Do black lives matter? I do have a few African American colleagues and friends. Their lives certainly matter to me. I used to work for Ronnie Italiano at Clifton Music on Saturdays. He put on oldies shows and through him I met quite a few singers from the 50s, almost all of whom were African American. Their lives mattered to me and when I read of the demise of one of them now, I do shed a tear (at least silently).
There is an organization called ‘Black Lives Matter’. It isn’t interested in aging singers, nor is it about my neighbors. It is about ordinary urban Black people, almost all male, who have been killed by the cops. I do agree with the organization. Police brutality is a real problem. Even if the final shot may be justified, the number of people killed by the police is a scandal. We kill far more people than any country in Europe. There must be a better way.
Still I don’t always care. BLM picks odd poster children. Michael Brown was a large young man who seemed to think he could strong arm people because of his size. I don’t think I would have wanted him in my neighborhood. Let’s take Christian Taylor in Arlington. He should have been alive, but I would have hoped he would have spent 5-10 years in prison. He was exactly the reason why urban areas are on the decline.
I wish BLM would sometimes worry about the mess created by their poster children.