In last week's post, The Confederate flag is racist, Black History Month is not, I brought up the subject of Blue Lives Matter being equated to Black Lives Matter.
Blue lives matter. Very much. All lives matter. Neither one of those, however, equates with or diminishes the message of Black Lives Matter.
Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo. By all accounts, except for Wilson's, Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot.
A 6-month investigation by the Department of Justice found widespread, systematic discrimination against black people throughout the municipal government of Ferguson, Missouri.
Not surprisingly, Ferguson is not an outlier of discrimination in American cities. Philadephia, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and just about every town south of the Mason-Dixon have similar stories to tell.
Here in Chicago, charges were brought against a police officer for the first time in 35 years after Officer Jason Van Dyke shot unarmed, 17-year old Laquan McDonald 16 times.
Van Dyke was sentenced to a 6-1/2 year prison term for second-degree murder. The three officers who lied to cover up Van Dyke's crime were found not guilty.
If you can say, with a straight face that a young, white male crossing the street in the middle of the block in Anytown, USA has as much to fear as does a young, black male doing exactly the same thing, then you must be a great poker player.
Whether you're lying to yourself or just intellectually dishonest is irrelevant. Either way, you may be the problem.
Please read, Don't kid yourself, all lives don't matter.
Or, you might like; LeBron James, Dennis Byrne and the acknowledgement of white privilege in America .
In Vallejo, CA this year, a 20-year old, black rapper was shot 55 times by police while SLEEPING IN HIS CAR.
White privilege doesn't mean every white guy runs a hedge fund and dates beautiful models (of his desired gender). It means that they are unlikely to be shot for just going about their lives.
Cops are human, it's okay if we admit that they sometimes make mistakes. It's also okay to admit that we could do better screening and training our police forces.
Some would say that the star on a cop's uniform is a target, and it's tough to argue against that. Being a police officer is an inherently dangerous, often thankless job.
170 police officers were killed in 2016, some in ambush style attacks. Those attacks, though, were perpetrated by individuals acting or reacting for their own reasons.
There is no widespread conspiracy to harm police officers and there is no system slanted against their interests, their safety or their protection under our laws.
Police are the face of our communities, our local governments and our legal system. They are "The Man." The have badges and guns and wide discretion as to how to use those tools.
Not all young, black males are completely innocent, but that doesn't justify a death penalty for the ones that cross paths with law enforcement.
If a police officer is immediately intimidated by or has predetermined responses based on race, that officer may be in the wrong line of work.
Statistics show that young black men are arrested disproportionately to their white counterparts and receive harsher penalties for the same crimes.
Millions of young black men languish in jails awaiting trials, simply because of an antiquated bail system. I will address that issue in the very near future.
You may have seen a story out of Phoenix, AZ that should disturb everyone. Just by reading the title, it's easy to guess the racial backgrounds of all concerned.
What happened in Phoenix, AZ would never have happened at a Toys R Us in Highland Park, Illinois. That's the definition of white privilege.
Black Lives Matter is a plea to all of us. It doesn't mean that we don't think that Blue Lives Matter.
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