Black Lives do, in fact, Matter

BLACK LIVES MATTER

 

Now that my bias is out of the way, we come to the subject at hand: Black Lives Matter. I read an interesting article on WordPress speaking on the BLM movement reaching the UK. The writer proceeds to discredit BLM some, states that the situation is not the same within the UK as in the USA (I’m not expert so I cannot pretend to speak on UK matters). The writer states, “as a result of Hollywood and biased documentation people within the UK fail to recognize that the relationship between the Europe and slavery is not as relevant or similar to the USA and slavery,” how wrong could you be? The argument is a strong one. First of all, slave trade began in America while America was a British colony. From 1519 to 1867, 6.4% of slave trade came to British North America, according to over twenty seven thousand, again thousand, records of slave voyages. Larger than that from 1620 to 1866 a total of 305,326 slaves were brought to present-day USA. Of that, 122,735 slaves were brought during British rule. That equals out to 40% of the slaves brought to America. In a sense the writer is correct in saying is not as similar but when you start considering that Britain colonized all but 22 countries in the WHOLE WORLD, according to British historian Stuart Laycock’s book All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Around To. That is a conversation for a different day.

The second point of contention and the domestic issue at hand arose after I commented. I made a comment along the lines of, I can’t speak on Britain but BLM is exceptionally important in America as we don’t notice the killings, the disproportionately black prison system. He responds back, I took an issue with two parts of his response back: “many of the problems faced by black people in America are other black people. Putting police shooting aside as it’s a minority crime, black people are shooting black people, police then fear black people, police then act on their stereotypes being less lenient with black people leading to more [black people] in prison.” Call me a fool for this but police doing that is staunchly unethical. Secondly, it is staunchly immoral and statistically not backed up. On the principle of it being unethical the American police forth oath speaks on integrity, community, and even the constitution of the United States. If the police force is arresting based off of fear than they are not doing their job in anyway. Frankly if you are a police officer you cannot live in fear. I’ve used this example a hundred times: if you are training to become a police officer and you’re afraid to go into Hollygrove and only want to be uptown by Tulane University then stop now. You will not represent the community, you will not go in with open arms and bigger than that you’ll do more harm than good. Now, the second aspect: immoral and not statistically true. Within a 28 year period, 1980-2008, white murders happened at the hands of whites 84% of the time. Whereas within the same time period black murders happened at the hands of black 90% of the time.  Now, yes, the “black on black” is higher but to continuously try to undermine Black Lives Matter by uttering the words “black on black crimes” my response to you is: white on white crime. Larger than that, whites lead by a wide margin in every other major criminal category besides robbery and burglary. Rape: 65.7% whites, violent crime 59.3% whites (violent crime defined as: murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, and aggravated robbery), the list goes on. The writer’s statement does not hold truth. Statistically, there is no truth.

 

The second issue I had with the writer’s response was, “[the writer thinks] the prison population argument is unreasonable because it may just be the case that black people commit more crimes than whites, or at least more serious crimes.” We have already debunked half of his statement as untrue, we know that whites commit more violent crimes than black in America. So, let’s look at prison populations at certain intervals since 1980 to see the change. We’ll look at total persons under correctional supervision at the federal and state level by race in these years: 1985 during the peak of former First Lady Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No,” 1994 after the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, and current day. In 1985 the majority of people were white at 65% with blacks coming second at 34%. By 1994, a mere nine years, blacks became the predominant race under correctional supervision at 49% while whites were at 48% . Very close percentages but in a society that was 82% white and not even 13% black that should not happen. Now, as of 2016, blacks still hold the lead but only at 40%, whites at 39%, the difference is in 1994 there were only 1.5 million people under correctional supervision, in 2016 there are 2.3 million changing the results and adding more people to the mix thus shrinking the percentages. The stats clearly show that blacks are being arrested a disproportional rate in comparison to their other racial counterparts. Whites, who are committing worse crimes, who are the majority of the population, who are this/that/and the other, should be the majority prison population, not blacks.

 

To even try to discredit Black Lives Matter, to mutter all lives matter especially when everyone agrees on that already, to harp on “black on black crime,” to do any of those and you are part of the problem. No matter if you have black friends, black co-workers, black anything, you are part of the problem. You cannot fight the facts at hand, you cannot fight the fact that whites are creating laws, whites are governing the country, whites are accountable for both slavery as well as the current debacle that is the prison industrial complex. To think that there are people who fight Black Lives Matter, to think people try to undermine it, to think people try to criminalize it, shame on you. Let’s get it straight. Black Lives Matter. Bradford X

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