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Black lives must matter to Blacks or the movement is folly

Black political leaders, clergy, parents, we’ve got a problem! We’ve got to talk with one another about it.

Greg Zanis staples a photograph to a wooden cross at a planned prayer vigil and rally against violence in Chicago, Illinois on May 20, 2017. Zanis makes a personalised cross, every year, for each person murdered in Chicago, which is already over 220 so far. The largest city in the Midwest has been struggling with a stubbornly high murder rate that peaked at more than 750 last year, the highest in two decades. Photo: Jim Young/AFP/Getty Images

If Black lives don’t matter to Blacks, why then, would it matter to others?

Compton Herald | Uncharted

“Uncharted” is commentary from Compton Herald publisher and editor, Jarrette Fellows, Jr.


BLACK AMERICA, WE’VE GOT A PROBLEM! People keep decrying, “White people kill each other, too! What the hell? Like that validates Blacks killing Blacks. Insane! Our particular bloodletting is exceptionally virulent. It’s happening in most every urban sector in America and no acrimony within any other ethnic group in the nation comes close.

So don’t give me that “Whites kill Whites, too” blather.

Consider the following excerpt from a 2016 story in the Chicago Tribune about a sudden burst of gunfire one eventful August evening on the Southside of Chicago:

As the children attempted to crawl into a hallway, Demarco Kennedy’s wife saw him fall over. The left side of his face was streaked with blood from a bullet wound.

“He was grabbing my hand real hard. He was trying to say something and he couldn’t,” Nicole Kennedy said, recounting the evening when her husband was slain. “And when he released my hand, that’s when he passed.”

With that random bullet through the family’s window, Kennedy became another homicide victim in Chicago, one of more than 750 in 2016.

Grim statistics added up in South Chicago: The deadliest month in 23 years — 4,300 people shot. Where else has this kind of self-inflicted carnage occurred in America, perpetrated by one ethnic group against its own, outside of the Civil War?

Over the July 4, 2017, observance, the cacophony from all of those fireworks bursting in air, weren’t all attributable to legal explosive pyrotechnic devices. A good measure came from handguns and other arms used to kill people. More than likely it occurred in White and Brown neighborhoods too. But handgun atrocities in other communities is not the focus of this commentary. It’s about what’s occurring at home, where Black people live.

In Chicago, which has erupted into a “killing field,” at least 101 people were shot between Friday afternoon and early Wednesday, resulting in 15 deaths, the Chicago Tribune reported. Nearly half were shot in a spate of violence as the weekend closed out between 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

That was just Chicago. Other urban zones experienced their share of virulence too.

Black political leaders, clergy, parents, we’ve got a problem! We’ve got to talk with one another about it. The dilemma is no one’s but our own. If Black lives don’t matter to Blacks, it’s all folly. Why then, would it matter to others?

The lack of gun control is not the reason; people can get guns on the black market anytime they want. The NRA is not the problem. According to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people have the right to bear arms. Trigger-happy cops are not the root. They don’t force us to slaughter our own.

The problem is multi-dimensional and can be attributed to self-hate, mental illness, street drugs, gang mayhem, broken homes, absentee fathers, rage, lack of morality — all of that and more.

But, how do we arrest that and banish this hell from our community? It’s a matter of the heart, pure and simple. And only God can fix the heart.

He is the answer.

READ ALSO: Black-on-Black crime: Stop the bleeding no matter who thinks we shouldn’t!

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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