Black lives matter to who?

While most of us was enjoying our barbecue, twelve people were killed and 43 were injured from shootings in Chicago on memorial day weekend. Among the victims of last weekend’s shooting fest was a 17 year girl and her 4-year-old cousin. The 17-year-old girl was shot in the chest and the 4-year-old girl was shot in the head. It’s a miracle that 4-year-old is still alive and in stable condition. Unfortunately, her 17-year-old cousin remains in critical condition at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Sadly, a 17-year-old boy was shot in the back and neck and later died in the hospital. Its not surprising that the majority of these 55 victims were Blacks who were shot by other Blacks. Why aren’t we in outrage over the violence that plagues our communities as much as we are outraged over white cops shooting Black teens? Why aren’t we wearing “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts at the funerals of the victims of Black on Black violence? I’ll tell you why… In my opinion, we don’t believe that Black lives matter so why should anyone else? Before you accuse me of self-hatred, allow me to explain…

We are telling America and the world that Black lives matter, yet we continue to kill, steal and rob each other on nearly an everyday basis. For months now we’ve been throwing this slogan around in the media trying desperately and pathetically to convince the world how much our lives matter. However, looking at what happened over the Memorial Day weekend, why should anyone believe that black lives matter? I understand that most Blacks are different from these criminals who terrorize our communities. However, if you really think about, why should we make someone else responsible for our fuck ups? Hell, if we can’t help ourselves, then how do you expect anyone else to help? If we really believed that black lives matter, we would be just as upset with these shootings in our own back yards as much as we are upset over a white cop shooting an unarmed Black person. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t get upset when the police overstep their boundaries. However, we only start marching in the streets when its a White-cop-on-unarmed-black shooting. We don’t organize nearly as much for blacks who get away with killing a 4-year-old girl as much as we organize against George Zimmerman for killing a Black teenager. You would think that we would form community watch groups in our communities and establish block clubs on every street, but we don’t.

You would think that we would start pointing our camera phones at the drug dealers who sit on their porches and openly sell drugs, but we don’t. A lot of us just sit by and watch our neighbors being robbed because we don’t care enough about them to help. Hell how many of us even know our neighbors nowadays? We don’t hold our people accountable when they do anything wrong let alone when they commit random acts of violence on us. Yet we complain, complain, complain and complain about crime plaguing our community and then we blame, blame and blame it on every one and everything not black. We complain about drugs plaguing our communities, but when was the last time we burned down a well-known dope spot, broke up a prostitution ring or stop kids from shooting dice in front of businesses? Hell, when was the last time we made a teenage boy pull up his damn pants or a half-naked teenage girl to put some damn clothes on? When was the last time we made our young children to go home when its way past their curfew? My point is that we don’t police ourselves or even try to hold our people accountable… AT ALL!!! So who do we call on to keep our communities in check? Our elders? NO! Our pastors? No! Our so-called community leaders? No! You know how we call on the most? THE FREAKING POLICE!!!

As much as Blacks hate the police, we sure love to call on them a whole bunch. How much do we call on them? A LOT!! In fact, we call the cops so much that many police departments assign more than half of their police force in predominantly Black communities. Yeah I realize that other groups of color do have a high police presence in their communities, but we expect the police to do EVERYTHING for us!!! Don’t believe me? Just take a look at this article about sagging. We don’t have the balls to tell our kids to pull up their damn pants ourselves, so our suggestion, at least in Louisiana, was to ask the police to do it for us. And what do you think the police are going to do? They going to issue citations or throw them in jail of course. And before you throw out the race card, as the article stated, this legislation has been proposed by largely by African-American officials (I told you its bigger than race).

See, other ethnic groups make many attempts to solve their own problems before getting the police involve. Don’t believe me? Ask any ol’ school Italian who grew in a tight-knit Italian community back in the day. With or without the Mafia, they police the heck out of their communities. High ranking mafioso also served as arbitrators who settle community disputes. Ever seen the Godfather? (I know it’s just a movie, but this how many gangsters handled business back in the day.) Or let me ask you this. What’s the crime rate in Chinatown? You and I know that Chinatown has crime, gangs and even violence galore, yet I couldn’t even tell you when the last murder happen there. I work in a jail and I’ve seen at least one member of every gang that is represented in Chicago, but yet to see one Chinese gang member locked up in the local county jail. It’s because the Chinese know how to squash their own beefs without police intervention and their criminals know how to lay low. Check this article out http://www.ipsn.org/asg08107.html Most other ethnic groups underworld stays in the underworld. Our people, on the other hand, don’t give a rats ass who sees them shoot dice, but will complain when the police stops and frisk them. Instead of complaining, other groups like the Chinese would just take it indoors and start a lucrative gambling operation. Most criminal’s objective is not to draw any attention from the police.

The one thing I’ve learned being in law enforcement is that more the police gets involved, the more they are drawn to the negative aspects of our community. I don’t care how pristine a community looks, there are so many unnecessary laws on the book that law enforcement can always find something wrong with us. So forget about your everyday criminal. What about the average Joe who deals with common problems such as traffic violations, domestic disputes, child support issues, smoking weed, fighting in school, etc. Traffic violations alone can get you locked up or it can be the reason why a person was locked up. In fact, the majority of Blacks get arrested as a result of traffic, domestic and child support related issues. When the police start to criminalize you over civil infractions, you know there’s too many cops on the streets. Knowing that the police can cause more problems than needed, what do Blacks folks do? You guessed it! Ask for even more cops on our streets. In fact, we have such a bad habit of calling for more cops on our streets that Chicago mayoral candidates of the past election like Chuey Garcia and Bob Fioretti made adding an additional 1,000 police officer on the streets one of their biggest campaign promises. He was primarily talking to Black folks. As if we didn’t have enough problems with the PO-po’s, why would you want to further complicate things by bringing in more of them?

The biggest problem that Black folks face are not with the police. Its the fact that we refuse to come together as a people in general. Instead, we will allow others to make decisions for us that clearly goes against our own interest. For example, we complain about police brutality and want the police to leave us alone. However, when we see that 55 people was shot in one weekend, we panic and blame it on the lack of police presence. Then when the cops are back on the streets and start doing what they do best (stopping, frisking, searching and arresting people), we get mad all over again. Don’t we not realize that asking for more police hasn’t worked yet? Furthermore, don’t we realize that the more police we get on the streets, the more we subject ourselves to police brutality? If you don’t want the Gestapo in your community then stop giving them a reason to come in. Just sayin’.

My experience working in law enforcement has shown me that police brutality is something that you can’t completely stop. I say this because there will always be officers who are going to make mistakes. Unfortunately, in law enforcement our mistakes can cost lives. In reality, fighting to end police brutality is like fighting the war on terrorism or drugs. It’s not a winnable war. Plus, officers are human being just like us. And like us, they make mistakes as well as let their emotions get the best of them. I’m not suggesting we give them a pass, but sometimes we do need to put ourselves in their shoes. Also, no matter how much screening and testing departments do to make sure that they hire the most qualified, sane, non-racist police officer, there will always be a few bad seed who will slip through the cracks. The more officers you beg for, the more racist, bad seeds are going to slip through the cracks. Not to mention, where do you think most of these vigilante cops end up? Where do you think they are more comfortable working? I’ll give you a hint. It’s where everyone sends their fuck ups…THE GHETTO!!! Why? Because that’s where the action’s at! So now we just added on to the number we already have and we give these assholes a gun and a badge and the power of the law?

The only way we are going to get a handle on these police shootings of unarmed blacks and cut down on the police brutality overall is if we start policing ourselves. If we police ourselves, then there would be no need to call the police. If we don’t call the police then police departments would have no choice but to take officers off of our streets and place them in areas where they are needed the most. Don’t believe me. Just look at some of our safer towns and look at the amount of police per pupil. You will find that our most safest communities have the smallest police presence. On the other hand, the most dangerous, crime-ridden areas are where the majority of the police are placed. It’s also no coincidence that if you venture into the communities where middle-class Blacks congregate, you will find the least incidents of police brutality amongst blacks. Don’t believe me? When was the last you heard a cop shooting an unarmed Black in Pill Hill, Ashburn, Hyde Park, Avalon Park, West Morgan Park, Country Club Hills, Matteson, South Holland, Olympia Fields or Homewood? My point is that there is a huge correlation with crime and police brutality. Don’t take my word for it. Just look up the data for yourself. In fact, I bet if you do some statistics on police brutality against whites you will find that the majority of incidence are in poor white communities. I bet you will find more incidents of police shooting in trailer parks than in the suburbs? Ever seen COPS?

I can go on all day on this subject, but I want to get back to my original point. If black lives do matter, then we have to convince ourselves that it matters more than the public. It’s a waste of time convincing the public that our lives matter, when next to every unarmed-Black-shot-by-White-officer news article are dozens more unarmed-blacks-shot-by-blacks news articles. Eventually the public will start to see right through our hypocrisy and we will start losing support from all sides. Not that we need their help, but I am worried that people will lose the little respect for us they have left. One way to show that Black lives matter is not through words, but through action. Its starts with policing ourselves and holding our people accountable for the wrong they do to our people without having to rely on the police or public sympathy. The less we rely on the police, the less our chances of being harassed, profiled and falsely accused. Plus, we won’t continue to make it easy for our young men to be thrown in the prison industrial complex. I’m not saying that policing ourselves will be the answer to all of our problems, but it would at least decrease our two biggest problems with crime and violence. Of course, we need to learn how to deal with the police without getting all emotional. That will help a lot.

More importantly, many of our brotha’s and sista’s will be able leave their houses and children will be able to walk the community without fear of the police or their peers. Businesses will feel safe to return to the community and maybe our middle-class would make a return also. And more importantly, we will be able to eat our barbecue in peace.

This is the first blog of many I will be making so that I can share my thoughts to the world. Feel free to comment below and remember…be honest and BE RESPECTFUL!!!

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