Since my column appears in the Vail Daily every other week, sometimes it’s difficult to be timely in my commentaries and the following is one such case.  I’m going to submit this to our editor but there’s no guarantee he’ll publish it which is why I’m posting it today.  If he gives me space on Monday great, if not, well here it is

Rejecting Black Lives Matter, as a movement is not rejecting the idea that black lives matter.  And the reality of what’s needed is a more encompassing view of the issues black communities face on a daily basis.  Black Lives Matter as an organization is too narrowly focused to be of lasting benefit to the black community.  Yes, police brutality and police violence are legitimate concerns that must be addressed, but at the same time if we’re serious about changing outcomes for black communities there are numerous other matters that should be prioritized ahead of the policing issue.

That statement was not meant to trivialize the situation surrounding George Floyd; but with so many other issues that have adversely affected black communities over the years we would be derelict if we didn’t focus our limited resources on them as well.  When we look at the FBI Unified Crime Report or the Washington Post we see the number of unarmed blacks that are killed by police each year is almost a statistical zero.  Again, that’s not to belittle or diminish the death of George Floyd or others, but we need to put that issue into proper context.

And if we’re going to talk about black lives actually mattering, and improving life within the black community, we need a comprehensive approach that addresses the other issues that may be even more pressing than the police matter.  These include black marriage rates, which are 40% less than those of non-blacks and having children outside of marriage where 70% of all black babies are now born out of wedlock—these are societal/cultural matters that would bode ill for any community.

Education is another issue impacting blacks across the country, begging the question, what has the Black Lives Matter movement done to improve the quality of education in black communities?  Another matter that’s frequently mentioned to improve the lives in black communities is raising the minimum wage to $15.   But this is where liberal ideology butts heads with reality because when dealing with young people who are “low or no skill” and who have been subjected to a substandard education, at $15/hour he or she will be priced out of the job market.

It’s easy to put a black square on social media, but if we’re sincere about improving the quality of life for black Americans, the subject needs to be looked at as a whole; only then can we begin to come to grips with all the issues and force our political leaders to take the necessary steps to redress them.

The left made its point with six days of mourning in three cities, a golden casket, a glass sided carriage drawn by a pair of white horses accompanied by a brass band, but there were better ways to bring unity to this matter other than leaving 17 dead in the streets and entire neighborhoods in ruin