(Image courtesy of Cogic.org)
Well I wasn’t…but now I’m gonna. It all started with Michael Brown. Protestors standing up to what they viewed as a corrupt, and racist police force. Police not backing down and supporting each other for what they viewed as doing their job. The protests were sometimes peaceful, and other times exceptionally violent. There were quiet nights, and nights filled with creative chants. One of the things that spilled over from Ferguson to the rest of the country was the now popular slogan of “Black Lives Matter”.
I take exception to this being from the St Louis area. Why do I take exception? Because our people in St Louis are killing each other at an alarming rate, and MUCH faster than the cops are. We have had months of protests over 3 people in the StL area killed by the police, yet in 2014 we had the HIGHEST homicide rate in the city since 2008. We sat at almost 50 homicides per 100,000 people. We have a declining population and rising homicide rate. We fell out of the top 50 largest cities in the U.S.A and jumped straight to the top for homicide rate. In 2013 Detroit was #1 on that list with 44 per 100,000 people.
According to police chief Sam Dotson, a solid chunk of the homicides stemmed from domestic violence and fights/arguments between killer/victim who were acquainted. Many were linked to drug deals gone bad and/or gang activity, and most had a criminal history all their own. Most of the victims were black males, as were the suspects in cases where suspect descriptions were available. 2/3 of all murder cases in St Louis remain unsolved.
If we as a community want to be taken seriously in the plight for equality we have to start proving to each other that all lives matter. We can’t continue to kill each other at an extinction level rate then blame the police. If we want the police to take less interest in our communities then we need to start taking more interest ourselves. If we police the people in our neighborhoods there would be less cause for law enforcement to be there in the first place.
As long as St Louis is sitting high atop the violent crime stats in this country you can fully expect the police to respond with deadly force in order to ensure they make it home to their families at night. Violence begets violence. When you live in a savage world, you do what you must to survive. The only way to change the outcome is to change your world. The only one who can change your world is you.