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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tell Me What Matters

Black Lives Matter. Do they? Please, BLM, tell me what matters. If a black man named Markeith D. Loyd spends four years in prison for battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence and then posts on Facebook that his goal is to be on the Most Wanted list, does that matter?
If that man goes to the home of his ex-girlfriend and, when she opens the door, he shoots her dead, does that matter? How about if she is pregnant, and the baby dies too? And how about if her brother tries to help her, and Loyd shoots him. Does that matter? And if the girlfriend a month earlier was with Loyd during a traffic stop and told him as the police officer approached, “Go ahead and kill him, babe, so we can get home faster,” does that matter?
What if a black girl grows up poor in Orlando but graduates from high school and college and earns a master’s degree? And what if that girl becomes an Orlando police officer, Master Sgt. Debra Clayton, and has an outstanding 17-year career, working to improve relations between black people and the police? What if she works closely with a city commissioner who is also black and female to decrease violence between black people in the city? What if she mentors kids and helps them get through school? And what if she is on duty outside a Walmart in Orlando, spots Loyd, knowing he is wanted for murder, and tells him to stop? And what if he shoots her dead and runs? Does that matter? How about her husband and son and father and brother, whose lives are ripped apart. Do they matter?
How about the neighborhood that is shut down for hours, and the school kids on 18 campuses who are locked in because of the danger? And what if the manhunt includes a sheriff’s deputy on a motorcycle who is hit by a van and killed? He’s black too. Does that matter?

Which lives do you like as role models, BLM? Which ones would you rather have next door? Whose life makes the city a better place? Whose life spreads degradation and terror and death? Who brings victory, encouragement, love? People around here have contributed to a reward of $100,000 to catch the killer. Would you? You tell me, BLM. Does it matter? Does any of it matter?