Hillary Clinton, Black Lives Matter, and the Answer to the Liberal Race Narrative

A week after riots ripped through Charlotte, N.C., Hillary Clinton visited an African-American church this past Sunday morning in the Queen City, and instead of bringing solutions to the real problems plaguing the black community, she capitalized on black people's fears to secure their votes.

This was Clinton’s first visit to Charlotte since protests and riots broke out in response to the shooting death of an allegedly armed black man with a violent criminal record. She attended a worship service at Little Rock AME Zion, which is the same church where the NAACP held a presser in response to the death of Keith Lamont Scott by a local police officer, who was also black.

“Our entire country should take a moment to really look at what’s going on here and across America,” Clinton told the congregation. “I believe we need end-to-end reform in our criminal justice system.”

While Clinton called for people not to “let hate infect their hearts” and encouraged her listeners to appreciate police officers, she maintained that the fears and concerns of the black community over racial discrimination in our justice system are warranted, and she repeated calls for gun control.

Clinton also referenced a 9-year-old girl who had spoken before the Charlotte City Council last week and called her “courageous."

“I don’t like how we’re treated just because of our color,” 9-year-old Zianna Oliphant declared last week in a city council meeting. “We are black people, and we shouldn’t have to feel like this. We shouldn’t have to protest because you all are treating us wrong. We do this because we need to and have rights.”

Is what’s “really going on here” racial discrimination, as Clinton and this young girl claim? Are the tensions in Charlotte rooted in institutionalized racism, or is it something else? If it’s something else, will Clinton’s call for criminal justice reform and gun control actually help the black community?

No, it won’t. It won’t because problems in the black community are not due to racial discrimination or institutionalized racism within our judicial system or any other system for that matter. To put the blame on racism (in other words, to blame white people) for the trials and tribulations of the black community is to purposely turn a blind eye to the real problems they face and leave them unsolved.

And what are those real problems? Let’s take a look at Charlotte in particular. Earlier this year, many months before the city erupted in violence, city leaders discussed the growing trend of racial unrest throughout the country and its impact on Charlotte. They also addressed a dramatic increase in homicides in the Queen City.

Even though blacks make up only 35 percent of the Charlotte population, most homicide victims are black (28 out of 43). Most of those are black men, and a majority of those are under 30. A total of 63 percent of homicide victims and 68 percent of homicide suspects are black men. In other words, most of the violent crime in Charlotte is black-on-black crime.