September 26, 2016

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: An Unarmed White Man Is Shot by a Cop, and Black Activists Rally.

Over the last several months, the phrase “white lives matter” has been derided by many as a willfully obtuse (and usually racist) response to the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly in light of the disproportionate number of African-Americans shot by police.

But one group of mostly African-American civil rights leaders is stepping up to question a deputy’s shooting of an unarmed, white, homeless man in Castaic — because it just might be the right thing to do.

“We can’t only be advocates when black people are killed by police unjustly,” says Najee Ali, founder of Project Islamic Hope.

Viewing the problem through a racial lens has political benefits for some, but it actually makes the problem harder to solve. And it’s not like plenty of white people aren’t shot by police, too (and in many of the recent shootings, the police officer was black, under a black chief). You want police to only shoot people when it’s absolutely necessary, regardless of their race. Like the NRA’s (somewhat slow, but still important) call for an investigation in the Philando Castile case, where a black man with a CCW was shot, we need this stuff to cross racial lines. Making it all about race is a formula for paralysis.

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