When someone out here in the woods utters the words "black lives matter," it it interpreted one way - and one way only: that person is anti-police. The racists and political harpies - especially those on Fox News - were quick to subvert an honest effort to shine a light on racism in America into an imaginary war on cops and an attack on traditional American values. Honest discourse was immediately swept aside in a flood of patriotic twaddle and and angry demands to stand clear of the police and let them do their jobs.
But, of course, the angry white shouters aren't the ones whose children are being killed by out-of-control cops.
We have become so used to stories of young black men, often unarmed, being gunned down by white policemen that it has dulled our senses to the awfulness of what is going on. Sometimes, as with the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Laquan McDonald in Chicago, the shootings appear to be more closely aligned with executions than they were with accepted police procedure. Some have even begun referring to this trigger-happy overkill as today's equivalent of lynchings.
Police shootings, however, are just one aspect of how we are systematically destroying black communities. Black men are disproportionately represented in America's prisons, often for non-violent crimes and crimes for which white offenders rarely get incarcerated. And then there is the lack of decent jobs in black communities, and decent schools, and social connections.
America's black communities are, by-and-large, being intentionally excluded from the national mainstream of opportunities for advancement - and the reason for that exclusion is, at its most basic level, skin color. Yes, we have a black President, but sadly Mr. Obama's presence in the White House seems to have strengthened the resolve of some Americans to double down in their mistreatment and marginalization of blacks. One step forward, two steps back.
We are a land of many resources, and chief among those are our people. The continued economic and social war on our black citizens represents a colossal waste of resources and impairs our future as a world leader. We, black and white American's, are stronger and wiser together.
It is not them and us, it is all us.
Stop the executions by the police. Demand justice be color blind.
Black lives really do matter.