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Jerry E. Clark

Black Lives Really Matter
Thinking Things Over
By Jerry E. Clark
August 31, 2015 -

There is a relatively new 'organization' creating marches around the country with the mantra "Black Lives Matter" on its many signs. Nobody can disagree with that statement, but there's far more to that line than one may at first imagine.

That statement supposedly just refers to the belief of some blacks that many whites, and specifically, many white law enforcement officials, allegedly don't place the same amount of respect for black lives as they should.

With several black subjects shot and killed earlier this year and last by white police officers - especially the particularly egregious South Carolina case when an officer shot a fleeing black man in the back, it's understandable that a strong reaction would occur. The whole subject of proper law enforcement always should be subject to close scrutiny.

Of course, as so many people have pointed out, "all lives matter." This society cannot and will not countenance outrageous and deadly behavior on the part of rogue policemen. Although these instances remain rare, there's no reason not to closely examine the full nature of police training. In many cases, the use of deadly force might not be necessary if the law enforcement officers had the right equipment and the right overall resources.

Those lack of resources, from proper staffing levels to the availability of tasers or other stun weapons are just part of the problem. Lawlessness and disrespect for both private and public property, multiple felon offenders, lack of education and a host of other public ills (not the least of which is poverty and hopelessness) are plaguing our inner cities and threatening the fabric of our society.

I find it surprising that the marchers with the signs "Black Lives Matter" are not being seen at southside Chicago, East St. Louis, and other tough crime areas, for black on black crime there is among the worst of our public ills. While it makes sense for America's white population to reexamine closely how black crime subjects are treated - no matter what their behavior - doesn't it also make sense for our black population to strongly question the black on black crime which takes so many lives, month after month and year after year?

I think so.

We've got to put an end to such incidents as the execution style murder of Texas sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth while he was merely filling his patrol car with gas. It was a senseless, cowardly act which only confirms the suspicions of many law abiding citizens that there is a sector of society which has zero respect for civil behavior and decency. The killer will be found and when he is found, he'll probably face the death penalty. Rightly so.

Back and forth diatribes won't fix anything. Dialogue on the whole subject of law enforcement may help. There's no time like the present to remind everybody that "we're all in this together," that "all lives matter," and that dealing with the many societal problems we have - on all levels - needs to be given the highest priority by public and private leaders alike.

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