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Black Lives Matter: The Path Going Forward

Most grass-roots movements that rise up in America publish their reasons for existence, the goals they want to achieve, and the way they intend to reach those goals.  In a brief search of the BLM movement’s literature and internet presence, I have not found these basic directives.  It’s a young group, so it may still be in the process of development.  Their website indicates that more is to come.

In the meantime, I have some questions and thoughts that I would like to flesh out.  I am not an African-American.  I am, however, an American citizen who wants to live in peace and harmony with all other Americans, regardless of ethnic distinctions.  I despise racism, but like most other Americans, I don’t know what to do about it except to act out my convictions in a personal, unilateral way. 

Question #1:  Is the BLM movement a statement about the value of black lives in a generic way, or is it calling for a specific focus on the relationship between the police and African-Americans?  If it is generic, then every instance of the loss of a black person should be headlined, not just those who die at the hands of law enforcement. 

Question #2:  Does the “Black Lives Matter” label imply that the lives of other races don’t matter?  Those who have suggested this have been publically denounced.  This should have been anticipated by the founders of BLM. 

Question #3:  How will the BLM movement impact the perception of law enforcement as a whole?  Will the police be profiled as racist?  Will there be a standard by which Americans will judge particular law enforcement personnel? Just because one wears a uniform or has a badge may not be enough to distinguish between good cops and bad cops.

Question #4:  Does BLM call for the abolition of all law enforcement on the grounds that it is corrupt and racist at the core?  I really don’t need to comment on the impact that decision would have.  No more police and no more prisons would basically mean no more America.

Question #5:  But, let’s hypothesize on the BLM thinking on the last question of no more America.  This may, in fact, really be the goal of those who belong to the BLM or to other groups who sympathize with them.  Is it time for America to be dismantled?  Is racism so rampant and ingrained that the whole country is beyond repair?  Is it, at least, time for the nation to be divided into two or three nations?  Will such an arrangement foment a second civil war?  These are radical thoughts, but I would like to know if they are being entertained by some factions in America.

Question #6:  Does BLM only want to promote awareness of the problem between African-Americans and the police, or does it propose solutions to the problem?  Do these solutions involve education, PSA’s, restructuring of law enforcement agencies or other substantive efforts?  Should we expect more of the execution style of law enforcement officers like the one in Houston on 8/29/2015 or other similar incidents?

These are just a few questions I have about BLM.  The movement may be a necessary beginning to the discussion.  I hope that’s the case.  We desperately need to talk about racism, racial politics and the racial realities of 2015.  To continue to ignore the issue simply because it is so inflammatory and emotional, will only exacerbate the problem. 

I want to know if the core issue is crime or race.  Does criminology have racial overtones, or does the color of one’s skin determine criminology?  I want to know if the problem is a surface issue that can be easily fixed or a deep issue that goes all the way back to our founding fathers and documents.  Is the constitution a biased document because it was written by slave-owners?  Are reparations proposed by BLM?  Are a separate set of laws for the black population proposed?  I don’t know the answers, and maybe my questions are ignorant or out of line, but somehow, we need some answers.

African-American’s have a history of victimhood and pain.  There is no doubt that they are an aggrieved people.  Grievance, however, calls for one of two solutions:  reconciliation or revenge.  For the sake of all, including African-Americans, I hope we can work toward the first solution. 

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