I’ve heard plenty of people say “it should be all lives matter, not just black lives.” This isn’t inaccurate ALL LIVES SHOULD MATTER… but in practice that isn’t the case. I discussed crime bias yesterday. Now, I’m going to explain WHY it’s black lives matter and WHY IT SHOULD BE THAT WAY. For those that truly think justice is blind, you’re not paying attention… crime bias proves it. However, let me explain by providing an example because that illustrates it way better than mere words ever could.
In 2009, my nephew was arrested for possession. He was 14. He is an addict and comes from a long line of addicts. He was sentenced to 6 months in treatment. He got in trouble in treatment and was transferred to a juvenile detention center. More trouble followed and he was there until he was 17.
In 2014 he was arrested again for burglary. He served another year in a prison treatment facility. Rinse and repeat previous experience and was released in early 2016. He fell in love with an amazing girl and she got pregnant.
In October 2016 (after less than 6 months out of jail), we awoke one morning to find a bunch of stuff stashed in our shed that appeared to be stolen during a burglary. We called the police. Nephew was arrested. He once again resisted arrest with the officers reporting he attempted multiple times to kick and punch them. And he was released in the summer of 2017 – he served 1 year for burglary, felony theft, and resisting arrest.
In November 2017 he was seen by police in the wee hours of the morning (like 3 am) in someplace weird… and matched the description of an armed robbery suspect. A foot chase began. Not only did my nephew flee he again resisted arrest. This time he spit in an officer’s face, attempted to bite him, as well as attempting to kick him. I’ve seen parts of the arrest report. My nephew should have been considered armed and dangerous.
Furthermore, he had a lengthy criminal history including resisting arrest every time he’d been arrested. Yet, despite this my nephew didn’t even get a black eye, he wasn’t tasered, he wasn’t sat upon by an officer, he wasn’t even roughed up… all of which would have been within justification of the police who responded.
He was sentenced to a drug treatment program yet again, despite my nephew telling people he didn’t want to stop using drugs (meth is his drug of choice and he was found to have meth in possession and in his blood at the last 2 arrests). It started as 1 year again in treatment. More trouble followed in treatment with my nephew as the instigator and he was eventually sentenced to a further 2 years in prison. And again he is a ward of the Missouri Department of Corrections… He is set to get out this summer.
My nephew was a repeat offender with a history of resisting arrest before his 21st birthday – which by the way he spent in prison. He was high on meth and had robbed someone at knife point. Then he spit in an officer’s face from less than eight inches away according to the officer’s own report and he didn’t even get a black eye. WTF!? And even after all that, a judge sentenced him into a one year treatment program like every previous arrest.
I know that if he wasn’t a white guy, he would have been at least seriously injured that night and I hate to say this, but rightly so. Black Lives Matter isn’t an “if/than” statement (if black lives matter then others lives don’t) it is a rally cry for all of us to finally admit that law enforcement as well as the criminal justice system treat white offenders and black offenders very different. Yes, all lives matter, but in the US legal system the lives of black suspects and offenders are repeatedly not treated as important. Being black and suspected of a crime should absolutely not mean that police can respond with more force than they would if it was a white person suspected of the same crime… and yet, time and time again that’s exactly what happens. As my nephew proves; no one needs to say White Lives Matter he was allowed to spit on a cop, punch him, kick him, and run from him without getting so much as a busted lip or black eye while being suspected of robbing someone with a knife – an automatic felony offense – and having a history of resisting arrest.
That is why it is and should be “Black Lives Matter.”