Inner-City Murders and the NFL

Now even the sports world is no longer immune to vulgar political discourse, and Donald Trump’s recent intemperate criticism of professional athletes protesting what they deem social justice issues only serves to elevate Colin Kaepernick to cult hero status -- even if he never again plays quarterback in the National Football League.

After an August 2016 exhibition game, Kaepernick, addressing a question about white cops shooting blacks, stated: “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” As a military veteran I defend his right to kneel during the national anthem. The larger issue, however, is the inability of young Kaepernick and others to pierce the veil of emotion regarding the race issue and view events from an equipoised, dispassionate level of objectivity.

By September 2017, Chicago had recorded 500+ homicides -- lots of bodies, primarily in minority community streets. The general assumption in regard to high inner-city homicide rates is that the killers are caught, tried in the criminal justice system, and punished for their crimes. That’s not accurate. In “As Chicago killings surge, the unsolved cases pile up” the Chicago Tribune reported that no more than 20-30% of murders are ever solved, because “snitches get stitches.”

Against this backdrop the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 25th posted its annual “Crime in the U.S.” data for calendar year 2016, and it’s sobering. Last year blacks committed 4,935 murders and non-negligent manslaughters. While comprising merely 12.6 percent of the country’s population, blacks accounted for 52.6 percent of these crimes in 2016 and are overrepresented in all thirty crime categories.

The proposition that repetitive crime stats influence the perception law enforcement has vis-à-vis minority communities is not racist in itself. Yes, white supremacists cite black crime rates to “prove” that one group is so inferior as to be perpetually prone to criminality. Others, regardless of race, are concerned and troubled with the stigmatization of an entire community guilty by virtue of association with street predators. NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown recently stated: “We need a lot of concentration on the black community, because the homicide rate is too high. It’s embarrassing. It’s hurtful.”

Whether long-term solutions include better schools, increased job opportunities, or more two-parent households, life plays out in the present, and the victims of these crimes deserve relief now. The carnage doesn’t end simply because “social justice warriors” won’t discuss it.

The blue wall of silence protecting rogue and racist cops is crumbling, and minority communities require police protection -- not officers refusing to engage for fear of someone labeling their departments bastions of white supremacy. E.g. the Justice Department's report regarding its investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson concluded that he did not have his hands raised in an effort to surrender. "Hands up, don't shoot" was a lie, but it helped propel Black Lives Matter into the nation's collective consciousness, and so here we are.

As if BLM-inspired, blogger Andy Gill recently displayed his self-styled prophetic consciousness in "On Lynching Colin Kaepernick": “Inevitably, assuming Kaepernick continues to push the issue, the bigotry of our nation will lynch him in attempt to silence, set an example, scare away others… as fear, it’s a very powerful tool.”

Kaepernick is not the mixed-race victim in question, however. A pack of white teenagers hanged an 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire in August, taunting him with racial slurs and pushing him off a picnic table with a rope around his neck. He swung from his neck three times before being able to remove the rope. He was rushed to the hospital, treated for neck injuries and released. This was no childish prank, and the culprits should receive the maximum punishment allowed by law.

Social media, though, is teeming with progressive critical race theorists denigrating the notion of multiracial self-identification -- a stance that repudiates the notion of white racial purity -- instead of solely with the minority race. Employing the hackneyed guilt trip “To the white man, you’ll always be a n*gger,” they shamefully use this lad’s tragedy to inject racial identity politics into the discussion.

Race-consciousness, the concept of “the other” and considerations of superiority and inferiority have been around for centuries. There is validity to the idea, however, that the political left’s obsession with monoracial identity politics over the past eight years unwittingly helped facilitate what many perceive, rightly or not, a new-era white nationalism emerging from the shadows.

Charles Michael Byrd, a freelance opinion writer whose pieces deal with racial identity politics and religion, is of white, black and Cherokee heritage. He lives in Queens, N.Y. @ChasbyrdM

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