Officer Alex recommends “re-branding” a political movement
“#BlackLivesMatter.” Who hasn’t heard of this by now?
The Inuit have heard of it. The Hmong people have heard of it. Republicans…have heard of “#BLM.” Yet time and again, people keep wondering why their voice isn’t heard when the leading cause of death for young black males from ages 15 to 34 is constantly validated in local and national headlines (that cause being other young black males ages 15 to 34, according to the CDC for the year 2013) in often baffling displays of tragedies so consistent they are becoming some sort of twisted societal norm.
Despite this, the group that has literally labeled itself as being concerned about “black lives” specifically only gets vocal when it’s a white police officer doing the shooting (justified or unjustified). Enter: “Confusion.”
I’ll admit it. The confusion about “selective homicide offensiveness” had me on the bandwagon as well (immediately making me a racist of course), but unlike other disagreement-based racists, I actually looked into this at the source, and as it turns out? There’s a reason for this, and as you can tell by the past tense presentation I’ve had a change of heart. (“Research,” my constant friends; it’s a real thing.)
501(c)(3)s are handling the “heart” and “cancer” problems in that demographic (heart disease being the #2 killer of this group, for the record), so why shouldn’t police-related deaths be its own specialty as well? I get it. Mystery solved.
Armed with this knowledge, however, I now can’t help but make the somewhat objective observation that I would have to strongly recommend some adjustments be made by their in-house public relations team. This makes me re-racist, but what can I say? I’m a student of human nature and a sucker for the obvious.
The goal of the BLM movement, as it has been explained to me by reasonable members willing to attempt a face-to-face discussion (meaning this has happened all of “one times”), is to focus on racially motivated police brutality, police-involved deaths, and inequality in the justice system. But what most of the confused observers don’t take the time to realize is that “#BLM” organizers and participants don’t deny the problem of “black on black” crime at all; their focus is simply elsewhere, and members and organizers do not wish to imply that “other” lives do not matter. They’re just patiently swimming through a niche market to focus on what they believe is the increased risk to black people of injury or death by law enforcement. (Their words.) Simple enough?
My counter to this is that in what was likely an attempt at over-simplification to produce a “trendy catch name” for social media purposes, the confusion its specificity creates is extremely reasonable and the reaction is counterproductive, and therefore leads to distraction-filled conversations.
#BLM: Let’s make a deal. If you can blame police for being “racially motivated executioners of young black men” even when those same young men shoot a cop in the chest first (yes, a local and real-life example), surely you cannot blame people for wondering why someone calling themselves “Black Lives Matter” doesn’t give the impression of caring when it’s a black life taking a black life. “So do they matter, or not?” is the conclusion that is being drawn, and you have to give them some leeway there, just as I give you the benefit of the doubt in your own passionate mission.
Don’t disband! God no, who else would the media have to manipulate? Just clarify, or “rebrand.” Consider taking this to the next level, even if it means going to something more offensive so long as its message is clear. While I don’t want you blowing whistles in my face, I honestly get it.
Does this suggestion make me racist? Sure. But giving the confused the benefit of the doubt could allow them to return the favor. Current methods make for great drama, sure, but I’m not joking about actually trying to convey your message now. Consider it.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center