Do All Black Lives Matter?
In the days and weeks following the death of George Floyd, it seemed that nearly every company had sent out mass emails to their subscriber lists in response to the latest tragedy. A few examples.
Target said: “We stand with Black families, communities and our team members and are committed to ongoing resources that advance social justice and support rebuilding and recovery efforts.”
Under Armour similarly declared: “We stand with our Black teammates, athletes, consumers and community, both in the United States and around the globe, through our value of Stand for Equality because Black Lives Matter.”
Postmates likewise confirmed: “We stand with everyone who wants their voice heard as we fight against racial injustice and police brutality. This week has been a painful reminder of the ways in which systemic racism permeates our society, threatening the lives of our families, friends, and neighbors. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the most recent in a long line of lives lost from Emmett Till, Oscar Grant, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, to Trayon Martin. This isn't new, and that is why we must reflect on our role in this conversation.”
The CEO of Uber expressed: “That the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others weren’t so violently cut short. I wish that institutional racism, and the police violence it gives rise to, didn’t cause their deaths. I wish that all members of our Black community felt safe enough to move around their cities without fear. I wish that I didn’t have to try to find the words to explain all of this to my two young sons.”
While those messages did a fine job virtue signalling, the innocuous messaging around supporting black communities did not reach the same level of condemnation as the banner at the website for the American Civil Liberties Union, which contends that “Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity.”
We repeatedly hear from the Left, or entities that appease the left, that black lives matter. But do these social justice activist warriors really believe all black lives matter, or just that some lives matter more than others?
There is predictable indignation when a white police officer shoots and kills a black suspect. No one is denying that there are instances of police overreach, and when actions rise to the level of a crime or homicide, officers should be just as liable to stand trial as any other citizen by a jury of their peers. That is how a justice system should work. However, what is omitted from the media narrative and calls for social justice during protests is the overwhelming number of black lives lost to black-on-black homicide, innocent lives terminated before birth, and the silencing of black voices in the ranks of social commentators or law enforcement. To wit:
An earlier article presented a bevy of statistics from the FBI and analysis from studies about officer-involved shootings. The list was not close to being exhaustive. The most esteemed research arm in the United States, the National Academy of Sciences, published in the last year an extensive look at fatal officer involved shootings (FOIS) for the year 2015 and came away with the significant conclusion that they could “find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings,” and perhaps most damning to the narrative, that “White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.” Predictably, the press has largely ignored this damning study.
Then there is the fact that in 2019, a total of 235 blacks were killed by police, nine of whom were considered unarmed. (A video linked to this website goes into detail for each of these nine unarmed fatalities.) Those numbers are high, but for comparison in the same year, 370 whites were killed by police, and of those, nineteen of whom were considered unarmed. Critics will say that the number of blacks killed relative to their percent of the population essentially means police are targeting blacks more. That is an inaccurate representation of the data. It needs to be remembered that each of these encounters with police has two things in common. First, the police were lawfully engaged in preventing or responding to a crime.
If the left, and Black Lives Matter specifically, did care for the black population they purport to fight for, why is it that they stay silent on an overwhelming rate of black-on-black crime?
The number of blacks killed by police, let alone their own ranks, pales in comparison to the number of unborn children capriciously terminated for any number of reasons. Abortions alone have claimed the lives of an estimated 19 million black babies - out of the 44 million or so terminated pregnancies - since Roe v. Wade. In self-reported instances would-be black mothers make up almost 40% of annual abortions, despite the fact that blacks make up only 13% of the national population. Not unrelated is the alarming 80% out-of-wedlock birth rate within the black community. Given the presence of a committed father, would we see as many 1) abortions, 2) aggressive young men, or 3) the vicious cycle of generational poverty?
That last question is worth exploring. In a 2008 Father’s Day speech, President Barack Obama shared alarming statistics about the fallout of blacks growing up in fatherless homes, which, separate from the 80% out-of-wedlock birth rate, was over 50%. He noted that blacks growing up without present fathers were “five times more likely to grow up in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of school and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.” As President, these remarks never resurfaced into meaningful policy.
So, like his failure to adequately follow up on his presidential-candidacy lamentations of fatherless black boys, President Obama also failed to address the backlash against the brave men and women of our police force. As a result, a question no one ever answers is what about all of the black police officers, represented mostly in urban communities, willingly engaged in the work of serving and protecting? Do their lives matter? The first casualty of the George Floyd riots was a career black officer, David Dorn, who died defending a local business in St. Louis in the wake of the thuggish rioting.
In 2018 there were over 105,000 black officers, good men and women like Captain Dorn, employed alongside white police officers and working within black communities. This 105,000 represents 15% of all police, which for everyone so concerned about disportionality, is actually higher than the national percent of the black population. More to the point, why would blacks willingly work within a department and alongside racist colleagues who supposedly wake up everyday ready to hunt other blacks?
The media, leftist thought leaders, and the media would have you believe that blacks are being hunted by the police, and for that reason are a community that cannot rise up. The general silence in the face of a few headlines suggest otherwise:
On the same day that George Floyd died, the Baltimore newspaper had just run an article about the Sunday before being the deadliest day in the homicide-plagued city, which ran the total murder count to 118 on the year.
On the weekend after the death of George Floyd, in the city of Chicago alone there were over 80 shootings, mostly black on black and resulting in multiple deaths.
On just another June evening in Minneapolis, site of the genesis, an innocent young woman, Nia Black, was killed after a crowded parking lot became a shooting zone. She was 23 years old.
On another June day a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter activist who went by the name Toyin was found dead, accused of being murdered by a known associate, an older black man.
In 2020, as of the publication of this article, 172 whites have been killed by police and 88 blacks have been killed by police. Black Lives Matter has a right to hone in on a specific cause, but where is the outrage over any police killing? For that matter, where is the self-awareness to wonder how the police can be racist to their core and still kill twice as many whites?
These are just a few headlines pulled from the internet in a matter of minutes. The list is endless. Nevertheless, there is no community anger, no charges of racism, nor grand gestures through GoFundMe donations or celebrity- and politician-attended funerals. On the site Mapping Police Violence, they make sure to note that 27% of those killed by police are black (despite being only 13% of the total population) while highlighting that there were only 27 days in 2019 in which police did not kill someone, and yet there is nary a mention of the fact that blacks are killing one another at astonishingly high rates on a daily basis. The left would have you believe that black-on-black violence is endemic because of poverty, systemic racism, and other external factors, but why does it never cite a decline in morality or personal choices?
Do all black lives matter? There is certainly room in the conversation to address general policing behaviors and reforming policies that make every community safer. No honest or decent person would disagree. However, in the light of harmful and deadly behaviors within the black community itself, is it fair to ask that each black life has the same value?