Social Question

kid_africa's avatar

What are your thoughts on Black Lives Matter?

Asked by kid_africa (83points) April 6th, 2016

I am in between about the whole movement. In a way I feel like it is causing more racial tension then helping. I agree in the fact that cops are corrupt. There is no question about that. However, it is not all cops. There are a lot of good ones out there. I like how blacks come together to fight against the murders of innocent blacks in America. However I would like to see the same effort when it is black on black crimes. I noticed that in black communities they have this no snitching rule when it comes to crime. I could never understand the point of it. If someone commits murder or another crime and does not get punished they will continue to do it again. God forbid next time their victim is someone close to me. I am not saying blacks don’t protest against black on black crime. But not as much as when its someone from another race. If you look at Chicago, the murder rate is through the roof compared to last year. I don’t see leaders, celebrities or communities speaking out. Maybe there is but not to my knowledge. It is hard to say Black lives Matter when we continue to kill each other over minor confrontations. I am from West Africa and live in the Bronx, NYC. It seems like every other day it is someone getting slashed, jumped, stabbed or shot. It is mostly always over simple nonsense. Social media beef, girls, jealousy or looking at someone wrong. Just to name a few. Mind you there are many crimes that go unreported for one reason or another. This evening I was getting on the bus from work and a group of teenage boys gave me the meanest look like I’ve done something wrong. I then over hear them talking about wanting to stab someone over something simple. It is hard to say Black lives matter, when we continue to kill ourselves. There are people in other parts of the world dying over real issues. Here we are fighting over things that can be settled just by talking it out. I am not saying I am right or wrong, just stating my opinion.

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32 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

The best analogy to BLM is five kids at a dinner table, one of whom is black, who says “Black kids are hungry”.

To which the other kids say, “all kids are hungry”.

To which the black kid says, “Yes, but y’all are eating and I am still hungry and hoping for some food.”

There are a lot of different problems described in your post. I will not discount any of them. But they all need to be addressed. Just because there is a lot of black on black violence does not mean that cop on black violence is justified.

And, when cops model violence on the population, the population learns that violence is the way to deal with problems.

Rarebear's avatar

When the Black Lives Matter movement start protesting and doing something about black lives that are lost in day to day street violence in places like Oakland and Chicago I’ll start paying attention.

trolltoll's avatar

@Rarebear black-on-black violence is a red herring issue, as @zenvelo pointed out. We should be concerned about black-on-black violence, but we should also be concerned about the disproportionate use of force against alleged black offenders, which is what BLM is supposedly raising awareness about.

To answer the question, I am sympathetic to their cause but I cannot condone their methods.

filmfann's avatar

Not all cops are bad, just as not all blacks are innocent.
I believe Black Lives Matter.
I also believe All Lives Matter.

Bill1939's avatar

When the level of economic repression that the Black have experienced for centuries is happening to everyone, then I will hold that “All Lives Matter” over the notion that “Black Lives Matter.”

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

@Rarebear: “When the Black Lives Matter movement start protesting and doing something about black lives that are lost in day to day street violence in places like Oakland and Chicago I’ll start paying attention.”

Could you elaborate?

Do you feel that it’s not appropriate to call attention to state violence against a community if violence also exists within a community?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

“Black lives matter.”

Well, there’s a phrase attached to the concept so it’s got to be legitimate, right?

Same old shit, different tagline.

Those that profit from racial tension will. Never. Stop.

Logic dictates that some so called social group has to be making the majority of the stupid decisions. Look within and grow up.

Also, my black lab’s life matters.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…...just going to listen.

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke Those that profit from discrimination and violence against minorities Will.Never.Stop.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ I didn’t say they would.

All I can do is not be a part of either faction.

As such I am unable to sanction the so called hate crime mentality.

Equal justice under law is intended to be truly equal. Overcompensating any group is not true equality.

We really need to step up and get over this shit. There are discoveries to be made. There are worlds to explore.

Also, these days especially, define minority.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Who profits from it @zenvelo? And how?

DoNotKnowMuch's avatar

[@kid_africa – thanks, I figured I’d put my response in thread rather than private message.]

Anyway, I think that BLM has been critical in bringing attention to a problem that African Americans have been all too aware of for many years. Far too often, police officers – who are supposed to protect a community – become yet another threat. It’s simply unacceptable for unarmed black men to be gunned down or choked by the state. It’s critical to understand that this means my tax dollars (and your’s) are being used in this way.

So, BLM is about bringing attention to this issue. Saying that “black lives matter” in no way takes away from placing value on the lives of everyone. But it is important to call out injustice that is taking place by the state. The “issue” of black-on-black crime is certainly a problem, but this is more a symptom of the same problem. Institutional racism and persistent inequality and poverty lead to the expected problems of crime and murder that we see in the inner city. Then, the people that are paid by the state to protect these communities commit further violence and intimidation.

kid_africa's avatar


I 100% agree with your statement. As for inequality and poverty I agree to an extent. Just because inequality and poverty exist does not mean you should commit crime and murder. I am from West Africa and have lived in extreme poverty and never thought about committing crime or murder. I once lived in the projects in the Bronx, NYC. I saw people complain about their situation but never did anything about it. Coming from Africa we are not only supporting ourselves in America but an entire family/ community back home. We have to work extra hard but still push through the struggle. The majority of Blacks are well-educated and very hardworking. However you have a few that feel something is owed to them. They choose to blame others for their issues instead of trying to correct them. They don’t want a 9–5, they rather get quick money. I feel social media influences their actions as well. Many of them want the money, house, cars, women, the whole lavish lifestyle. However they don’t want to do it the right way. Again I am talking about a small percentage.

Rarebear's avatar

@trolltoll I never said, “black on black violence”. You did. I said street violence, by whomever. The BLM movement only seems to get their panties in a bunch when a white police officer is involved. I’m fine with getting your panties bunched when police officers shoot civilians. But a black kid who is shot by a police officer is no less important than a black kid shot in a drive by shooting. Nobody protests that.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Those who profit are the militarized police that do not have to answer for discriminatory behavior, the criminal justice system that processes continued findings of violations by black people, corporate prisons that benefit from incarceration of people who cannot pay exorbitant fines.

@SecondHandStoke Equal justice is what is being asked for, not over-compensation. Black people would like to be investigated, pulled over, questioned, searched, arrested, jailed and tried on the same basis as white people. No one is asking for anything special; they are tired of the special enhanced treatment that ends up with people dying from minor things that a white person would never be questioned about.

Rarebear's avatar

I agree completely with @zenvelo in his point that blacks are pulled over and harassed more often and that is worthy of protest.

trolltoll's avatar

@Rarebear that seems to be irrelevant since they both basically mean the same thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Then why don’t we hear more about the street violence than we do? Where is the outrage over that? Where is the movement to stop it?

dxs's avatar

@Rarebear Would you say that we are putting more focus on the shooter than the victim then, and that is also a problem? I was going to say that perhaps we are supposed to expect more from a cop because of their status in our society.

janbb's avatar

I find it hard to understand why people are critical of Black Lives Matter for focusing on this issue mainly for now. It is a part of the struggle for civil rights and for the improvement of the lives of oppressed people. Would you go to an organizer of a group that was working to save the rain forests and say, “Yeah, but polar bears are dying, why don’t you save the polar bears?” And none of us really know what is being done in various communities to strengthen the social network and prevent violence.

Anyone who has or has had a son should understand how frightening it must be to have them leave the house and be worried about whether they will come home – possibly killed yes, by street violence, but also maybe killed by a cop who shot multiple times before asking questions. Tamir Rice was 12 years old when he was shot to death in a playground. What isf that were your son?

And of course, there are great cops; that’s not the argument.

si3tech's avatar

Black lives matter defends the people who kill the very same people whose lives they say matter.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ Indeed, black on black violence is by far the most common event.

Also, this Atlantan wonders. If law enforcement agencies are as notoriously racist as one would be made to believe why do I see so many black officers? Surely one would want nothing to do with an enemy organization.

@zenvelo If it is more statistically likely that a young black male is up to no good then common sense is behind an officer’s diligence. Why this is the case has no place in a split second, life or death situation.

A pretty thing for me to say? Obviously not. However Police Lives Matter, to the point where killing of an officer usually carries a greater penalty for legitimate reasons.

zenvelo's avatar

@SecondHandStoke BLM is not about split second life or death situations.

It’s about pulling a gun out before evaluating a situation at all, and firing away. More than 100 unarmed black people were killed by police in 2015.

And your saying it is “common sense” to look at the black population because that is where the crime is shows the inherent bias in policing. How many petty infractions do you have every day, from jay walking to going over the speed limit to rolling a stop sign? But those are ignored. And would you argue with the policeman?

In the black community those are used as probable cause, and any attempt to argue with the policeman is considered resisting arrest and grounds for frisking, possible cuffing, and full on arrest.

Rarebear's avatar

@dxs I agree with you. That doesn’t make the 21 shootings in 20 hours in Chicago last month any less important though. Who is protesting that violence? Why is that not headline news? (Rhetorical question. The answer is obvious.)

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m not going to argue against the original stated aims of BLM. Of course black lives matter, just as much as any lives do – and they all do. That’s a given.

However, like a lot of political movements that want to effect revolution of one kind or another, BLM has started to turn into what it intended to protest. It intended to protest racism … and has become racist. It intended to protest uncalled-for violence … and it has started to produce uncalled-for violence. It intended to protest unfairness in society … and it has started to produce that. It intended to reduce black-white tension … and it has started to directly and explicitly and consciously produce that.

Those failings aren’t a “black” failing; they’re an all-too-human failing with no particular ownership by any race or culture. The French Revolution did that (and so did the American Revolution, with somewhat less violence – we don’t talk a lot about what happened to Tories who lived in the colonies after the American Revolution was militarily finished, but I’m sure if we had a guillotine then it would have been used here). The move against Communism in the USA after the end of World War II produced some of the worst government offenses against freedom that we’ve seen since Communism started. Police forces are maintained in society to keep the peace and prevent or solve crime, and some of them create conflict, produce and then cover up crime. It’s a very human failing, in other words; it’s not a racial thing at all.

It’s also true that the biggest threat to the life of a young black male in an American city is another young black American male – and I don’t mean “a cop”. But that’s not just a racial thing, either. In large part that is directly related to the collateral effects of the War on Some Drugs.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


As a long time New Yorker I know there is no such thing as a “petty infraction.” As far as capital starved Manhattan is concerned my fine money is just as green as that of every other race.

Jaywalking? The only reason this isn’t enforced is because it’s obviously not cost effective. I, like everyone else, jaywalked constantly. But I did so knowing that I was breaking the law, therefore, if something bad happened to me or someone else as a result all bets were off.

Rodney King didn’t share my philosophy, or maybe he just didn’t give a fuck.

When someone makes a conscious choice to cross over to the wrong side of the law anything could happen. Law enforcement should be held accountable, but how did this whole mess start?

But back to The Big Apple. The NYPD are a roving gang of impudent paramilitary thugs. I was subject to their totally uncool Stop And Frisk policy like everyone else. Had I been singled out for this unconstitutional abuse I would have kept my head. I would have informed the officer politely that I do not willingly consent and ask if I was free to move on.

I cannot do a thing about my racial makeup, but I can do everything about my behavior.

Silence04's avatar

Yay, another post in which this video is relevant af!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Back to Stuart’s argument: This video was posted by a young black man who was actually part of my family for a couple of years, when he was 12–14, until I lost track of him in 1996.
The comments were along the lines of, “Ya man! You don’t mess with that gramma, LOL!”
And, “She’s got it goin’ on!”
“Go Gramma!”
The comments seemed admiring.
I was horrified.
How can you combat street violence, violence in general, when it’s part of the fabric of the culture, when it’s taught from the cradle, when it’s admired?

kid_africa's avatar


“How can you combat street violence, violence in general, when it’s part of the fabric of the culture, when it’s taught from the cradle, when it’s admired?”

I find this statement really interesting. In many ways it is true.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just reconnected with the “kids,” who are grown now. As my friends on FB I get their posts. I rarely comment on them.
They post often about a violence that I am not accustomed to, and it’s rarely a violence that they condemn, either. It’s more like entertainment, or they find it funny.
Once he posted a glock, or something, that had a casing that made it look like a Star Wars toy. He said, “I like this, but I’m afraid my kids would want to play with it. ”
His Aunt made a disapproving comment, so after her I posted, “Of course they would. What a horrible idea.”
I just don’t want to lose them again so I stay quiet for the most part.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Jesus…a friend of the young man I finally found just posted this:

“When your child look just like the daddy, I almost punched her in the face

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