Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

August 20, 2015

#blacklivesmatter is Asking the Wrong Question to the Wrong People

Filed under: MURRAN — Frank Fiore @ 8:43 AM
Tags: ,

#BlackLivesMatter is wasting its time with Democrats.

The Washington Post published a recent article on the statement above by Leon Wolf – and it’s damning.

I think #BlackLivesMatter is wasting its time pressing Democrats for answers, or action. The party of big government can’t meet their demands.

the movement should direct more of its focus toward a crucial link in the chain that drives a substantial portion of hostile interactions between black Americans and police. The emphasis should be on asking: Why are police brought into hostile interactions with black people so often in the first place? It’s because of the big-government policies and practices of the supposedly liberal Democrats that the #BlackLivesMatter crowd is petitioning for help.

Don’t take my word for it; take the word of President Obama’s Department of Justice, which set forth, in painstaking detail, in its report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department all the ways in which pressure to generate additional revenue to pay for the city’s expenses led the Ferguson police to attempt to maximize city revenue by meeting ticket quotas and goals. This pressure was applied without regard to whether the increase in citations related in any meaningful way to public safety or the well-being of the city’s residents. The results of any such program of revenue generation are entirely predictable: If a town directs its cops to write more tickets, they will.

And human nature fills in the rest of the story.

Officers will give the most questionable tickets to the people least likely to hire a lawyer or to have their side of the story believed in court, even if they do — minorities and those without means. It’s a system with a foreseeable outcome of putting police officers on a path that leads directly to conflict with the most marginalized citizens in their jurisdiction, in a town where the municipal budget is being subsidized by a hidden tax on its African American residents, extracted with force by the police.

#BlackLivesMatter protesters won’t find answers to these systemic causes of hostile police interactions with black citizens by asking Democrats, because Democrats are too invested in a system that drains revenue from individuals any way it can. And their candidates don’t have the incentive to run on a platform of cutting budgets, or eliminating the hidden regressive taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gas that help prop up big-city governments.

Instead, #BlackLivesMatter protesters should invest more time engaging a Republican contender like Sen. Rand Paul about his ideas on criminal justice reform and demilitarization of the police — which are realistic, detailed and come from a candidate who advocates consistently and across the board for getting government out of citizens’ lives. Or they should start a dialogue with Gov. Bobby Jindal regarding legislation he signed to reduce sentencing for drug-related offenses in Louisiana. Or they should talk to former governor Rick Perry about how his state reduced its incarcerated population in recent years through conservative-minded justice reforms.

Finally:

If #BlackLivesMatter is interested in solutions that begin to reduce the mistreatment of African American citizens by police — from leaders who’ve demonstrated that they have a genuine interest in the issue along with the ability to put reforms in place — they should consider a serious discussion with some of the leaders of the conservative movement. The dialogue they’re having now isn’t likely to produce  results much different from what Democrats have delivered in the past.

I address some of these issues facing Black America in my novel MURRAN. It would be beneficial of  #blacklivesmatter to pick it up and read it.

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