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8 BOCNEWS.comFEBRUARY 2016 Black Life MattersA Sociopolitical and Moral Perspective One of the hottest sociopolitical issues that spawn the contemporary landscape of social media and political discourse today is that of the Black Lives Matter campaign. There are three things that deserve our attention to this matter that Id like to examine. 1 What is the source of the conflict where Black life is not being valued 2 What is the solution that addresses the problem at its root level And 3 is the Black Church relevant anymore where it con- cerns correcting sociopolitical conflict Black Lives Matter Black Lives Matter BLM is a campaign or move- ment that started in the summer of 2013 when George Zimmerman was acquitted for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and social media voices erupted with much pushback that ended with the hashtag BlackLivesMatter. Since then there has been a focus of attention on the common place rate of Black deaths that have occurred without any of the shooters being found guilty of a crime or some- times not even being charged with a crime. Et al. Tamir Rice Eric Harris Walter Scott Jonathan Ferrell Sandra Bland Samuel DuBose Freddie Gray etc. So the movement originally intended to challenge the cultures unwillingness to punish transgressors for killing Black people. When White jurys and Grand Jurys and Prosecutors and Police Officers fail to apply the same standard of protection to Black people as they do any other cultural person then the question is why arent Black lives valued equally When racism or White Supremacy is offered as a plausible cause we run into a small contradiction. That is many of the transgressors have Black skin so White racism cant be the sole culprit for devalu- ing Black life. Case and point according to wnd. com the total number of murders in Chicago from Jan. 31 2003 to Dec. 31 2012 was 4797 while the number of deaths in Afghanistan was 2166 from Oct. 7 2001 until now. So if you include the huge numbers of Blacks being gunned down in Chicago the number of Black on Black crime accounts for the majority of the death toll numbers. Many argue that this is a false correlation with systemic Black Death because when Black people kill each other the action is considered criminal and is normally punished to the fullest extent of the law. The only prob- lem with that is that most of the murder- ers are not being found and the question is whether or not there is a real effort to find these folks Nonetheless Black death and brutality that is perpetrated by the system is justified by any means necessary even when we have the smok- ing gun the video tape and the confession. Either way whether the transgression is committed by the system or the thugs nothing of significance is hap- pening to stop the bleeding. Thus why arent Black lives being valued Social Politics Whats also upsetting about this conflict is the fact that the Civil Rights community is absolutely confusing its main philosophy of integration with the counter argument of independence and self-reliance. There is this profound sense of back and forth about the social engineering of what belongs together and what should be separated where it concerns the protection of Black life. In other words promot- ing the idea of integration is celebrated in America when it comes to sharing resources like schools jobs churches lunchrooms etc. But when it comes to events of socioeconomic crisis in the Black com- munity the tone changes miraculously to a format of separation and the community members are asked to fix their own dam problems I hear questions like what are Black people doing to end the violence in their own communities Why arent Black people building their own grocery stores bc of food des- erts or setting up their own banks Where is the integrative voice of collaborative products services and shared responsibility Its as if the only thing that we can agree to get energized about is confu- sion. Members of a particular culture should do what they can to preserve the integrity of the culture because that is the substance that sustains your survival whether you want to acknowledge it or not. There have been many sacrifices made for the benefit of this generation and therefore what do we owe to its preservation for generations one thousand years from now Attempting to function with autonomy as a cultur- al entity is a good idea. We point to Asian and Jewish communities to provide an example of successful cultural structures that operate within the historical foundation of their value systems. Success is the result of the maintaining the integrity of the cultural base which has evolved over thousands of years. Life within this context matters because the ancestral connectivity makes it so. White people do not have to start a campaign to have their life valued because the culture promotes defends and advances its own survival. All you need to do is look at the angry and defensive energy in the White community Confederate Flag Historical parks Border control Militia groups etc. to see that they value their ancestral culture. Why not defend the best of Black culture so that the integ- rity of Black life can also be valued from within and from without Black Lives Matter is an ideological campaign that makes sense for people whose lives have not been valued appropriately whether its inside or outside of the person. The thought is to elevate the consciousness of all transgressors who need help with the infection of ignorance. Is the Church Relevant Finally I would like to address the argument that points to the value system of Black people as the cause for lowering the value of Black Life. Statistically the evidence suggests that we clearly do a lot of destruction to one another. But when you look at value systems youre looking at evaluating the thoughts and images that drive the behavior or activ- ity of the person. In other words behavior comes from thoughts and images that people entertain. So we have to ask where is the Black community get- ting the thoughts and images that are responsible for guiding our behavior generally speaking Well according to the Pew Research Center Jan 2009 87 of African-Americans describe themselves as belonging to one religious group or another. 79 of African Americans say religion is very important in their lives compared with 56 among all U.S. adults. More than half of African-Americans 53 report attending religious services at least once a week more than three-in-four 76 say they pray on at least a daily basis and nearly nine-in-ten 88 indicate they are absolutely certain that God exists. On each of these measures African-Americans stand out as the most religiously committed racial group in the nation. According to Blackdemographics.Com 83 of African Americans describe themselves as Christians. The point here is that when the values of the Black community are called into question the above data is clear that the vast majority of us get our values scripts from religion. So if youre questioning Black values then in reality what youre really questioning is the quality of our religious prac- tice because thats what were valuing. If 83 of the Black community has accepted By Randall Craven LPC CAC III Randall Craven Why not defend the best of Black culture so that the integrity of Black life can also be valued from within and from without Black Lives Matter is an ideological campaign that makes sense for people whose lives have not been valued appropriately whether its inside or outside of the person. Continued on Page 21 CURRENT AFFAIRS