The Price of Black Man’s Life

Sign in Ferguson as riots erupt.

This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions. This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

Congressional Black Caucus head Rep. Marcia Fudge

Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said, triggering a heated argument on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”

“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” Dyson said. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”

“What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “Why aren’t you protesting that?… Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”

“When I become mayor, I’ll do that,” replied Dyson, exasperated.

“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other

Former Mayor of NYC Rudolph Giulani

Those two quotes or a variation of them pretty much encapsulate the debate about Michael Brown, Ferguson and the wider issue of blacks males, crime and the police. The issues are more complicated than those two statements assert but both are partially correct even if not exactly as the quoted intended.

The statistics for young black males are stark. Black males commit and are a victim of homicide at extremely disproportionate rate compared to White males or Asians. We can try to excuse it in a variety of ways but those facts remain. This is where the CBC head is correct, black lives have been cheapened. The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case or the lack of charges by the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case did not demonstrate that Blacks lives are cheaper, this has been demonstrated for years by ignoring the rampant deaths of thousands of Blacks at the hand of other Blacks for years.

Black people around the country are rioting for the last two days and had been holding protest since August because of the Michael Brown shooting by Officer Darren Wilson but have been silent for the 136 homicide victims in the St. Louis area.  Just last October 19th siblings, 35-year-old Margaree Dixson and 29-year-old Jermaine Jones, were killed by gunshot 2 hours and a few blocks apart.  They were homicide victims number 109 and 110, in a little over month almost 20 other homicides have been committed, few of these ever get solved.

A local news station reported last week that 73% of the more that 136 homicides this year remain open.  A case remains open until an arrest is made but in cases where arrests were made only 8% was there an actual conviction, last year. The same story is repeated nationwide in NYC, LA, New Orleans, around the country.  This is a problem, it not just that Black lives are cheap, is that no one wants to come forward and identify the perpetrators, and they know this. As Nicole Rice, the sister of the two siblings killed explains in the interview:

No answers, no answers, all my answers are to God, I don’t know nothing, I know people talk, and I have clues to what their talking about,” Rice said. I don’t blame the police because they’re doing everything they can do to find out what’s going on, If anyone knows anything, just what you heard, that would give a motive, It goes back to my little niece, well she’s really my cousin, but i call her my niece and her murder has never been solved so you ask me if my brother rand my sisters will be? No. Because no one will talk.

“Snitches get stitches” as DeAndre Joshua, 20 found out he was shot and killed on the first night of rioting. His body was found inside his car, which had also been set on fire. Though no official confirmation has been made, DeAndre fit the description of one of the witnesses that provided testimony to the Grand Jury that heard the evidence in Michael Brown’s case. He is also a close friend of the other person that was accompanying Brown that day, Dorian Johnson. Regardless of whether this was related to any testimony he may have provided or just a victim of opportunity for someone with a grudge against him, he has become just another statistic that will be forgotten in the aftermath of the Riots.

Ms. Fudge is correct that Black lives have been cheapened, they are continually being cheapened everytime that the community hides their criminals from justice. They are cheapened everytime that a riot is started because someone broke their monopoly on killing blacks. Especially when that person was in the act of committing a felony which led to their death. Black lives are cheapened when they excuse all wrong doing by blaming race, poverty or the “white establishment” for every ill in their communities. Children are held to a higher standard of conduct than the one of  many black criminals.

When the Black community celebrates and elevates a petty criminal like Michael Brown, or Trayvon Martin it only ensures that other young Black youths will follow in those footsteps. It also means that because they have been convinced that the law devalues them that they will continue to ignore the law and this never ending cycle will continue. The CBC and Ms. Fudge know this, that is why they are trying as they have done with the Educational system by trying to establish a separate system of grading and disciplining Black students to downgrade aberrant or illegal behaviour.

David P, Goldman describes what is happening with the CBC and the new civil rights movement as follows:

To restate the “civil rights” argument in a clearer way: Young black men are disproportionately imprisoned. One in three black men have gone to prison at some time in their life. According to the ACLU, one in fifteen black men are incarcerated, vs. one in 106 white men. That by itself is proof of racism; the fact that these individuals were individually prosecuted for individual crimes has no bearing on the matter. All that matters is the outcome. Because the behavior of young black men is not likely to change, what must change is the way that society recognizes crime itself. The answer is to remove stigma of crime attached to certain behavior, for example, physical altercations, petty theft, and drug-dealing on a certain scale. The former civil rights movement no longer focuses its attention on supposedly ameliorative social spending, for example, preschool programs for minority children, although these remain somewhere down the list in the litany of demands. What energizes and motivates the movement is the demand that society redefine deviancy to exclude certain classes of violent as well as non-violent felonies.

Which brings us to the quote by Giulani, perhaps ironically is the fact the CBC ( Congressional Black Caucus) were instrumental in pushing for passing legislation that called for more cops and stricter mandatory sentences in the late ’80’s and early 90’s.  During those days crime was rampant, drugs and gang warfare was taking a terrible toll on the communities that they represented. In those days the cries where not about police brutality (though it did exist), but for more cops, tougher sentences, loosening of forfeiture laws. The laws that were passed then did have their intended effect, crime now is at the lowest levels in 40 years but had an unintended effect of targeting criminals which were disproportianately Blacks young males.

Rather than addressing the causes of why young Black males are committing more crime, the civil rights movement and the CBC kept blaming racism and the Establishment for the failures of their own community to address this problem. They still ignore the issue, instead they elevate the violent assaults of Trayvon Martin and Martin Brown  as noble young black male martyrs.

Michael Brown assaulted a police officer and attempted to remove his gun,  what purpose does the supporter of Brown think he was trying to do this? If, this is true do you really want that person in your neighborhood, if attacking a police officer is not out of bounds for him, do you think that attacking someone else would have been? The answer I get when these questions are posed is that he was unarmed and did not deserve to die for stealing cigarillos, but this does not answer the question is just deflects it and since most do not have to live in Michael Brown’s neighborhood it would not affect them either way.

Golda Meir the former Prime Minister of Israel once said about the Palestinian and Israeli conflict:

Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us (the Jews).

In many ways the Arab and Israeli conflict is a metaphor for the issues that afflict the Black community. A day will come when Blacks will love their children enough and value their lives enough to stop accepting violent or illegal behaviour as normal and start addressing those issues in their communities. When they realize that all Black lives matter, not just those few that die at the hands of non-Blacks and stop excusing themselves of the problem.

Here’s Police Chief of Milwakee-Police Chief Edward Flynn on the subject.

 

 

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