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Daily Journal
     August 10, 2021      #95-222 KDJ

Where are the protests over local deaths? 

By Ron Jackson

What a difference a year makes. One year ago, the country was still besieged by domestic turmoil. Riots across the country that began in late May 2020 continued throughout the summer.

Ignited by the Minneapolis death of one man at the hands of police, violent, illegal protests swept the country. Nearly 150 cities in 21 states experienced peaceful and violent protests at the costs of some lives and billions of dollars in damage.

A man unknown to most Americans before his death, George Floyd became a household name after his death was captured on video. Even in our community, there were peaceful protests. Although no one here knew George Floyd, there were protests. People here cared about his manner of death.

One year later, our community has suffered violent deaths of multiple young black men. Yet, there is a conspicuous absence of care and protests over the manner of their deaths. Are the local murders not worthy of the same outrage we saw for a Minnesota man turned martyr who was previously unknown to all of us?

Do their black deaths not matter to the Black Lives Movement? Why is there no public outcry and demand for justice?

There have been no protests, no riots, no looting, no damage to private or government property in the name of accountability for the recent murders. The silence of the local loudmouths of last year is deafening.

How can there be but a fleeting whisper of sympathy for this summer’s murdered young men known to this community after we participated in last year’s hero worshiping of a man we didn’t know?

I am not the only one asking that question and who has an explanation. A Facebook associate granted me permission to share some of her outrage. In a Thursday FB post, RM wrote, “Another young black man, a bright shining star with a promising future ahead of him, has been gunned down not by the white policeman but by a hood criminal.”

Adding her personal connection to the victim, she says, “As I’ve watched my child mourn his loss, I am so angry that the Black community can come out in droves and protest deaths by cop but when our young men are gunned down in the community, 93% of the time all we want to do is hold candlelight vigils. We refuse to stand up to the criminals who are wreaking the most havoc on our community and instead turn all the rage toward the police. What is wrong with us?”

Twelve hours after her post, fewer than one dozen people had liked her assessment.

In other poignant points, RM admonished that the world is watching how ludicrous Black Americans are by rebelling against abuse of blacks by non-blacks while readily accepting the constant abuse of their own.

I am in complete agreement with RM who says that we are the answer. It is we who have, through frivolous first resort claims of racism and police brutality, emboldened a menacing segment of our society. We are too quick to shield them from accountability either through our silence, blindness, deafness or blatant protection from authority.

It is not enough to hold two-day vigils after a senseless murder then go about our normal lives. Not enough is being done to address the young witnesses and survivors who have come to expect and accept murder as a normal part of their youth. We cannot continue to sit idly by and allow the elimination of future generations.

Dr. Martin L. King Jr. said it plainly, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

Come February, we cannot continue to extol the virtues of Black history while ignoring the violent destruction of Black present. If we don’t do what we need to do, there won’t be a Black future. And there won’t be anyone else to blame.

Ron Jackson can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com

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