Don't you mean All Lives Matter?
Another analogy - everyone at a dinner table is served a plate of food, except for Bob. Bob says, "Bob deserves food." And everyone at the table responds, "We all deserve food," but refuse to serve him. It's not that Bob thinks he deserves special treatment. He just wants to be treated the same as everyone else.
Finally - Would it be appropriate to argue that all Americans should be thanked on Veteran's Day? Why, or why not?
How are black people being treated differently?
Research has shown that black people are much more likely to be stopped by the police, and those interactions are more likely to involve force than when white people are stopped. The bias persists even when you control for the level of crime in an area. Even though police violence disproportionately targets black people, fixing it will lead to better, safer policing for all.
Yeah, but in Lincoln?
Michelle DeRusha, a Lincoln, NE blogger, wrote about how she drove with a broken taillight for three months before getting it fixed. She was never pulled over. Her friend's black son was pulled over four times in 36 hours for the same violation. The fourth time, he sat on the curb while his car was fruitlessly searched for drugs, even though he had never had a drug charge.
What about black on black crime?
I'll let Glenn Loury handle this one, as quoted in The Atlantic:
But a person might say, “Look, the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Agents of the state who abuse that awesome responsibility constitute a real threat to democratic values. There's a great deal more at stake here than the personal safety of an individual. This is about an abuse of power. ...It's a different order of violation.”
The author of the article above also points out that rallies, marches, and civic action have a long history of forcing political reform. Those strategies, which are easy enough for everyday citizens like me to engage in, aren't usually effective on murder rates in general.
Does saying Black Lives Matter mean you hate cops?
No! Most officers are good. But, some issues with the justice system allow bad or biased cops to do serious harm. It's bad enough that black parents coach their kids on how to act if they meet a cop. As Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, decades of state-sanctioned discrimination has led to a breakdown in relations with police:
In the black community, it’s the force they deploy, and not any higher American ideal, that gives police their power.
Good policy reform can do more than just keep minority communities safer-- it could also help police thrive.
Policy reforms? #BlackLivesMatter has policy goals?
By 2017, all Nebraska law enforcement agencies will be required to have a written body camera policy. LPD currently has four body cameras in use, but an alleged use-of-force incident in April 2016 was not recorded despite two officers at the scene wearing cameras. Public pressure can push the department's policy more in line with the best practices outlined in the ACLU's model policy.
Equality Under the Law
With good reform at the local and state level, we can make our communities safer and more just. We can bring reality closer to our state's motto: equality under the law. With action now, we can make sure none of our neighbors' lives are reduced to a hashtag.
In Lincoln - Thursday, July 13 at 6:00 at the Capitol
In Omaha - Thursday, July 13 from 6:00-8:00 at 30th & Ames