bullet holes in his body on to the hot sidewalk on a summer day. I remember the countless family members who attacked me, spit on me, cursed me out, as I put up crime scene tape to cordon off the crime scene, yelling and screaming out of pain and anger at the sight of their loved ones taking their last breath. I never took it personally, I knew they were hurting. I remember the countless times I had to order new uniforms, because the ones I had on, were bloody from the blood of another black victim ... of black on black crime. I remember the countless times I got back in my patrol car, distraught after having watched another black male die in front me, having to start my preliminary report something like this:

Suspect- Black/Male, Victim- Black/Male.

I remember the countless times I canvassed the area afterwards, and asked everyone “did you see who did it,” and the popular response from the very same family members was always, “F**k the Police, I ain’t no snitch, I’m gonna take care of this myself.” This happened every single time, every single homicide, black on black, and then my realization became clearer.

In a YouTube interview, Stalien says that he was being literal when he said “every single time, every single homicide, black on black” he worked, the people who could have helped the police solve the murder refused to do so. His use of the word “countless” is figurative, because in that same interview, he pointed out that “Baltimore had 344 homicides in 2015” and that “900 people were shot in Baltimore” that same year. But because black people refuse to help the police, “not many” of those crimes were solved.

Is BLM’s Beef Legitimate?

So Stalien decided to drill down into the data and try to make sense of why the very people he was trying to help “hated cops.” His research led him to a study of crime statistics by University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson in which Professor Johnson examined the most recent data available from the FBI and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The findings of that study unravel the threads of the Black Lives Matter mantra and reveal that black men kill other black men at a rate 40 times greater than do police officers.

As Michele Hickford wrote for the website of Allen West:

On average, 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012, according to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports. Using FBI and CDC statistics, Professor Johnson calculates that 112 black men, on average, suffered both justified and unjustified police-involved deaths annually during this period.

If black lives mattered to Black Lives Matter, that 40-to-1 death ratio would demand both their focus and their attention. Instead, BLM focuses on the comparably small number of black homicides that it can blame on police officers, especially white officers, while ignoring the lion’s share that is committed by black men. The inescapable conclusion is that Officer Jay Stalien is correct when he says, “Black Lives do not matter to most black people.” Given the choice between taking personal responsibility and working to correct the underlying problems in their own communities on one hand and blaming white people and cops on the other hand, BLM has taken the path of least resistance — and least effectiveness.

By blaming the deaths of black men on racism, BLM has not only dodged the responsibility of doing something to make black lives better, it has actually aided and abetted the conditions that lead to the deaths of nearly 5,000 black men a year at the hands of other black men. And by targeting police, BLM is endangering the one group of men and women who routinely put their own lives on the line to prove that “black lives matter.” It takes little imagination to predict the outcome in these crime-ravaged, lethal neighborhoods if the police who lay their lives on the line to protect them continue to be hamstrung. In the absence of police, those inner-city ghettos would quickly go from bad to worse.

And yet, while police officers of every color risk their safety — and their lives — to take dangerous criminals off the streets in the inner city, the BLM crowd misses no opportunity to attack police and defend the very criminals who have terrorized black lives.

Time and again BLM has seized upon the deaths of dangerous criminals to foment violence and destruction. Recent examples include Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Sylville Smith in Milwaukee. In both cases, black men were armed, were in the process of committing crimes, refused to obey lawful orders from police, and attempted to use their weapons on police. In both cases, police officers shot and killed the criminals. In both cases, BLM used the deaths of dangerous criminals as a pretext for violence while shouting “Black Lives Matter!”

In the wake of Sterling’s death, five police officers were killed and another seven injured in an ambush at a BLM rally in Dallas. Days later, three officers in Baton Rouge were killed and three others injured in another ambush likely instigated by the rhetoric of BLM.

In the hours and days following the death of Smith, who, incidentally, was shot by a black police officer, Milwaukee erupted into the requisite rioting and looting that has become the hallmark of lawlessness so common in the inner cities of America. Businesses and cars were burned, police officers and random white people were attacked, stores were looted, and at least one person was shot before some semblance of order was restored. While the rhetoric and instigation of BLM helped fan the flames of violence and destruction, BLM was conspicuously silent when it came to calls for ending the riots in Milwaukee.

In fact, Milwaukee Alderman Khalif Rainey parroted the BLM party line that the violence and destruction in his city was a legitimate reaction to white “oppression” and issued a not-so-veiled threat that more violence and destruction would follow unless that “oppression” ended, saying:

You’re one day away. The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They’re tired of living under this oppression. This is their existence. This is their life. This is the life of their children.

Rectify this immediately. Because if you don’t, this vision of downtown, all of that, you’re one day away. You’re one day away.

Results of Racism?

The message is clear: When a cop — white, black, or whatever — shoots an armed and dangerous black criminal, racism must be at the root of it. Violence, destruction, and looting are seen as legitimate ways to protest the “racism” blamed for holding black people down.

But history shows that racism doesn’t hold black people down. As Steve Byas wrote for the The New American in an article published in our September 21, 2015 issue:

Upon the abolition of chattel slavery, accomplished by the 13th Amendment in 1865, emancipated blacks had limited skills; were without homes, savings, and education; and were often victimized by overt discrimination. Despite the legacy of slavery, with its dehumanizing effects, and the prospect of intense hostility on the part of much of the surrounding majority white population, blacks persevered over the next several decades, making steady progress. This progress was accomplished not only without governmental aid, but in spite of government, with its multiple legal roadblocks.

As George Mason University economist and best-selling author Walter E. Williams has said, “There is no question, though it’s not acknowledged enough, that black Americans have made greater gains, over some of the highest hurdles and in a very short span of time, than any other racial group in mankind’s history.”

If that is so — and it is — then racism is incapable of holding black people down. Evidence of that is easy to find. Not only is a black man sitting in the Oval Office, but blacks hold power in cities all across America. That would never happen in a world where racism was holding black people down. White racists with power to hold people down don’t elect blacks to positions of authority and power. Since it is obvious that racism was more rampant — and more violent — in those former times when blacks were making such incredible strides, the questions need to be asked: Why not progress now? What happened? Williams aptly lays the blame at the feet of the welfare state, writing in an article entitled “Black People Duped,” “The black family managed to survive several centuries of slavery and generations of the harshest racism and Jim Crow, to ultimately become destroyed by the welfare state.”

The modern disintegration of the black family has reversed most — if not all — of the “greater gains” referred to by Williams in the quote above. For instance, as The New American’s Kurt Williamsen pointed out in our December 2, 2013 issue, between the 1920s and the mid 1960s, the rate of blacks in America with at least four years of college had risen from a paltry one-tenth of one percent to 4.7 percent, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education and the U.S. Census Bureau. That means that in 1965, the college graduation levels of blacks was nearly half that of whites. And while in 2008 the number of blacks in America with college degrees had risen to about two-thirds that of whites, there are a couple of important facts that need to be considered before those numbers appear to be an improvement. (1) A disproportionate number of blacks in America with college degrees today are either immigrants from Africa or the West Indies or their children. (2) In the 25 years between 1940 and 1965, the number of blacks in America with college degrees had risen from less than a quarter that of whites to almost half that of whites. If that trend had continued, it is reasonable to conclude that blacks born in America would likely have graduation levels equal to or greater than whites born in America. Instead, the numbers — when immigrants and their children are removed from the equation (and not allowed to artificially skew the numbers) — show that the gap is wider than it was before all of the government “programs” for black Americans. Since education is a major key to prosperity, a lack of it is a path to poverty.

And while blacks are in positions of authority and power in cities all across America, those cities are unfortunately controlled and held down by the same liberal politics that are also to blame for the crime and poverty many blacks know as their only reality. As Williams wrote recently:

Among the nation’s most dangerous cities are Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Memphis, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark, Cleveland and Philadelphia. These once-thriving cities are in steep decline. What these cities have in common is that they have large black populations. Also, they have been run by Democrats for nearly a half-century, with blacks having significant political power. Other characteristics these cities share are poorly performing and unsafe schools, poor-quality city services, and declining populations.

Williams is not the only black man with the courage to say that. In the wake of the riots in his city, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke wrote in an editorial piece for The Hill:

Here are the facts: Milwaukee is run by progressive Democrats. Their decades-long Democrat regime has done nothing to reduce these urban pathologies, in fact, their strategies have exacerbated the situation by expanding the welfare state.

That things have not improved and in fact worsened in the American ghetto after eight years of Barack Obama is remarkable only to those who have not been paying attention to our nation’s cities.

Clarke went on to say that the blacks in Milwaukee who have drunk deeply at the poisoned well of BLM “are the ones lied to, exploited by and ultimately manipulated by the Democrats who claim to care.” He added, “They are victims of the Left, but they are not without blame. It’s time for them to remember their own humanity, their own dignity, and to fight for that return to the American Dream that the Left would withhold from them.”

Jesse Lee Peterson, president and founder of BOND (Brotherhood Of a New Destiny) — a nationwide organization dedicated to “rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man” — agrees. BOND has never asked for or received any government funding because it is convinced that organizations and individuals are able to do what needs to be done without either government assistance or government involvement. Peterson told The New American that “racism is a lie used by the race-hustlers to intimidate white people and keep blacks angry and under their control so that they [the race-hustlers] can gain power and wealth.” He said that the anger of black people causes them to feel victimized by whites and “that is why white people can never, ever prove they are not racist. Because when a person is angry at you — and blacks have been made to be angry at white people — you can’t convince them that they are wrong.”

As to the underlying reason for black anger, Peterson says, “Blacks are angry first due to the failing of their fathers for not being there.” And there is the rub: The welfare state has created an environment where black mothers receive “benefits” for having children but not having a husband. And it is a self-perpetuating cycle. Boys who grow up without fathers and who are taught to be angry at “racist white America” grow up to be “fathers” who are absent while their children are raised by angry mothers who receive government “benefits,” and the cycle of poverty and anger starts all over again. As Peterson said, “When you are angry, it’s easy to believe a lie, and the one who caused you to believe the lie controls you.”

Peterson goes so far as to say, “When someone says, ‘I don’t like black people’ they are not talking about the skin color; they are talking about the actions or the lack of character of that person.” And while this writer’s experience growing up in the deep South leads him to believe that there certainly are people who dislike others based on only the color of their skin, Peterson makes a good point. According to Peterson, the issue is not racism; it is a culture of violence and death. When a person of any color has been conditioned — either by indoctrination or experience — to distrust others of a different hue, the underlying issue is actually not color, but culture.

Culture, Not Color

So if racism is a lie used to control people and is incapable of holding black people down, and if the problem is culture, not race, then why does BLM not focus on the cultural issues instead of fanning the racial flames? In a word, power.

BLM is controlling people by employing a common tactic of subversives: divide and conquer. By drawing the battle lines along racial lines, the “leaders” (read “agitators”) of the movement have largely succeeded in blurring the fact that this issue is not about race; it is about culture, or as Peterson put it, “the actions or the lack of character of that person.”

Racism is wrong precisely because it is a form of collectivism that fails to see individuals and instead sees everyone as part of one racial group or another. Building on that error, it then assumes that some races are inferior and some races are superior. That error has led to racial strife. The truth is that all races, like all individuals, are created equal. The same is not true of cultures.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “culture” as “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.” So culture is about behavior, customs, and beliefs, not color. A person born into a particular culture may choose to live by the norms and mores of a higher or lower culture. One can “switch” cultures; one cannot “switch” races. Race and culture — while often seen as related — are separate things.

Any examination of different cultures will reveal — to the honest observer — that some cultures are better than others. Some cultures have built civilization, while others have destroyed civilization. Some cultures have fostered a sense of society, while others have torn down that sense of society. Some cultures elevate a sense of duty to others over selfish pleasures, while others posit that “self” is greater than “other.” Some cultures consider the mental and spiritual to be more worthy than the merely physical and sensual. Some cultures value human life, while others do not.

What is typically classified as “black” America is marked by a culture of destruction, degradation, selfishness, sensuality, and death. It is culture that is committing cultural suicide and murder as it destroys itself and everything around it. Of course, this was not always the case. As “black culture” has moved away from strong two-parent families with the advent of the welfare state, those values and mores that made their communities strong have slipped away, leaving a disintegrated culture in their absence. As such, the problem is not black culture itself, but the disintegration of black culture. Any culture made up of any racial group would suffer the same fate if high divorce rates, high illegitimate birth rates, low graduation rates, and abandonment of traditional values became the norm and were rewarded by more and more government “benefits” designed to take away initiative and hold people in perpetual poverty and slavery.

Of course BLM ignores all of this because it does not fit the narrative of “Black Lives Matter.” To face those facts head-on would require BLM to ask — and answer — some very difficult questions.

One question is, “Why is crime — including and especially violent crime — exponentially higher in black neighborhoods?” Because the damnable reality is that data from crime statistics show that blacks — who accounted for 15 percent of the population in America’s 75 largest counties in 2009 — were responsible for 62 percent of the robberies, 57 percent of the murders, and 45 percent of the assaults in those counties that year, and things are only getting worse. Those numbers hold true across the country. Furthermore, according to FBI crime statistics, between 1980 and 2008, in 93 percent of the murders of black victims, the murderer is also black, confirming Officer Stalien’s observations.

Another question the BLM crowd should quit dodging and start answering if it wants the “Black Lives Matter” mantra to mean anything is, “Why do young black men have such low graduation rates from high school — not to mention college?” Since an education is an almost universal prerequisite to any hope of financial stability, the failure of so many young black men to stay in school perpetuates the cycle of poverty for which whites are blamed. But whites aren’t the ones making the decision for young black men to drop out of school; young black men are.

Perhaps the most important question BLM should be asking and answering is, “Why is an intact black family almost an anomaly in the inner city?” Nearly 75 percent of black children are born to single mothers. Many of them will never meet the man who sired them. This is nearly a complete reversal from the late 1950s when, as Walter Williams notes, 82 percent of black families had both a mother and a father in the home. Since the surest way to destroy a society is to destroy the family — which is the building block of any society — and the surest way to destroy the family is to take men out of the picture, BLM should be advocating for intact families instead of demanding more welfare “benefits” and government programs. As Peterson told The New American, “The man — as the spiritual head of the family — brings love, spiritual guidance, life, and authority into the home. He represents Christ in the home. And even if he is a weak man, he still represents Christ, he just does a weak job of it. But when the man is removed from the home, you take away the love, the guidance, the life, and the authority. And that is what has happened in the black community.” As goes the man, so goes the family. As goes the family, so goes the society.

These questions are at the heart of the struggle in “black” America. There are only three possible answers to these — and similar — questions: (1) The white supremacist claim that black people are genetically inferior to white people, (2) the politically correct claim that black people are being held down by the white man, and (3) the recognition that it has nothing to do with color and everything to do with culture. As this writer illustrated in an online article, there are “millions of hard-working, educated black people who have prospered and made something of their lives. Among them are millionaires and businesses owners and doctors and lawyers and congressmen and senators and governors and even a president.” These facts remove the illusion of the legitimacy of answers (1) and (2), leaving the fact that the culprit is culture, not color.

Physician, Heal Thyself

This leads to a few additional questions the BLM crowd needs to consider before they block another highway, burn down another business, incite the murder of another police officer, or continue to espouse their ignorant racism against “white folks” while blaming everyone but themselves for their woes.

If “Black Lives Matter” to them:

• Why do they not focus on the root problems of their own black communities? Since broken families, black-on-black crime, a lack of education, and self-imposed cycles of poverty are the core of most — if not all — of the problems in black communities, wouldn’t it make sense to address those problems instead of blaming whites and cops for them?

• Why are they not marching in the streets to encourage black men to marry the women with whom they intend to sire children? Why are they not holding protests and demonstrations demanding that those same men become good husbands and fathers, rather than running out on those women and children, leaving them to go from one state of poverty to an even worse state of poverty? Why not encourage black women to practice abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage to avoid the cycle of fatherless children who will likely grow up to continue perpetuating that cycle?

• Why are they not working to create a culture of education and hard work that would raise the people in those neighborhoods out of poverty and violent crime, as it has done for millions of other people of all races? Instead of demanding that entry-level McJobs pay more than the jobs are worth, why not set up programs to help the people in black communities to gain the marketable skills that will earn more and offer better benefits?

• Why are they not protesting against Planned Parenthood, which has systematically targeted black neighborhoods for slow — but sure — genocide? If black lives matter, what about the unborn black lives who are targeted by the disciples of Margaret Sanger and her racist philosophy of eugenics? Or is it only those black lives that are born and grow into criminals and who are killed by police in a violent altercation while committing a crime who matter?

• Why are they not marching on city halls and state capitals demanding tougher penalties for black men who sell drugs to their children, force their women into prostitution, steal from them the little they have, and murder their other black men? Don’t the lives of black Americans killed by criminals also matter? How about blacks who are mugged and raped, and fear for their safety when they go to school or go shopping? Don’t their lives matter too?

Of course, many of these solutions would require money to implement, but that should pose no problem for BLM. The Washington Times and others recently reported that the Center for American Progress and George Soros — through his Open Society Foundations — funded BLM to the tune of $33 million. Other deep-pocketed leftists have done the same. The Times also reported that The Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy recently formed the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), which has committed to “a six year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition.” In short, BLM has the money to make a difference. Instead of using that money to create solutions to the problems facing black Americans, BLM has used it to wage a war on police.

Peterson told The New American that BLM is part of the problem, not part of the solution. “They are worse than the KKK, because they kill the soul of the black community by teaching it to hate,” he said, adding:

Black Lives Matter is an organization with the intent to destroy, not to build. They couldn’t care less about black lives or black people. That’s why you don’t see them focusing on rebuilding families. That’s why you don’t see them going into urban areas around the country and spotlighting the black-on-black crime; they need that to be happening so they can continue to use this false notion of racism in order to divide and conquer.

Peterson’s BOND is doing what BLM should be doing to make black lives matter to black people. For 26 years, BOND has focused on “rebuilding the family by rebuilding the man.” As he explained the process, “We are getting men to forgive their parents first, because all human beings — men and women, young and old — who have not had a father, they yearn for their fathers.” BOND helps black communities in practical ways, as well. “We help them start businesses, we help them find jobs, we tutor, we counsel with them.”

Peterson told The New American that one of his organization’s programs is the BOND Home for Young Men. It is a safe place for troubled young men to come and learn what it is to be a man. With so many young men being raised without a father, this is a pivotal issue: How does a boy with no man in his life learn to be a man?

More than 20 years ago, Billy Barton — who was in his early 20s at the time — came to the BOND Home. Peterson said, “I met him when he was very young. He had a lot of anger. He moved into the home and we showed him how to overcome that [anger] by dealing with his mother.” Like too many young black men, Barton did not have a father in the picture. So the men of BOND took him under their wings and taught him useful skills. He began working with the radio and TV studio equipment used to produce Peterson’s programs and now, as Peterson explained, “he is our primary engineer in our radio and TV studio. And with his experience, he can go anywhere and get a job doing that.”

Another young man, Clinton Robinson, was in his late teens or early 20s when he came to Los Angeles from Prattville, Alabama, to live at the BOND Home. “He had a lot of anger. He had finished high school, but had no idea what he wanted to do in life,” Peterson said, adding, “We taught him how to forgive his parents and overcome his anger.” From there, the men of BOND taught Robinson a trade. He has worked in heating and air conditioning for more than 10 years now. Once he had a direction in life and a stable income, he went back to Alabama to marry his high-school sweetheart. The men of BOND were at the wedding. Peterson performed the ceremony.

More than 10 years and three children later, Robinson is holding down a job, keeping a family together, and owns his own home. And he is not angry. He told The New American that he owes it all to God and the help he received at BOND. “One thing Jesse taught us was to think for ourselves, make sure you have your own mind, not to be too quick to jump the gun about things and accept the idea that it’s all about racism,” he said, adding, “because it’s not always about black and white. Sometimes issues are just issues, and people aren’t perfect. But it’s not all about race.” Robinson said, “That has taken me a long way and it has all worked out for me. It might not have.”

By applying these practical solutions and rebuilding and restoring families, Peterson proves that he believes that black lives matter. While BLM spreads a message of anger and hatred and victimization, BOND is sowing forgiveness and love and personal responsibility. And BOND has done it without $133 million from the Center for American Progress, George Soros, The Ford Foundation, and Borealis Philanthropy.

Until this is seen as a problem of culture instead of a problem of race, the divide — manufactured by race-hustlers and a federal government intent on controlling both whites and blacks — will only continue to grow.

This writer would like to suggest a couple of hashtags to replace #BlackLivesMatter. How about #MakeBlackLivesMatter and #CultureNotColor? Because if black lives really mattered to BLM, they would want to encourage black people to count their own lives as valuable and pursue the trappings of a culture that demonstrates that value.

In the absence of that demonstration, one is left to believe that Officer Stalien is correct. Only some black lives matter to BLM. As he said, “Only the lives that make the national news matter to them. Only the lives that are taken at the hands of cops or white people, matter.” Because those lives serve to promote the narrative, and the narrative serves to avoid addressing the real problem.

That problem is a culture of death that has held too many black Americans hostage for too long. And that culture of death has been — and continues to be — foisted on black Americans and their communities by the same Left which is supporting and funding BLM.


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