All Lives, Including Black Ones, Matter To God
George Floyd’s murder caused a fundamental change in the psyche of our nation. It didn’t change the facts surrounding racial issues – yet – but it did change how those issues are viewed by the white public. That is an important first step.
Floyd’s death is only one among many but its galvanizing effect has reverberated around the world.
Even law enforcement is coming around. Although the killing of African Americans in similar situations in the past was often explained away as the police doing their duty to protect the public, an astonishing number of law enforcement leaders have referred to Floyd’s death as “murder.”
However, my focus in this post is not on law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies don’t make the laws, they enforce them and it isn’t strange to believe they take on the attitudes and sentiments of the legislators who authorize their work. So, we need to look at Republicans and Democrats. What is their track record on the matter of race? What have they done or not done relative to racial issues? That is the focus here.
One clarification, though, before I say more.
“Black Lives Matter” (BLM) was catapulted into celebrity following Floyd’s murder but it isn’t a new movement. It got started in 2013 just after the murder of Trayvon Martin. From the beginning, though, they have been the object of ridicule, mischaracterization, and suspicion.
As an example, shortly after recent protests began, I was told on one occasion that BLM, the organization, is communist, and on another that BLM opposes the concept of the nuclear family. That’s just the start. The misrepresentations and insults never end.
If you research the issue you’ll find that BLM is decentralized. It’s chapter-based so you find individual groups spread throughout the States and those groups don’t necessarily connect. There is no single person dominating leadership. The group is concept-driven and the concept is simple: black lives matter.
I’m sure if you look closely you might find a few unsavory individuals involved but isn’t that true of all organizations. The bigger the organization the more likely you are to find individuals harboring off-kilter ideas.
But before you cut me off, and to be quite clear, no, I’m not a communist. In fact, I have no leanings toward any totalitarian forms of government and I’m very much in favor of the nuclear family. From what I can tell, most of the BLM folks are democratically minded salt of the earth types, which means the accusations are more a smokescreen than a concern.
It’s a deflection. It’s an expression of insecurity.
And to be fair, President Trump’s personal life and political manner are arguably the worst of any President to date and it isn’t a matter of debate. Everyone agrees even his staunch supporters and that’s kinda the point. His faults – the ones we know of – are routinely dismissed even his fascistic tendencies, which isn’t communism but it is totalitarian none the less. To quote a member of the Republican Party and an ardent supporter of Trump:
He is egotistical, bombastic, and brash. He often lacks nuance in his statements. Sometimes he blurts out mistaken ideas…that he later must abandon. He insults people. He can be vindictive when people attack him…He has been married three times and claims to have been unfaithful in his marriages. These are certainly flaws, but I don’t think they are disqualifying flaws in this election.
In a word, he’s erratic. Not even Trump knows what he will do next and that should be a concern for all of us. Wars have been started for less.
Make sure you clarify who you’re talking about when you insult BLM because unknowing listeners may think you’re talking about Trump. If you can stand the President’s dirt which glaringly affronts every decent person every moment of every day, then maybe we should give BLM a little slack.
For the sake of clarification, though, when I refer to Black Lives Matter I’m talking about racial issues, not the organization. The organizers – who are relatively few – and their personal philosophies – whatever they are – have nothing to do with the protests. You don’t need to agree or disagree with their personal views to react to the brutal murder of a civilian.
The protests associated with BLM are driven by justice and freedom for all (the ideas we pledge allegiance to in the national anthem). Racial disparities and discrimination are the issues. When I refer to BLM, that’s what I’m talking about.
We must keep the main point the main point: all lives, including black ones, matter. And they are equal.
It’s an unfortunate fact that there are still people who don’t believe that. Racial bias has a long shelf life. It’s been around a long time and it won’t fade easily but the protests are proof that things are changing at least where the white public is concerned.
Minorities, by the way, have understood the problems all along. I’m sure they are happy to see change occurring and this post is focused on the what and why of that change.
Public Sentiment Changes Slowly
With the clarification aside, what is happening right now is quite remarkable because public mindsets don’t move quickly. On most issues, sentiment remains boringly steady but that’s not the case at the moment.
Within two weeks of George Floyd’s murder, public sentiment gained an incredible eleven points and that upswing follows two years of steady upward trends.
Two and a half years ago, January 2018, public support for BLM averaged out at zero. Some were for it and some were against it and the average rating was zero. The movement started in 2013 and it took five years (2018) just to get to a neutral rating. By January 2020 the average moved seventeen points to the plus side. That’s seventeen points in a span of two years.
Then, two weeks following the murder, average public sentiment moved an additional eleven points to twenty-eight!
That’s twenty-eight points over two and a half years and eleven of those points came in just two weeks.
The breakdown in where the support came from shows that everyone except Republicans are seeing the light. The following stats are courtesy of Civiq.com. The NYTimes also has an article on the topic here.
- Democrates: +84
- Independents: +30
- Republicans: -39
Most Democrats get it, a large number of Independents are catching on but Republicans are backpedaling. [Read more…] about The Good, Bad, And Ugly In Racial Politics