“Skin color no longer defines where an individual can live or work”
By Adeena Woodard
During the late 1950s and turbulent 60s, white flight from the inner-cities to the suburbs was racially motivated. Forced school desegregation and discriminatory market practices drove apprehensive Caucasians out and trapped African Americans within the deteriorating cities.
That was then, but today, in 2017, skin color no longer defines where an individual can live or work. Today, people are more divided by socioeconomic status than they are by race, sex or ethnicity.
Racism and state violence placed minorities, particularly African Americans, within the inner-cities, but racism and state violence, today, do not keep them there. Socioeconomic status and lack of opportunity, on the other hand, do.
But the three co-founders of the #BlackLivesMatter organization, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, strongly believe that African Americans across the nation are “systemically and intentionally targeted for demise” because they are black. They feel that in the United States of America, African Americans are “deprived of [their] basic human rights and dignity.”
The three co-founders of the #BlackLivesMatter organization mistakenly confine inner-city hardships and violence to African Americans, when in reality, poor Caucasians living in the same inner-cities are just as disadvantaged. Poverty impacts all races equally. A child, black or white, born into this environment is a victim of circumstance, not racism.
The #BlackLivesMatter co-founders have decided to adopt, skew and apply this victim narrative to all African Americans far and wide, and by targeting police officers, the movement has taken a more militant turn.
Neal Kerschner, a sophomore at KU, said, “The only reason I do not support the organization—not their cause—is because of their use of violence.
“From what I have seen, #BlackLivesMatter is combative toward other groups and individuals. I also think that the organization and its members need to pick their champions and martyrs wisely.”
Plainly, by targeting the police, the organization instills within minority youths a blatant disrespect for law enforcement officers, which is extremely concerning. #BlueLivesMatter, a celebratory organization, was founded in response to show support for the fearless officers who put their lives on the line daily.
If the #BlackLivesMatter organization wants to be effectual, its members should partner with local law enforcement officers instead of smashing windows, setting buildings ablaze and writing obscene messages on poster board.
If black lives really mattered to the organization and its members, then the fact that an African American is several times more likely to be shot and killed by another African American than by a police officer in the line of duty would be their greatest concern. Partnering with local law enforcement to combat black-on-black crime would be the best and most effectual initiative.