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by Peter Moskos

August 8, 2016

If a protest against violence falls in a street without reporters, does it make a sound?

Lois Beckett in the Guardian:
But black Americans in neighborhoods that see constant gun violence do try to make their voices heard, in protests like the one Truehill helped organize: community led, often small and largely ignored by news organizations.

Thirty people showed up on Friday, most of them black men and women in their mid-20s. Gun violence was deeply personal to them. One 24-year-old, Chris Head, said he had lost 30 friends. He was “blessed”, he said, that it was only that many.

“At least I can count,” he said. “Some people can’t count.”

The march and vigil lasted two hours, buoyed by waves and cheers from people along the route and honks of support from cars. No television crews or reporters from local news organizations showed up. The single reporter present had only learned about the protest by chance, from one of Truehill’s mentors, a local pastor.
Four years ago I wrote:
If you've never heard of any of these protests, might I suggest you ask yourself, "why not?" Perhaps you want to blame the media. Or perhaps you don't care. That's your right, I suppose. But it's not your right to say other people don't care just because you're ignorant.


CollegeCop said...

People simply don't respond the same way to the much more massive about of black folks killed in black neighborhoods because it doesn't involve a recognizable 'enemy' (like cops or white people, it wa son this blog that I learned that black cops are more likely to shoot black suspects, but I can tell you personally, it's easier to be a black officer than a white one a lot of the time).

It's the same with just about everyone. A few years ago a white teen was killed by a drunk driver in one of the Carolinas (North I think). White Conservatives were all over it saying it was proof of what happens with open borders. Progressives countered with statistics showing that whites were way over-represented in statistics concerning vehicular homicide and DUI. Some said (paraphrasing) "if you really cared about the lives of white teenager, you wouldn't be scared of undocumented immigrants, you'd be scared of white people".

Not completely unlike how you can go to some middle eastern country where an oppressive government (or warring clans/factions) kill way more people than American Drones can, yet if you go out onto any street and yell "Death to America" a street party might break out...

It's basically a kind of tribalism, it's how some black folks(not all of us of course) can basically ignore thousands of black lives extinguished every year, the vast majority by people who look just like us, while exploding in furious (in a couple cases, murderous) rage and naming an anti police movement "Black Lives Matter" in response to a few hundred mostly justified killings by police.

Police Officers are the "convenient outsider enemy" some folks need as the focus of their hatred and prejudice.

cap vandal said...

Here in Chicagoland, the celebrated the 50th anniversary of MLK's famous march in Marquette Park, which produced photos of a violent white response.

30 years ago, Nicholas Lemann wrote about the black underclass/ghetto in Chicago, and conceded that things had gotten worse in the ghetto. And had some idea that a massive jobs program would fix things.

And today, things are (maybe) worse in the worst ghettos. And plenty of people are calling for more jobs, programs, community investment,&c.

But it is obvious that the problem is within the community. So, the Oakland protest is great. There seemed to be a straightforward demand for their own community to just stop it. So why should it get a lot of media attention?

Maybe one reason is that a lot of the public doesn't realize that the residents of these communities understand whats going on and are trying to change and improve them. Here is an article about a 'shootout' on 79th street. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-shootout-on-79th-street-leaves-man-dead-20160730-story.html

Here is the comment from a local resident:

"“We’re shooting each other, we’re not going crazy,” Tyler said. “If police shot this guy, the neighborhood would be going crazy. But there’s not a soul out here. They’re hiding in the house.”

Tyler said he plans to organize a march soon to protest neighborhood violence."

In some of the protest and vigil activity around the Paul O'neal shooting, the speakers acknowledged that there is a black problem also and they have to do better. The guy was boosting cars. I don't know how they deal with the cognitive dissonance of their martyrs also being criminals. Maybe it accounts for some of the rage. Being stuck having to defend the indefensible, or ignore the obvious.

cap vandal said...

Here is a link to the Lemann article.


aNanyMouse said...

If only these protesters dared to refer to these views expressed in a vivid comment recently posted on another cop site:

"There's no guidance or discipline in the home.
The family situation is so unstable; 'Junior' doesn't even know where to send a Father's Day card.
Junior gets dumped into the education system where he is socially promoted, because the overwhelmed school district can't deal with the undisciplined whelps.
Junior's major formative influences are 'gangsta' rap videos, and a corresponding peer group of gangsta wannabes.
At age 18, Junior is turned loose on society carrying a bad attitude, a broken compass, and no respect for authority.
Junior gets himself in big trouble with the law, because he is illiterate, unskilled, unemployable, and his only source of income other than Government assistance is illegal, and meets dire consequences.

Then, the situation diagnosis is that the police need more training, compassion, sensitivity, and understanding?"

cap vandal said...


Lisa Miller wrote more or less the same thing in a NY Times OP ED. Great Minds and all, Peter.

Meanwhile, it seems like Nicholas Lemann's 'solution' actually is being attempted -- http://www.ssdan.net/blog/chicago-area-black-population-drops-residents-leave-south-suburbs