I support the Black Lives Matter movement for simple reasons. It is correct. It is just.
I don't support the police killer Gavin Long because his ideology was wrong, and his actions were unjust and evil.
It was jarring listening to Long's youtube messages prior to him becoming an evil killer, because so much of what he said was very familiar to me. It's the message of a "conscious" black man talking about injustice in America for African Americans. And his basic trope that protests don't work, and the country needs revolution is so commonplace as to be not remarkable. Until, he took his words too seriously and became an evil actor.
Long, angered by blacks (unjustifiably) killed by police in high profile incidents, took to planning a horrific attack on innocent police in Louisiana. He wound up doing terrible damage to three officers killed, many more wounded, and to himself. Furthermore he injured the cause he claimed he was addressing by eliciting anger towards BLM as they have been associated with his homicidal actions.
His argument on video was that this was a long term struggle, a war, and his actions should be judged in those terms rather than criminalality. By him being a former soldier in our military, this thinking apparently came easily despite the facts. He compared his viewpoint to historical figures such as Malcolm X and Nat Turner. The latter is what we should focus on. Nat Turner lived in the 1800's as an enslaved man fighting oppression. this guy Long lived in 2016, in the best country on earth for African Americans to reside.
While we often hear of the negative statistics, which are true and relevant. How black unemployment is double whites. How the criminal justice system from police contact, arrest, conviction, and sentencing is biased as African Americans. And on and on. Basically every good statistic, blacks are last, and every bad one, blacks lead the pack. This is true in education, health, economics, etc.
I'm hear to argue that's why we need a Black Lives Matter movement. It's to highlight the inequity, and develop concrete strategies to close and erase these gaps. But the same statistics show how great this nation is, and why Long is just plain wrong. The USA is the best place for African Americans on earth. You know this intuitively because otherwise, as soon people got the money, they'd leave! However, no one is dreaming of going to live in.... where?
Now let's look at these statistics:
Take incarceration. Which is the middle of the story. There are almost no stories, pretty much ZERO of blacks in jail or prison, who did absolutely nothing wrong! This is separate from the racial profiling, and disparate police treatment. I'm talking about someone being in jail, and the honest answer is they're there because of skin color. It is true, a black and white person can commit similar crimes, and get different treatment in the criminal justice system because of various reasons: racism, money, family connections, etc. But in our society, 99% of the time, if you're black and you're up to good, you won't have any problems with police, or any interaction with criminal justice system. That being a fact, Long's rhetoric is totally misplaced and wrong. But I'll continue:
Whites in jail 450 out of 100,000
Hispanics 831 out of 100,000
Blacks 2306 out of 100,000
The above is used as reasons to go kill innocent police?
The same police that 99% of them would put their lives on the line to help you and your family.
But look at those numbers. Comparing black to white, you can so the disparity, and correctly assuming that blacks are 5 times more criminal minded that whites, that something wrong with our system. But wait:
97,694 out of 100,000 aren't incarcerated!
Obviously over 97%
What kind of racist society would leave 97% of the target group OUT OF JAIL!
Yes there are racist Americans, and institutional racism that needs to be dealt with, and we are doing so as time passes. But to talk about a problem in out of proportion terms, leads to insane people doing crazy things.
There's problems of race and class intermingled, and we should work to make it so no disparities exist. But look at the good for African Americans in 2016:
1 President - 2 terms got majority vote
9 US Senators - 2 currently serving and having been selected
2 billionaires - Oprah and Michael jordan
35,000 black millionaires
over 4 million families in middle class (30% of 14 million families)
$1.1 trillion in buying power
This and more is my evidence that we live in the best country in the world, and we should keep working to make it a more perfect union.