I’m tired of the organization known as Black Lives Matter. Its voice rings hollow, and in truth, it raises its acrimonious voice selectively.
The murder of our Black citizens occurs daily in cities across America, and BLM and its supporters are either silent or passive in pursuing justice for the victims. It matters not that it’s America’s precious Black children who are paying the highest price for the indifference of those who claim they care.
Here are some of the incomprehensible stats for the first 12 days of July:
- In majority-Black Baltimore: 12 were shot, killing one, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
- In Chicago, where the majority of homicide victims are young, Black men: 64 shootings left 13 dead from Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12.
- In New York City, where more than half of murder victims in 2019 were Black: 30 shootings left 10 dead on Sunday, July 5.
Of course, there’s a logical explanation (there always is) for BLM’s dismissive attitude toward the death and injury of these Black lives, and CNN’s Don Lemon was more than happy to share his erudite reasoning with actor Terry Crews on July 6: “The Black Lives Matter movement was started because it was talking about police brutality; if you want an all Black Lives Matter movement that talks about gun violence in communities, including Black communities, then start that movement.”
Before Lemon opened his mouth, someone should have directed him to the BLM website, specifically the second paragraph: “In the years since, we’ve committed to struggling together and to imagining and creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.”
Might one presume that statement also includes the “power” to live?
No one denies for a moment that the murder of George Floyd was an atrocity and one that should concern and raise the voice of every decent American. But contrary to the statement on its website, unless the death involves a police officer, it seems the Black Lives Matter organization couldn’t care less.
Where, for example, is the outrage of BLM and its supporters, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, for 3-year-old Mekhi James, who was shot and killed in Chicago while riding in his stepfather’s car on June 20? Or for little 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee who was shot to death on the streets of Chicago on Nov. 2, 2015, lured into an alley by two Black men seeking gang-related vengeance related to Tyshawn’s father? Sharpton’s focus in responding to Mekhi’s death was the usual tirade about too many guns, not on the gang member who pulled the trigger.
Where is the outrage of BLM and its supporters, like Colin Kaepernick and former Baltimorean Oprah Winfrey, for 23-year-old Shiand Miller, eight months pregnant, and her 3-year-old daughter, Shaniya Gilmore, found shot to death in Baltimore on June 19? Or for 13-year-old Rickie Forehand, shot and killed at a Rosedale shopping center early March 8, and the four other children who were shot in the same incident?
Where is the outrage of BLM and its supporters, like Bill de Blasio and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for the 28-year-old dad, Anthony Robinson, shot and killed on July 5 while crossing a New York street holding the hand of his 6-year-old daughter? Or for the 22-month-old baby boy, Davell Gardner Jr., shot and killed in New York on July 12 while sitting in his stroller? While de Blasio condemned the murder of little Davell, in the following days de Blasio stated, “We now have fewer people in our jails than any time since World War II and we are safer for it and better for it.”
So where is the protest, where is the chanting, where is the kneeling, and where are the signs that say, “Tyshawn, Mekhi, Shiand, Shaniya, Rickie, Davell and Anthony — Your Black Lives Mattered”?
No obeisance is due Black Lives Matter and their apathy toward the crime that wounds and kills so many Black Americans in major cities across the country. If you really want to make a difference, stop apologizing, get off your knees, and get on your phones, your tablets and your computers. Contact the passive, incompetent officials in cities where daily violence begins before sunrise — Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle — and let them know that you are willing to do what BLM will not do; you will stand for all victims of crime.
When citizens jam phone lines, clog email systems and flood mail rooms day after day with their demands that these officials either do their jobs or get out of the way, change will happen. But please don’t depend on BLM to do it for you; it won’t happen.
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M.K. Sprinkle writes from Hampstead. Her column appears every other Saturday.