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"BLACK LIVES MATTER" IS MORE THAN A DECLARATIVE STATEMENT

by Merl Moore (MerlMoore@mail.com)

 The statement “Black Lives Matter” seems to ruffle some (especially Police and/or White) people's feathers. Invariably – in select company – it's met with “All Lives Matter” (everybody) and/or “Blue Lives Matter” (Law Enforcement). All 3 statements, strictly speaking, in purely the declarative sense, are 100% TRUE. No question about that.   
 
 However, “Black Lives Matter” as the motto of the titular movement is not strictly speaking a purely declarative statement; it's also – and perhaps most importantly – a response, a reply to the racist actions towards African-Americans by (especially white) people and (especially white but not limited to white) police-officers all over this country (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa27qvZkvTY ).
 
 When George Zimmerman went on trial for the murder of UNARMED African-American teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, the jury let Zimmerman off, basically saying what Zimmerman's gun said first, that Trayvon's life didn't matter (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/what-happened-trayvon-martin-explained).   
 
 When North Charleston, South Carolina, (now ex-)police-officer Michael Slager was put on trial for the murder of 50 yr. old UNARMED African-American motorist Walter Scott WHO WAS RUNNING AWAY when he was shot! (picture at left) – a murder that was actually recorded on a by-stander/witness's cell-phone (http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/us/michael-slager-murder-trial-walter-scott-mistrial/)! i.e.: WE ALL SAW IT! – however, one of the 12 jurors refused to convict the ex-officer regardless of the evidence and a mistrial was declared. In May of this year, hoping to avoid another jury trial, Slager pled guilty to Federal charges and won't be tried again (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-michael-slager-walter-scott-2017-story.html). First Slager said Mr. Scott's life didn't matter than that juror in Slager's first trial said quite clearly that Mr. Scott's life didn't matter.   
 
 In 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri, Police Officer Jason Stockley was recorded on his cruiser's dash-Cam during a chase of suspect Anthony Lamar Smith saying to his partner, “I’m going to kill this motherfucker. Don't you know it!” Which he did with his personal AK-47 which he retrieved from the trunk of the car (why there was a personal fire-arm in the trunk of a police vehicle and that this fact didn't inform the rest of the legal proceedings is beyond me) after crashing into and disabling Smith's vehicle (http://www.inquisitr.com/3109516/jason-stockley-anthony-lamar-smith/). “After Anthony Lamar Smith was dead, Jason Stockley reportedly planted the gun inside Smith’s vehicle to cloak his involvement in the man’s death.” Despite the video and audio evidence (including video of him planting the gun) Stockly was not charged until 2016 and, no surprise, has since been acquitted at trial (i.e.: he can't be tried for murder again). My feeling is that Stockly didn't think Smith's life mattered and neither did his partner, Officer Brian Bianchi (who said nothing) or the St. Louis Police Chief in 2011, Dan Isom (who did nothing) or that jury that found him not guilty despite mountains of incriminating evidence (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/us/jason-stockley-anthony-lamar-smith-st-louis-officer.html).
 
 MappingPoliceViolence.Org has said that U.S. Law Enforcement shot and killed 102 UNARMED Black Men in 2015 – almost 2 each week and 5X the number of Unarmed Whites. (https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/) What percentage of those cops do you think were convicted of murder or even manslaughter? “Only 10 of the 102 cases in 2015 where an unarmed black person was killed by police resulted in officer(s) being charged with a crime, and only 2 of these deaths (Matthew Ajibade and Eric Harris) resulted in convictions of officers involved. Only 1 of 2 officers convicted for their involvement in Matthew Ajibade's death received jail time. He was sentenced to 1 year in jail and allowed to serve this time exclusively on weekends. Deputy Bates, who killed Eric Harris, was sentenced on May 31, 2016.” (source: mappingpoliceviolence.org) A Tulsa County judge on May 31, 2016 followed a jury's recommendation to order the maximum punishment of four years in prison for former Tulsa County Reserve Sheriff's Deputy Robert Bates, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter of Eric Harris.
 
 Type “Video of Police Shooting Unarmed Black Man” into a search-engine and you'll start down a rabbit-hole of over 4.3-million results! And those are just the one's we actually get to watch on video and not have to take the word of the officer (i.e.: the shooter) about what actually transpired.
 
 I could give examples like this all day (week? year? millennium?) but for the life of me I can't find opposite examples. The right is saying that those four black ass-holes who tortured that poor disabled white kid back in January are just such an example but that is total B.S (http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/facebook-beating-of-disabled-white-teen-becomes-conservative-rallying-cry/ar-BBxWz9L?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout). No one (accept perhaps the perpetrators' lawyer(s) – that is their job – and maybe their parents) has come out defending their reprehensible actions. A “Black Lives Matter” spokesperson said "BLM doesn't condone violence and we are abhorred by this travesty. We hope he's well & receiving care." A later statement from the same source that seems right-on-the-money to my thinking added, "In the mainstream imagination of today, anything horrible done by Black people will be associated with BLM. Funny how oppression works."   
 
 When has anyone ever heard a representative of the police – fellow officer, police-union spokesperson, anyone? – ever say something like, “We condemn that officer and his reprehensible actions and hope he goes to prison for a very long time.” Nope. Never. According to cops, cops can do no wrong. And, if you doubt for even a second that all of us and especially African-American boys and men are treated very, very differently than the police are treated by the police, try this on for size: https://youtu.be/Bf1lYYEn4dE 

  

  Nobody in the black community is saying anything like that when it comes to those four black assholes; their actions have been condemned by EVERYONE, regardless of race.
 
  So here's the end of the story: Everyday cops and juries are saying, by their actions and words, that Black Lives Do Not Matter so, until I hear of cops just letting a cop-killer go or of a jury finding a cop-killer not guilty or a juror of any race causing a mistrial of a cop-killer, in a trial were there is video evidence available, simply because he or she just can't arrest or convict a person who murders a cop no matter what the evidence shows, until something like that happens the slogan “Blue Lives Matter” is just that, a slogan, and really at it's heart, just another racist remark. Sure, it's true, “All Lives Matter” is too. Lots of things are true. But it's not the same thing and it's definitely not the point.    
  
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 “American policy has placed black people outside of the law. We are now being told that after having pursued such policies for 200 years, after codifying violence in slavery, after a people conceived in mass rape, after permitting the disenfranchisement of black people through violence, after Draft riots, after white-lines, white leagues, and red shirts, after terrorism, after standing aside for the better reduction of Rosewood and the improvement of Tulsa, after the coup d'etat in Wilmington, after Airport Homes and Cicero, after Ossian Sweet, after Arthur Lee McDuffie, after Anthony Baez,  and Eleanor Bumpers, after Kathryn Johnston and the Danziger Bridge, that there are no ill effects, that we are pure, that we are just, that we are clean. Our sense of self is incredible. We believe ourselves to have inherited all of Jefferson's love of freedom, but none of his affection for white supremacy. You should not be troubled that George Zimmerman "got away" with the killing of Trayvon Martin, you should be troubled that you live in a country that ensures that Trayvon Martin will happen.” Trayvon Martin and the Irony of American Justice by TA-NEHISI COATES (http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/07/trayvon-martin-and-the-irony-of-american-justice/277782/)