On a daily basis, we hear about how if the #BlackLivesMatter movement really cared about black lives then they would say something about the black on black crime in poverty-stricken neighborhoods across the United States. This assertion comes from opponents of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and is usually made by police apologists who ignore the fact that police kill black men at a much higher rate than whites.
Yes, police kill more white people than black people. However, African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the population, yet they are the victims in 26 percent of all police shootings. That is nearly 3 times the rate of whites.
The outrage by the #Black Lives Matter movement is founded in statistical evidence which shows that the system inherently and with extreme bias disproportionately targets blacks.
For decades, black people have attempted to assert their rights and have achieved some pretty significant change in this country. However, the racial disparity among law enforcement and inside the judicial system is still glaring. When football players attempt to bring awareness to this injustice by peacefully kneeling on the sidelines they are told to shut up, stand up and get in line as the president even calls for their firing.
The Black Lives Matter movement focuses on black lives because the rest of the country refuses to see the disparity — instead, telling them to shut up and that all lives matter.
The point of the movement is not to assert that black lives matter more than other lives. There is an implicit "too" on the end of the phrase. It is saying that black lives should also matter and the disparity should be acknowledged and changed. However, saying "all lives matter" is dismissing the very problems that the phrase is trying to draw attention to. Comedian Arthur Chu summed up this sentiment perfectly in a tweet, years ago.
Do people who change #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter run thru a cancer fundraiser going "THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES TOO"
Yes, all lives do matter, but when you tell that to a black person asserting that their life matters too and is affected in an entirely different and unjust way, you look silly.
Those who go around chanting 'All Lives Matter', while many of them have good intentions, are clueless to the reasoning behind the #Black Lives Matter movement. They regurgitate the talking points of black on black violence because it's convenient and confirms their bias but it does nothing to address systemic racism and the issues behind this black on black violence.
These two things: police killing black men and black men killing black men, are not mutually exclusive. They are closely tied together, and the reason they are tied together is something that the #BlackLivesMatter movement and its opponents continue to ignore.
America has a dirty secret, and that secret is that black lives do not matter; at least not to the state they don't. Black on black violence in poor communities doesn't even meet the Mother Jones standard for mass shootings, even in instances of a single person killing multiple individuals. Black lives lost to black lives are simply tallied up as numerical entries in crime statistics databases and nothing more is said. This is horrible.
Democrats blame guns for the violence while Republicans blame gun control. Meanwhile, both sides are missing the giant pink elephant in the living room.
At the center of this tragic violence plaguing American streets is a giant Leviathan which lays waste to all lives it comes across, it's called the American Drug War. Though the official Black Lives Matter website does pose some pretty powerful solutions like "defunding the police," when we search for anything mentioning the drug war, only two hits come up and they have noting to do with ending it.
America has the largest prison population in the world. It is estimated that victimless crime constitutes 86% of the federal prison population. That means the only reason that these individuals are incarcerated is because the state deemed their non-violent personal choices, “illegal.” The majority of that 86% is for illegal drugs only.
Most of the people who are thrown in prison are non-violent. However, when they are locked in cages with society’s worst and treated like cattle in a factory farm, they come out forever changed. America is breeding a torturous and violent environment, and they have the audacity to call this the “justice system.”
As former Congressman Ron Paul pointed out on national television on Jan 16, 2012;
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[Black peope] are tried and imprisoned disproportionately. They suffer the consequence of the death penalty disproportionately. Rich white people don't get the death penalty very often. And most of these are victimless crimes. Sometimes people can use drugs and get arrested three times and never committed a violent act and they can go to prison for life. I think there's discrimination in the system, but you have to address the drug war. I would say the judicial system is probably one of the worst places where prejudice and discrimination still exists in this country.
If you honestly believe that black lives matter, it is your duty to call for an end to the drug war. Ending the drug war would have profound effects on police interactions in black communities.
No longer would cops be able to launch fishing expeditions in an attempt to catch black people with a substance deemed illegal by the state. This would drastically reduce the amount of police interactions as a whole. What's more, it would decrease crime by eliminating the monopoly on drug sales held by organized criminal gangs. It would defund the gangs and remove much of the incentive to wage violence in their community.
To understand why this would have such a drastic effect, you have to realize that when the government makes certain substances illegal, it does not remove the demand. Instead, the state creates crime by pushing the sale and control of these substances into the illegal black markets — usually monopolized by gang members in poor communities. All the while, demand remains constant.
We can look at the prohibition of alcohol and the subsequent mafia crime wave that ensued as a result as an example. As TFTP has reported frequently, the year 1930, at the peak of prohibition, happened to be the deadliest year for police in American history. 300 police officers were killed, and innumerable poor people slaughtered as the state cracked down on drinkers.
Outlawing substances does not work.
Criminal gangs form to protect sales territory and supply lines. They then monopolize the control of the constant demand. Their entire operation is dependent upon police arresting people for drugs because this grants them a monopoly on their sale. A horrifying side effect of these criminal gangs is the violence that spills over into the community through trying to maintain said monopolies.
The illegality of drug possession and use is what keeps the low-level users and dealers in and out of the court systems, and most of these people are poor black men. As Dr. Paul pointed out, black people are more likely to receive a harsher punishment for the same drug crime as a white person.
This revolving door of creating and processing criminals fosters the phenomenon known as Recidivism which is the tendency of those who are processed into the system and the likelihood of future criminal behavior.
The War on Drugs takes good people and turns them into criminals every single minute of every single day. The system is set up in such a way that it fans the flames of violent crime by essentially building a factory that turns out violent criminals.
The system knows this too!
When drugs are legalized, gang violence drops -- drastically. Not only does it have a huge effect on the localized gangs in America, but the legalization of drugs is crippling to the violent foreign drug cartels too.
Until Americans educate themselves on the cause of this violence, uninformed and corrupt lawmakers will continue to focus on controlling the symptoms.
We will see more senseless killings and more innocent lives stripped of opportunity by getting entangled in the system.
Shout it from the rooftops, from the streets, from any pulpit you can find, "Black Lives Matter!" Shout it out loud, Black lives do matter!
But until the root cause of the police state is defined and removed, all that shouting will keep falling on deaf ears. We must end the drug war now.