Black Lives Matter? Or White Killers Matter?

The murder of Nia Wilson has made me wonder just what the heck is going on. I understand why African-Americans are outraged at police brutality. These are agents of the government doing wrong and just saying, “what about black on black crime?” doesn’t make it less of an issue. Police shooting black people under situations where they would probably not shoot whites is a serious national issue.

But in this case, a civilian white dude murders an African-American girl, and it becomes a national issue with protests, and in the hours after the murder there were calls by prominent civil rights Twitterers like Shaun King for everyone to be on the look out for this guy and see that he’s brought to justice.

Meanwhile, in Maryland, a 7 year old girl is shot in the back of the head. Strictly a local story:

She did later die.

A few days earlier, an elderly Latino man was brutally beaten. While his assaulters were at large and unknown to the media, it was a national news story. Again, Shaun King put out an “all hands on deck” alert to identify the bastard that did this. But as soon as the perp was found to be black, he deleted all tweets associated with the case and much of the media lost interest in the story.

So help me understand what’s going on here. Do minority lives only matter when whites are the perpetrators?

Close, but not precisely.

The underlying issue is that BLM people and sympathizers believe that the country is awash in white people and police specifically killing and otherwise brutalizing black people and getting away with it. When an ostensible instance of this occurs they seize on it, because they believe it encapsulates what’s happening on a much broader scale, and as such is useful in both illustrating the issue and galvanizing support for their cause.

When the incident doesn’t fit the narrative, then it becomes a local issue, because it’s not an example of the broader issue that they’re trying to highlight. So that victim’s life might matter as much as the next guy’s, but it doesn’t relate to what they consider the larger and more important story.

That’s easy. You’re cherry-picking stories that you happen to notice and not doing a study of what actually happens in the aggregate. Do you really think there are no stories of black people killed by white people that don’t become national stories?

The problem is the context. In a perfect world, we would be equally outraged by all murders. We should be equally outraged by all murders.

But the problem is that we live in a society where white-on-black racism is systemic. Our country has a vast and lengthy history of whites using violence to oppress, enslave, disenfranchise, and intimidate black Americans. That is why a white-on-black murder is assumed to have a racist component. It occurs within the context of a long story of racist violence.

A black-on-Latino murder attracts less attention because it does not have this context. Black Americans do not have a history of oppressing Latinos, and (more importantly)* black Americans do not control the instruments of power that suppress and control Latinos.*

Here’s something white people just refuse to understand: When a white cop kills a black person, whites tend to view it as an isolated incident. White critics only care about the facts of that specific case. (Eg Was the cop actually justified in using force in that particular instance?) Black Americans, on the other hand, look at the killing in the context of a systematic campaign of oppression that dates back centuries. The individual killing - rightly or wrongly - is viewed in this context as a symptom of the larger problem of racism and racial violence.

I’m unfamiliar with all of these stories. So I went and looked up the first one, seeing as it should be the easiest to find info about. It seems that the reason that BLM got involved had a lot to do with the police. The hashtag #SayHerName has to do with how the police were dealing with the case. There was a belief they were dragging their feet and refusing to acknowledge the likely racist component of the crime. (They don’t even seem to know each other.) There was also apparently some media that tried to show she was carrying a gun when she was not, which infuriated them. It plays on all the thing that BLM stands behind, so it makes sense it would come up. And then a bunch of white celebs amplified the story.

The little girl story, on the other hand, seems to be about a kid who accidentally got caught in the crossfires of some gang activity by a stray bullet. The driver of the other car was the kid’s cousin, and the driver’s kid was also in the car. While it doesn’t seem to be entirely local, it makes sense that this isn’t drawing the same type of ire, and doesn’t really have anything to do with the stuff BLM tends to get involved in. Plus there’s the variability of what actually goes viral: no celebrities made a big deal out of this, for instance.

And now the last one, which I assume is the bigger reason for your argument (as the reference to the kid is weak). Before I look at what King did, I’ll mention the case. This was a clearly racially motivated beating of an older man by a black woman, with him being told to “go back to your country.” On July 4 of all days. Fortunately, unlike the other two, he did not die and is recovering.

I would think that the calls for identification would die off after the suspect is caught, so that makes perfect sense. And, without the other problems of the first case, it makes sense the the story would die out. It was, like the shooting above, much earlier than the first case. And I’m unaware of any new developments.

So onto King. Unfortunately, the same level of search I did for the others is not finding anything on King deleting tweets or anything. I presume that the deletion is the problem, since no longer asking people to find someone who was already found makes perfect sense. All I see are a bunch of Tweets making a claim that he did so. Without more info, I cannot address that. It could easily just be right wing rumors and misrepresentations. Can anyone provide more info on that?

That said, I think the rest of your post that talks about why certain things trended is answered.

Part of it is that ‘dog bites man’ isn’t news.

Most violent crime is intraracial - whites attacking whites, blacks attacking blacks, etc. Of the interracial attacks, black-on-white crime is disproportionately more common than white-on-black. Unusual things get an unusual amount of attention.

More people die from bee stings than shark attacks, but the movie was called Jaws, not Stinger.


No. Believe it or not, but black lives matter.

All the time.

Latino lives too.

It’s a tough world.

I personally think the biggest issue with BLM is that they paint with a very wide brush. If you were to believe them they would - generally speaking - say that EVERYTIME a black person is killed by a white person that it MUST be racism.

I understand and agree that racism is alive in America today… alive among SOME in the general population, alive among SOME law enforcement and alive among SOME in the judicial branch, but I believe the numbers are small in context.

I believe that the vast majority of white law enforcement officers do not set out in anyway to arrest or kill black people. They are doing their job but they are most definitely not infallable and do make mistakes. For those mistakes they should be made to pay.

The fact is there are several arrogant scumbag cops like Phillip Brailsford ( who are gung ho and have a God complex. Brailsford was going to kill this guy, this day regardless of color (victim was white) and it is a travesty that he paid no price for the murder.

In my opinion a movement that is COLOR BLIND and simply looks to root out these bad cops would accomplish more for our society than BLM without targeting all white cops involved in a conflict while not being so racially charged… the problem is that movements like BLM are INTENDED to stir racial intentions as much as they are to solve any problem.

Now the system that reviews and justifies the officer shootings… that is another discussion.

Try reading a history book before you say that.

I don’t know which of you is correct, but you find “was”, not “is”, in history books.

That depends on the meaning of the word “is”. :wink:

In the first place, BLM also protests unjust violence against black victims by black and Latino cops, not just white cops. Just because a vicious cop is nonwhite doesn’t mean he/she won’t take advantage of opportunities to abuse nonwhite victims because a racist society makes it easier to get away with it.

In the second place, I don’t understand how “a movement that is color blind” can successfully address a social injustice that’s rooted in color prejudice. “Let’s call out these unjust officers for their racially motivated killings while pretending we don’t know what race they or their victims happen to be or how racism influenced their motivations”?

Not to mention that something like 78% of homicide victims are male and, of female victims, over half are killed by an intimate partner.

A black female being killed by a white male stranger is going to be a rare event.

My point - and we can agree to disagree - is that asshole/god complex/power abusing/corrupt cops FAR outweigh the racist ones. Maybe the answer lies in groups like BLM AND color blind groups that are less racially motivated.

Further, maybe some of our angst should be targeted at the systems in place that allow someone like Brailsford to LITERALLY have no criminal punishment for murdering a man regardless of his skin color.

But I do get why BLM cares about cop killings. That’s a power structure issue. A poor white dude killing a black woman is not a power structure issue. It’s a random, senseless crime, just like the 7-year old girl. Blacks do not face an epidemic of random white dudes killing black people. They say “Black Lives Matter”, but they don’t actually seem to matter unless the killer is a government employee or white. That’s why the Nia Wilson story surprised me. There’s no narrative here for it to fit. Random white violence against black people is not a daily threat in African-Americans’ lives. Discrimination is. Police brutality is. Injustice in the courts is. But not white on black crime. So it seems odd to get worked up over this case.

BigT, I’m not quoting you here but I do appreciate your explanation as the best one. But it still doesn’t satisfy completely, because cops drag their feet on ALL killings of blacks. But if the killer is thought to be black, it’s not a BLM case. If a black man had murdered Nia Wilson, the cops would have behaved just as disinterestedly, and no one outside the local news media would care about the story. There’s also the element of the story that goes against BLM and Shaun King’s narrative: this guy was released early from prison as part of “prison reform”.

John Mace, of course, there are a couple hundred white on black murders every year and most go unreported nationally. Social media is kinda arbitrary and this murder became a social media sensation. But the fact still remains if the killer wasn’t white it wouldn’t have gone viral.

I was under the impression that BLM was very specifically about cops disproportionately killing black people due to ingrained racism - and the fact that the cops tend to get off scot free due to law enforcement failing to hold itself accountable when race-driven murders occur. While there are doubtlessly people who cry ‘Black lives matter!’ when other non-cop killings occur, I was under the opinion that people making such statements were confused.

And some members take it even further and say that their agenda also includes economic and general social justice. That’s the downside of a movement without a centralized leadership. Although I agree that caring about one thing does not mean that you do not care about other things that you do not explicitly state.

As for all of that black-on-black crime, take a moment to stop to think about the root causes. If someone wrongs me, a white guy, in some way (or even if I just think that someone’s wronged me), I have a lot of options. I can call the cops. I can take them to court. I can, in short, deal with it in a civilized way.

But suppose that weren’t so. From the point of view of many blacks, the police and courts are the enemy. The absolute best that they can expect from them is to leave them alone, and they’re sure as heck not going to help them. And they have very good reasons for that belief. So if you’re an inner-city black guy, and someone wrongs you, what options do you have? You’re going to take it into your own hands, and then you’ve got black violence. Or, more likely, you’re going to get a bunch of friends to help you (with the understanding that you’ll also help them when they need it), and now you’ve got gang violence. It’s a natural result of not being able to trust the legitimate authorities.

Now, this isn’t the only cause of black-on-black violence. But it’s a major contributor. And so, by addressing the problem of police violence, groups like BLM are also addressing the problem of black-on-black violence, by addressing the root cause.

The thing is, if these characteristics are overlapping and/or mutually reinforcing, and if cultural biases favoring the latter characteristic are being exploited for the advantage of the former, then it’s really not a matter of one “outweighing” the other.

If the two are significantly entangled then we can’t really deal with them as separate phenomena, and attempting to do so is to some extent refusing to recognize reality.

:dubious: Really? You think white people “beating up a n****r” as a form of recreation and/or expression of social dominance is extinct as a social phenomenon nowadays? You think there are no white people who still do that, or who use the threat of that to intimidate black people?

Yes, fortunately casual racist white-on-black violence is much more rare nowadays, and much less widely tolerated by white society, than it was a few decades ago. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still happen, or that there aren’t a lot of white people who still try to normalize or excuse it, or that it’s unreasonable for black people still to be concerned about it.