Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson visited the city of Ferguson, MO last week. He’s the first declared candidate from either party to make the visit and it is especially significant because Dr. Carson is still the only African American in the race. It’s doubly especially significant because Dr. Carson has been lukewarm and less that supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, a movement that received it’s first national exposure immediately after the death of Michael Brown.
Dr. Carson visiting Ferguson to potentially talk about African American / Police relations is kind of like Ted Nugent showing up at the Million Man March. You know him being there is only going to result in him saying something stupid. I watched Dr. Carson’s visit with wide-eyed curiosity. Dr. Carson, after all, is a fascinating fellow. His book, Gifted Hands, was required reading among black boys of my generation. I remember I received my copy from my Aunt Norma. Then, I was blown away by black neurosurgeon. I was born in 1974, as a child the idea of a black person being anything other than a laborer, was still an anomaly to me. Now, at 40 years-old, as I look at Dr. Ben Carson, I’m more blown away by the idea that he seems to be an African American presidential candidate that doesn’t seem the least interested in actually attracting any black voters.
You don’t endear yourself to voters by suggesting that them aborting so many babies is actually worse than police brutality. That won’t get you invited to a barbeque, let alone convince someone to let you kick your feet up in the Oval Office.
Given enough time, Dr. Carson could wind up sounding like Republican Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, who last week blamed President Obama for the death of police officers Darren Goforth of Texas and Joseph Gliniewicz, of Illinois.
According to Walker, President Obama has enabled a culture of racial divisiveness. The kind of culture that cheer as Black Live Matter protestors chant “Pigs in a blanket” and “Fry ‘em like bacon”. Not at all like the kind of “divisiveness” that comes with adding fuel to the long debunked birther argument. If that isn’t the pot calling the Kenyan black.
Fox News, no surprise here, has not supported Black Lives Matter. In fact, Fox News’ primary position is that black suspects must have somehow abetted in their own police attacks, arrests, or death. The Fox News vitriol reached a nadir recently with perpetual bag of sorrow, Elisabeth Hasselbeck wondering why Black Lives Matter has not been classified as a “hate group”.
The most common detractor of Black Lives Matter is the person who counters with “All lives matter”. As a reply, it usually exits the mouth with the same disdain as someone saying “asshole”, which in effect, is what those who spout “All lives matter” are saying in code. If they were robots (or perhaps the “Binars” from season one of Star Trek: TNG), their code would be 011f0u1c0k0bl0a0ck11p0eo11p0l1e01.
All lives matter, naturally. My wife is not black and her life more than matters to me and my daughter. Hell, even white people I don’t know, I don’t want them to die. All live matter. Don’t be a fuckin’ idiot. The point of Black Lives Matter is to highlight the fact that police (and prisons) seem to be predatory, especially on black lives and in black communities. It’s a fire that’s been raging for decades. The extinguisher is police backing off and treating African Americans like human beings. The solution is not to minimize the cry, by insisting that all people (usually white Americans) should be treated the same. That may be true, but we know, statistically speaking, white people are treated great by cops. That’s why the movement exists.
The Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s were not met with the idea that all people needed to have the same freedoms, in fact, the exact opposite. If “all lives matter”, as it seems to for so many conservatives (who are old enough to have lived through or remember the Civil Rights Movement), should have started by showing a little of that notion there. All lives certainly don’t seem to matter to conservatives, when it comes to frightening immigrant families, keeping women from controlling their uteruses, or allowing blacks and Latinos to vote.
Black Lives Matter may be loud and annoying sometimes, but that’s what protests are supposed be. Black Lives Matter has also been non-violent, but that doesn’t get as much press as the fact that most of the participants of Black Lives Matter are young, black, and angry.