The fallacy of the Black Lives Matter movement
The Black Lives Matter movement, which started out as a genuine outcry for justice, mainly among black males, has now lost its legitimacy and deteriorated into an excuse for unacceptable behavior.
I am an African-American male who lives in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, which has the highest crime rate in the city. Murders, robberies, gang violence, and shootings happen here on a regular basis. I once was a gang member, a part of the problem. My descent into the world of criminality, and the brutal fight to regain my sanity and humanity, has been a struggle.
As an African-American who lives within a community where young black and Hispanic males claim they are targeted by the police, I've witnessed firsthand how honest, well meaning cops are met with open hostility and disrespect.
They are also fearful for their lives due to the high percentage of shootings committed by black and Hispanic males who target not only each other, but also the police assigned to patrol their communities.
Long gone are the days when the command "halt!" was enough to stop a suspect or a crime. Now it has become commonplace to start shooting at the police rather than be apprehended. The term used for this is called "clapping back."
Example: "Yo, son wasn't having it and clapped back at those niggers."
Someone who was involved in a shootout with the police is reverently looked upon by misguided youths, who stupidly see acts like these as a sign of courage – even if the shooter is killed in the exchange.
"At least son went out for his."
This lack of regard for human life has created a climate of fear among those of us who are forced to live with such violent behavior. We fear reprisal from those within our community who are involved with gangs, drugs, and other types of illegal activity.
Black lives matter?
Here are the facts:
More shootings occur between black and Hispanic males than any shootings by police officers.
Most cops who come into the African-American community are not racists and are not abusive of their authority.
Most of the cops assigned to our communities have a genuine concern for the quality of life within them.
Most shootings by police involving black and Hispanic males are justified.
Most African-Americans do not come together until it involves an incident with a white police officer.
This is just the plain truth.
Until African-American and Hispanic males start accepting responsibility for the havoc they have created within their communities, the Black Lives Matter Movement will keep making matters worse.
Thomas Maynard is a certified mental health peer specialist, with a specialty in the field of forensics, working with gang members; people coming out of jail, prison, psychiatric hospitals, and homeless shelters; and other forms of socially maladaptive behavior.
Photo credit: Jerry Silvercloud.