What offends me is the laughable claim that Black Lives Matter, considering black people cannot stop killing one another in the former capital city of the Confederate States of America. In so doing, they still find a way to blame white people. [Regional killings jump to highest level in 7 years, with black victims 82% of total, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2-19-16]:
Homicides throughout the Richmond region in 2015 jumped to the highest level since 2008, with the number of African-American victims climbing to 82 percent in a year that Black Lives Matter activists commanded local and national attention.
Eighty of the 98 people killed last year in the area’s four cities, three towns and 16 counties were black, the highest percentage since at least 2010, when the Richmond Times-Dispatch began tracking the race of homicide victims and their assailants, according to the newspaper’s analysis of regional homicide data.
Regionally, the percentage of black victims leaped 10 points from 2014 to 2015.
And at the region’s core, 35 African-Americans were killed in Richmond, accounting for 90 percent of the city’s 39 homicide victims in 2015. That total doesn’t include four other black lives lost in self-defense, or “justifiable,” fatal shootings, and a fifth case of a young black mother whose suspicious death remains unresolved.
The disturbing trend even extended to the large suburban counties of Henrico and Chesterfield, where 31 of the 32 victims collectively killed in those localities were black.
The disproportionate number of blacks killed in homicides isn’t lost on Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham, who during a recent forum said the question he frequently hears among his peers at law-enforcement conferences across the country is, “Do black lives really matter?”
It’s a question that Durham, who is black, posed last month at a Black Lives Matter symposium at Virginia Commonwealth University, in trying to put into perspective the relatively small percentage of police killings of young black men compared with the thousands of African-Americans slain nationally each year.
The proportion of black homicide victims in the Richmond region last year greatly surpassed state and national percentages, which stood at 53 percent and 51 percent, respectively, of total reported homicides.
Nearly 6,100 of the nation’s 11,961 homicide victims in 2014 were black, according to FBI crime data for the most recent year available. And 180 of the 337 people killed in Virginia were black, state figures show. Blacks represent about 13 percent of the U.S. population and 19 percent of Virginia’s residents.
The issue of black-on-black violence has received renewed public attention in the past two years in the aftermath of a series of police-involved killings of black men by white police officers that sparked national debate and protests here and across the country.
The tragic loss of black lives in central Virginia — only one was due to an on-duty police killing that later was ruled justifiable — is one side of a deadly equation that includes an equally disproportionate number of black offenders.
Of the 75 homicide suspects identified by police so far in last year’s regional homicides, 66 are African-American, or 88 percent of the total. In Richmond, 97 percent are black, the data show.
“Where were the folks from Black Lives Matter ... when 12-year-old Amiya Moses was killed ... outside playing?” Durham recently asked the VCU symposium audience, referring to a Richmond girl who was killed by gunfire Dec. 18 during a neighborhood dispute.
“Not once ... did I see anybody from Black Lives Matter, not one representative, in a prayer circle holding hands, walking in a community vigil walk or sitting on a panel talking about how we’re going to stop the violence in the city of Richmond,” Durham said last week.
At the forum, Durham posed this provocative question: “If there was never, never another police-involved shooting of a black man, of a person of color, would the Black Lives movement be relevant?”
The participants who took offense were adamant in their disapproval.
The symposium’s featured panelist was Bree Newsome, an activist arrested in June after she took down the Confederate flag flying in front of South Carolina’s Statehouse.
She countered Durham by saying, “We need to stop conflating crime that ... always happens in the city, homicides between two civilians,” with police-involved killings, which she described as “state-sanctioned murder.”
Her remarks drew loud applause.
“Those are two different things,” Newsome added. “A homicide happens, and (then there is) the state-sanctioned killing of people ... and a lack of police accountability. Also, when you have black people killing black people, they tend to go to jail. With police officers, then tend not to go to jail.”
Killings in the black community, she explained, are due to a “total imbalance of power” for people growing up impoverished.Without white people to blame for black-on-black homicides, all that remains is the sickening reality of black genetics on display as the reason behind black dysfunction in America.
There is no greater action a white person can engage in today than getting out of the way of the Black Lives Matter movement and allowing them demonstrate to the world that Black Lives Don't Matter.