December 12, 2015 by Chris Kite
After the most recent mass shootings and murder charges against the Chicago cop for shooting 16 year old Laquan McDonald sixteen times, I’ve seen lots of posts from my friends on social media with what I’m convinced are conflicting claims.
First are the ignorant and offensive posts about all “All Lives Matter.”It is an ignorant statement because it misses the point. Blacks, especially black youth, are shot and killed by police at a much higher per capita rate than any other race. The post shooting investigations certainly appear to be cursory and very rarely find the police office at fault. This is not to say that some of these are not most certainly justified, just as it is not to say that all police are racists or apply brutal tactics. It is meant to draw attention to the fact that when blacks are shot by police, it appears as if no one really cares. When a police department fails to deal with “problem officers” it is failing to protect the public and apply fair and equal justice.
And then there are the highly racist and offensive posts about how black lives don’t seem to matter to blacks when it comes to so called “black on black” crime. As if to imply, all blacks are at fault for criminal actions by other blacks. And ignoring the frequent demonstrations and protests held over gang killings in poor neighborhoods. The truth is, there is a lot of commonality between the gang warfare taking place on our streets and the killing of blacks by police. If you don’t trust the police, and you feel they are not really sincere about trying to protect your neighborhood, it makes it very hard to involve the police in solving these problems. Because if the police aren’t adequately dealing with crime in your neighborhood and you take action against criminals, you run a very high risk of being the next victim.
Finally, there are the recent statistics by the conservative/pro gun crowd that question the number of mass shootings and gun deaths as widely reported by the media and gun control advocates. The questions about the statistics imply (or sometimes come right out in the open with it) that somehow, because so many of the gun deaths and mass shootings are “black on black” or gang related, they should somehow count differently than the “real” gun deaths. That is very, very wrong. Every gun death is tragic and we should be looking at ways to solve these problems. It is just as important that we deal with the death of a young black man shot by another young black man as to deal with the death of a child that got his hands on an unsecured gun. And it is just as important to deal with the deaths from mass shootings as it is to deal with gun suicides. 32,000 gun deaths a year in America are all deaths that we should be trying to prevent. Every single one of them.
Which brings us back to the the right and their claim that “All Lives Matter.” It’s hard to believe that someone really believes “All Lives Matter” when they also claim that gun deaths related to so called “black on black” crime or gang violence somehow don’t count the same as the other lives in these statistics. Or that gun suicides somehow don’t count as “legitimate” gun deaths.
We have a gun problem in this country. We have a race problem in this country. We have an income equality problem in this country. We have a problem with inescapable poverty in this country. We have a gang violence problem in this country.
They are all problems worthy of solving. They are all equally important in dealing with this nation’s issues and making this a truly great country.