For the past year, a new advocacy group Black Lives Matter has come onto the scene and dramatically changed the conversation about criminal justice and the African-Americans experience with it. During the past year, Black Lives Matter has highlighted the harsh treatment that African-Americans are often subjected to by the police and how that has led to the deaths of many over the past years. Black Lives Matter has promoted the cases of Eric Garner ofNY, Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, Susan Bland in Waller County, TX and Ezell Ford in Los Angeles. And yet when we see high-profile cases involving black suspects in the past week, Black Lives Matter has been silent.
Do only black lives matter or can the group admit that lives of people of other races are just as important to protect? Should the advocacy on behalf of an oppressed and discriminated against minority forget that other people in society deserve to be recognized and protected?
In the past week, America, as a community, has been rocked by two high-profile murders. The first happened on Wednesday, August 26th, 2015, when a disgruntled employee of a television news program decided to take out his vengeance on a news reporter, her cameraman and the person she was interviewing. And just this past Friday, a Houston Sheriff’s Deputy was shot 15 times by another suspect. The Harris County District Attorney has said that the suspect “unloaded the entire pistol into Deputy Gosforth.” In these high-profile cases, both of the suspects were African-American. And yet Black Lives Matter has said nothing about either case.
I am not and no one at LA Jewish Lawyer will claim that Black Lives Matter has any responsibility for causing these deaths, but don’t they, as all Americans, have a responsibility for condemning them. In recent weeks, we have seen several incidents from those in the Black Lives Matter movement or claiming to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been disturbing. First, we have the threat to La Plata police by Carlos Anthony Hollins. We have also seen other threats against police by Black Lives Matter members or supporters. And yet, we have not seen anyone in Black Lives Matter criticize or denounce those making the threats.
We will not solve the problem of institutional racism and oppression against African-Americans, whether they are criminal suspects or not, if all that happens is that one group sets off a war against another. Black Lives Matter must come out against all violence and condemn in the strongest terms those both in and outside of its membership that advocate violence against the police or authority figures.
What say you?