Tim Feller lives in West Chester.
I requested, and am pleased to have been afforded, the opportunity by WCPO to respond to Mr. Brian Taylor’s (Cincinnati BLM leader) July 14 op-ed. As I reflected on my piece, and after running through numerous outlines, I came to the sad conclusion that nothing I write will contribute to any solution. Why? Because the “narrative” driving the BLM movement is condoned, and at times even finds its impetus, all the way up to the White House.
Facts, historical context, common sense and a rational examination of multi-faceted issues no longer even seem to matter. Only the “movement” fueled by the perception of an entire class or race of "aggrieved victims."
Sure, I could list statistics such as:
1) Numerous unarmed whites killed by police (see Dylan Noble in Fresno, California).
2) The alarming upward trend of violent black-on-black crime, especially in urban settings.
3) The increasing number of black children without a two-parent home setting as well as low high school graduation rates. All that though would fall upon deaf ears as I am surely not the first to mention them.
Let me add a few aspects that I believe are more pertinent than the aforementioned:
1) In Baltimore, sadly, the black-on-black homicide rate spiked significantly after the BLM movement protested vehemently the death of Freddie Gray, which caused the Baltimore police department to severely curtail its normal proactive crime preventive measures.
2) Black urban areas, such as Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia, have steadily declined in key areas such as black youth unemployment rates, graduation rates and personal savings rates, yet violent crime has surged. Coincidentally, all three of those cities have been under exclusive progressive, Democratic control for the last four decades, if not more. Cincinnati is heading in this direction as we have had similarly elected leadership.
So Mr. Taylor, you tell me where this is headed? Anarchy, civil war, a return to the late 60’s? As I mentioned at the top, this is now your movement. History tells us that once a “movement” metastasizes into the streets with this much momentum, that there is no turning back.
On top of the brutally sad Dallas police massacre, we now have the Baton Rouge police massacre with seven good officers shot and at least three deceased. Meanwhile, in Madisonville, we have a two-year-old boy fighting for his life after another senseless shooting. I have heard zero, zip, nada from BLM on this nor really any similar crimes.
Chicago has had over 3,000 black wonderful citizens killed by other blacks since Obama took office. (You could look it up, folks) Yet nary a word from BLM. I obviously only speak for myself, but feel many would agree, we as a society need to meet halfway on this issue.
Mr. Taylor, you write well and I respect your efforts and passion. Please help us all calm this situation down. Politicians and police leaders can come together to examine procedures, training and community relations. Your movement must realize that 99.999 percent of police officers do not wake up hoping to get a chance to fire their weapon.
I ask that you help educate your followers that there is an inherent social contract in our culture between the people and the police. That they are entrusted to enforce enacted laws. Most importantly, when given a command by an officer, calmly and respectfully obey that initial command. There is plenty of time later to establish guilt or innocence in a rational manner.
Let us work together to increase the education and employment opportunities in many of these urban areas. Always question who has your community’s best interests at heart when voting, not just a knee-jerk auto pull for the incumbent who probably hasn’t effected much positive change.
In closing, one of my favorite songs is "Us and Them" by Pink Floyd. Such brilliant lyrics. Do we really want to continue the drumbeat of divisive politics? Are we not all born with the innate instinct to love and respect one another? It will take all of us willing to listen as well as honest introspection. But it must start with the folks at BLM working toward cooperation, not ultimatums.