Magazine article USA TODAY

Black Lives Matter, Sometimes

Magazine article USA TODAY

Black Lives Matter, Sometimes

Article excerpt

WE ARE MANY MONTHS into the national discussion, and the question of whether "black lives matter" or if "all lives matter" rolls along. The driving force behind the Black Lives Matter slogan is (or should be) that much of the media and many areas of government act like they do not. The politicians who counter the chants with "all lives matter" are missing the point, as if the chanters meant, "Black lives matter but not any others." Maybe some do mean that; I cannot say for sure, but I believe most of them really are crying out, "Black lives matter, too!" Apparently, though, they do not

If black lives (really) mattered to our politicians, they would be arresting criminals, and doing things that truly help poor, crime-ridden communities, like allowing law-abiding people to be armed and properly trained. The parties that control these areas tend to be anti-gun. The poor are traumatized in their own homes. Criminals run their world, and doing things that middle class people do like taking walks, gardening, visiting, etc., are death-defying. Where guns are not banned outright, there are sometimes the old "Anti-Saturday Night Special" laws, which seek to squelch the sale of inexpensive firearms. Yes, indeed, the liberal politicians apparently deduced, what could be more sensible than to make sure that the hardworking head of a blue-collar family has to rely on a baseball bat to protect his home and loved ones against better-armed criminals? When the good people die at the hands of bad people, we find out little if the perpetrator and victim both are African-American.

If black fives (really) mattered to the mainstream media, we would hear as much about the deaths of African-American teenagers and young adults as we do when something bad happens to a white person. One white girl gets murdered on a vacation and the news will be slathered with it for weeks, if not months; little brown-skin children are being crucified, burned to death, or beheaded, but we hear nary a peep except from a few conservative news sources. The death of the white girl is terrible; so is the martyrdom of four-year-olds. All of them matter. However ...

If black fives (really) mattered to the mainstream media, it would mention tragedies like what seems to be the near genocide of unborn African-American babies due to abortion. More than one-half of black women's pregnancies in New York end in abortion. Those beautiful, precious fives apparently do not matter.

My experience in talking with people of every color, who neither are politicians nor in control of mass media, is that they do believe that black lives matter. They also often are unaware of how many young African-Americans die violently. They are oblivious because--unless you listen to certain so-called conservative media persons who are quite passionate about this problem or media focused on the African-American community--quite simply, the information barely is available. The local pro football team's latest, predictable loss is on page one of the news section. A story about an innocent (brown or black) child dying in a drive-by shooting probably is in Section B, on page two or three--the smaller local section. …

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