A 20-year-old man walks into a church and massacres nine people, claiming that he was afraid that America was being taken over by Black Americans, citing American race relations as evidence. About a month later, a man wears a GoPro, tapes himself walking up to a local reporter and a cameraman, and shoots them both on camera, proclaiming racial injustice in this country as his motive.

Police officers are looking over their shoulders as several cops have been targeted and gunned down. The week before classes started, seven officers were killed in the line of duty; a few were execution-style targeted killings.

An officer I talked to put it succinctly: “If they want to come after me, fine. Just come at me head on. Don’t shoot me in the back of my head. I’d rather go down with a fighting chance.”

Is this an atmosphere created by the police officers and racist elements in society itself? Many, including individuals in the Black Lives Matter movement, believe so.

Or is it because of Black Lives Matter? Many believe that as well, including a police chief who made his remarks after one of his officers was shot and killed—he claimed that Black Lives Matter was responsible for the officer’s death. Some want Black Lives Matter labeled as a hate group.

I talked to a Black Lives Matter supporter, Michael Smith ’18, who recoiled when I told him I was wondering if the movement was legitimate. This is not questioning their claims of racism among the police, or in society itself. Rather, is the movement itself actually achieving anything positive? Does it have the potential for positive change?

There is evidence to support both views. Police forces around the country are making more of an effort to be more transparent, have undergone investigations to root out racist officers and policies, and have forced the conversation to the front pages after being buried on the back pages for far too long.

On the other hand, following the Baltimore riots, the city saw a big spike in murders. Good officers, like the one I talked to, go to work every day even more worried that they won’t come home. The officer’s comments reminded me of what soldiers used to say after being hit with IEDs in Iraq. Police forces with a wartime-like mentality are never a good thing.

Smith countered with, “You can’t judge an entire movement off the actions of a few extremists.”

I responded with, “Isn’t that what the movement is doing with the police? Judging an entire profession off the actions of a few members?”

Hence, my concerns that the movement is not legitimate, or at the very least, hypocritical.

It is apparent that the man who shot the reporter and her cameraman isn’t a representation of Black Lives Matter. The question is whether or not the movement is setting the conditions of the more extreme or mentally disturbed individuals to commit atrocities.

Smith explained further. “Yes, but the police have an established system of reporting the bad officers. BLM is decentralized, they aren’t as organized. You can’t hold the more moderate elements responsible for what a crazy person does in their name.”

Perhaps. But that doesn’t explain Black Lives Matter rallies from cheering after an officer is killed, chanting that they want more pigs to fry like bacon. That wasn’t one or two people. The movement also doesn’t want to be associated with looters and rioters, calling them opportunistic. But it is plausible that Black Lives Matter has created the conditions for these individuals to exploit for their own personal gain.

I warned in an article last semester that a movement that does not combat its own extremists will quickly run into trouble. The reasons why are now self-evident. If Black Lives Matter is going to be the one responsible for generating these conversations, then a significant portion of that conversation needs to be about peace. They need to stand with police units that lose a member, decrying it with as much passion as they do when a police officer kills an unarmed civilian.

Smith does have a point, though. An organization cannot be labeled based of a small percentage of their membership. There is a reason why so many have shown up to protests across the country: there is clearly something wrong, and wrong enough to motivate them to exit their homes and express their frustration publicly. That is no small effort. The system is clearly failing many, and unfortunately they feel like they will only be listened to if their protests reach the front pages of the news. And so far, they are correct.

But this principle needs to be applied universally. I know many of us here at Wesleyan realize that most police officers are good people simply doing a service for their community, and that there are only a few bad apples. But those chanting to fry the pigs seem to have missed this message.

It boils down to this for me: If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message, then I will not support the movement, I cannot support the movement. And many Americans feel the same. I should repeat, I do support many of the efforts by the more moderate activists.

It is advice that I need to take myself. After the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nation-wide, a few liberals gloated in a conservative political forum that I like to read. They were surprised by the reaction: every conservative who responded was happy with the ruling.

I realize that moderate conservatives need to speak up more as well. If we had, gay marriage might have been legalized years ago. Instead, I got the feeling that a lot of moderate conservatives were afraid of speaking up about the issue and being labeled as a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

I also understand the frustration of moderate Black Lives Matter members, like the one I talked to, about being stereotyped based off of a few radical and vocal members.

Kim Davis, the misguided clerk who is refusing to hand out marriage licenses, is a perfect example of this. As a conservative, it is infuriating to see one clerk in one city out of the thousands in conservative states making headlines, when the rest are handing out licenses with no issue. One clerk is making headlines and is being held up as evidence that conservatives hate homosexuality. Kim Davis generated a couple hundred supporters, a very small showing.

Yet I am not innocent when it comes to Kim Davis. I could have gone down to the courthouse and joined the counter protest, holding up a sign that says “conservatives for gay marriage rights,” and made a statement that Kim Davis is not representative of the mainstream conservative views. I don’t blame those who can’t support conservatives for not being more vocally pro-gay rights, though many liberal politicians were also silent on the issue during the 1990s and 2000s.

Returning to Black Lives Matter, the country is nervously waiting to see what happens next. The next unarmed civilian to be killed, the next officer to be killed, the next radical racist to take their views to the next level.

At some point Black Lives Matter is going to be confronted with an uncomfortable question, if they haven’t already begun asking it: Is this all worth it? Is it worth another riot that destroys a downtown district? Another death, another massacre? At what point will Black Lives Matter go back to the drawing table and rethink how they are approaching the problem?

Bryan Stascavage is a member of the Class of 2018.

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  • Alumnus Curmudgeon

    The Washington Post’s Katherine Rampell has written an excellent piece about the uproar on the Wesleyan Univ campus following publication of this opinion piece in your student newspaper. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/free-speech-is-flunking-out-on-college-campuses/2015/10/22/124e7cd2-78f5-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html

  • Katlin Cross

    I don’t see one thing wrong with this article. Why was an apology necessary?

  • pbinCA

    The Wesleyan Argus is a valuable voice for allowing nuanced, reasoned opinion to be published. The national TV media, in my opinion, are to blame for latching onto a “narrative” of white cops brutalizing young black men. This stance, once adopted, self-censors counter-narrative news stories and events, specifically, the national TV media consider unworthy of publication any interactions between police and young black men that go smoothly, even though these way outnumber the ones that go bad. If you’re a young black man who watches TV, you are brainwashed by the selective, “conflict amplified” news coverage into feeling very fearful in an encounter with police. This paranoia is picked up by the police officer, and makes the encounter go worse than if the assumption was to be treated professionally. The media takes no responsibility for the slanting of news to come off as sensational, and the consequent warping of perceptions. If journalists would just indicate how rare or unlikely a highly-charged situation is, it would send a calming message and help people to go around with a realistic expectations, not gut-churning paranoia. But, the media chokes on the concept of presenting a realistic model….it undermines theatrical value. This is the dilemma we face with a free press. Who among those who “cover the news” will take responsibility for spreading panic as “collateral damage” for attracting eyeballs?

  • BRdirtysouth

    Not sure this article is worth vilifying. Nor do I have a problem with students using their free speech to challenge another’s. This is America. Free speech ain’t absolute and in a democracy (and college campuses are FAR from democracies) we should be open to vigorous debate and the utilization of all of the tools that come along with that–protest, boycotts, and yes, civil disobedience.

    What’s most troubling about this column is the spurious notion that a social movement predicated on ending police brutality and the killings of unarmed (mostly black) citizens has created an environment where self-avowed racists kill innocent people and police officers are assassinated.

    Also troubling is the false equivalence between police assassinations/killed in action and police killings of unarmed citizens. While certainly horrific and chilling, the danger that comes with being a cop is well understood by officers, their families, and the citizens who pay their salaries. They do a tough and dangerous job with huge responsibility and as such are afforded different set of rules than your average Joe. On the other hand, unarmed citizens should have no expectation or fear that they will be gunned down by those sworn to protect and serve. It says something about our society when we choose not confront this head-on–and that is the conversation that BLM is forcing us to have. What are the ways or mechanisms in our laws, our practices, or within ourselves that create conditions for these killings to occur. How should we hold our police forces and our politicians accountable?

    The author states: “If vilification and denigration of the police force continues to be a significant portion of Black Lives Matter’s message, then I will not support the movement, I cannot support the movement.” Well BLM and its supporters have been unequivocal: “We can live in a world where the police don’t kill people by limiting police interventions, improving community interactions, and ensuring accountability.” One would be hard-pressed to find denigration of police in this message. And it seems the author would agree with that statement of principle. I would suggest that the author stop looking for/creating reasons to not support BLM and recognize/identify with the deep moral conviction that undergirds the movement.

    • Alex

      “One would be hard-pressed to find denigration of police in this message” — Unfortunately, that is not the loudest message being broadcast by the BLM movement. And that is the point of this column–that the violent anti-police messages are being heard much louder than anything else and are possibly–from the author’s point of view–making the situation worse.

      “unarmed citizens should have no expectation or fear that they will be gunned down by those sworn to protect and serve” — Unarmed does not mean un-dangerous. Unarmed people seriously injure and kill thousands of people every year. The “unarmed” argument is simply rhetoric and does not reflect reality.

      • BRdirtysouth

        “And that is the point of this column–that the violent anti-police messages are being heard much louder than anything else and are possibly–from the author’s point of view–making the situation worse.” This is more than unfair–the notion that BLM is responsible for how some folks what to perceive their message is ridiculous. There is bi-partisan consensus that criminal justice reform needed precisely b/c there is systemic racial discrimination it how rules/laws/practices are promulgated. That others choose to hear hate versus truth speaks more about them than BLM.

        “Unarmed does not mean un-dangerous.” – This may be true in some cases, but police officers are in fact held to higher standards than you and me. The burden for self-defense for ordinary citizens is by law lower than what would required for use of deadly for by police officers. And yet, time and time again–Tamir Rice Eric Garner, etc. these laws are “interpreted” and “enforced” in ways that show that black lives do not matter.

      • Alex

        “the notion that BLM is responsible for how some folks what to perceive their message is ridiculous” — First, there is little ambiguity in the BLM message when they chant about wanting dead cops, wanting cops to “fry like bacon”, “F*(& the police”, and other things. Granted that’s not their *entire* message, but a significant number of BLM protests have included such chants and sentiments. So how BLM want people to *perceive* the message is pretty clear, in my opinion.

        Second, how other people *respond*–not perceive, which is an emotional or intellectual act, but respond, which is a physical act–to that message is not something that the BLM folks can or should be held legally accountable for. That’s basic free speech. Unless they are calling for imminent lawless action or expressing a true threat, their violent and counter-productive rhetoric is protected speech.

        “The burden for self-defense for ordinary citizens is by law lower than what would required for use of deadly for by police officers” – Wrong. Police officers have the same right to use deadly force to prevent a real or reasonably perceived threat of imminent serious bodily harm or death. Tamir Rice was a classic case of basic self-defense. Eric Garner does not involve a self-defense claim; he resisted arrest and subsequent physical exertion likely caused the heart attack that killed him.

  • Robert Karma

    I am a “liberal” in the traditional sense of the word. The modern ideology of Liberalism can be traced back to the Humanism which challenged the authority of the established church in Renaissance Europe, and more particularly to the 17th and 18th Century British and French Enlightenment thinkers, and the movement towards self-government in colonial America. Philosophers like Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, and members of the Founding Fathers like Paine, Jefferson and Adams are the foundation of the Liberalism we practice. We are generally united by our support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and freedom of speech, limitations on the power of governments, the application of the rule of law, a regulated market economy and a transparent and democratic system of government.

    So while I may not agree with Mr. Stascavage on all of his points, he wrote nothing that was offensive or harmful. I agree with the spirit of this quote (attributed to Voltaire but actually written by a biographer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall), “I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” This has long been the Liberal position on Free Speech. I’d suggest reading about the Free Speech Movement that had its genesis at Berkeley in 1964. http://www.uic.edu/orgs/cwluherstory/jofreeman/sixtiesprotest/berkeley.htm It is not a principal of Liberalism to shut down or limit Free Speech because it might offend people. Liberals embrace vigorous debate between people with different opinions and worldviews. It is anathema to us to censor newspaper editorials, to deny groups the right to free expression (within the rules for all campus groups), to disinvite speakers to campus events (like graduation or for a show), etc., because it may offend some people. These college students are not being “liberal” in any sense of the word. Orwellian is the term that comes to mind where speech is labeled as being correct or incorrect based on the perceived offense it presents. If you go to college and you are never offended or never have your preconceived ideas and worldview challenged, you should demand a refund. If you want to see the damage caused by constantly being angry over a world that offends you, watch Fox News. They exist to express and generate outrage at perceived offenses to their right-wing conservative politically correct worldview. Let them be a warning to what you have become on campus when you only allow politically correct speech that doesn’t challenge or provoke you into thinking about the subject matter.

    Numerous articles have been written about the growth of on-campus political correctness run amok. This Time article summed it up well, “Campuses should be hotbeds for intellectual diversity—where ideas constantly are clashing, and students regularly are challenged to think critically, learn new ideas, and communicate their positions. Lots of conversations should be initiated, and policies should foster this interaction. Students should not be intellectually bubble-wrapped, shielded from any idea that they might find new or frightening. They shouldn’t be retreating to “safe spaces” and worse, our universities themselves shouldn’t become intellectually homogenous “safe spaces” where everyone marches to the same tune. The world does not work that way—nor should it—and universities do a disservice to their students by pretending otherwise. What will students do when they come to a situation in real life where there is no pre-arranged safe space with counselors into which to retreat when someone challenges their worldview? It’s as if some universities are more concerned with protecting students from having their feelings hurt or preventing them from having their views challenged than preparing them for the working world and teaching them how to think critically.” – http://time.com/3848947/dear-universities-there-should-be-no-safe-spaces-from-intellectual-thought/

    Learn to think for yourself through the use of critical inquiry otherwise you allow other people to do the thinking for you. That’s not freedom but rather mental slavery.

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  • Amy Zucker Morgenstern

    I’m very disappointed that the student government has penalized the Argus for running this article (and don’t tell me that’s not what the defunding was about. I have a degree from Wesleyan–I’m not stupid). It’s thoughtful and delves into a controversial topic. I’m a big supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, so I don’t agree with everything Mr. Stascavage says–so? I didn’t go to Wesleyan to have all of my opinions confirmed by my professors, the other students, and the student newspaper. And it is not hate speech to challenge my beliefs.

    If someone wants to write an op-ed piece arguing against Mr. Stascavage’s points, they should do so and the Argus should run it. That’s responsible journalism. Avoiding the expression of any minority opinion (as his is at Wesleyan at the moment) is not.

    Amy Zucker (1990) Morgenstern

  • Tucker Flight

    I’m not black but I am white. And I think this article is well written, balanced.

    But remember, I’m white, not black. Just a reminder.

    • BG Davis

      Don’t worry, we can’t forget. The fact that you found the article to be balanced is a dead giveaway.

  • Debbie

    BLM appears to be more concerned about Black criminals being able to ply their trade without interference from pesky police than it is with Black lives.

    When they make a violent thug like Michael Brown a favorite poster boy, chant for the deaths of police, express admiration for cop killers like Assata Shakur and cost Black lives by pressuring police to scale back aggressive policing in places like Baltimore where it’s needed, they should expect to be thought of like this.

    Lives of all decent people matter to me. The lives of violent thugs like Michael Brown don’t matter even a tiny bit to me — even if they happen to be Black.

  • Caterina

    Students at Wesleyan College have apparently defunded The Argus in retaliation for this editorial. This is fascism. This contravenes the First Amendment. Regardless of how thoroughly the malignant ignorance of political correctness has spread through your mind, you have to stop and think about how you are contradicting the values that make up American life.

    • BG Davis

      More nonsense about the First Amendment. Try reading it before commenting on it. College. Private college. Using student funds to pay for a publication. Nothing to do with the First Amendment.
      Gotta love the way the right wing always spouts inanities, and always gets the facts wrong.

  • Connie Walker

    Too bad that the paper lost $17000 of their $30000 after students on campus got together to boycott the paper after column came out.
    You kiddos better wise up b4 u all find urselves homeless because ur parents lose their jobs & can’t pay for ur ” so called” college education…Don’t expect Uncle Sam to rescue u either.HE’S BROKE !

  • justintime

    America has a cancer in its belly and it’s called Obama. America is a pressure-cooker on the brink of exploding.

  • N “Knows” Davis

    Good article, and I am sorry that this newspaper is being punished for publishing a very fair article. I grew up in a country where free speech was a given and where on universities free speech was supported as a right given by our bill of rights.

    I am not sure what is happening here. Why would students who have an understanding of our government want to practice exactly one of the things we had a revolution over? Our freedom of speech and to have a free press is what we stand on.

    As for Black lives matters is concerned…they are right…there is a severe need for young black men to be in a safe place. We need to work on giving them their safety. Family values are important and more. I hope they learn to push for this safety without turning on all whites and police officers.

    • Debbie

      “I hope they learn to push for this safety without turning on all whites and police officers…”

      Too late.

      BLM has demonstrated clearly that it only cares about the lives of violent thugs like Michael Brown who happen to be Black, and even then, only if they are killed by police.

  • T Regiones

    Until the the Good Cops start policing the Bad Cops there are no good cops. There is a well documented Blue Wall of Silence that protects Bad police officers from being outed by their peers. The author willfully left out this well known institutionalized phenomenon when suggesting that we are wrong to judge cops as a whole by the actions of a bad few. Then furthers the insult by suggesting that we treat the BLM group the same. They are not the same. The author is well aware of this. These deceptive tactics are common among white nationalist conservatives trying to deflect criticism of the status quo in this country. Maybe the author should go back to the drawing table and ask himself some uncomfortable questions regarding how free speech when free of facts is propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    A thoughtful article.

    Perhaps the most salient issue is unaddressable, given the recent fallout: if one is truly concerned with saving black lives, the police, along with “stop and frisk” tactics, are not the problem but part of the solution. As is “mass incarceration” as the BLM types put it—taking and keeping violent criminals off the street saves lives, the vast majority of them black lives.

    But BLM is not an organization that is truly interested in improving the lot of black Americans, anymore than the Occupy types cared about 99% of their fellow citizens.

    These outfits are engaged in economic and social rent-seeking through identity politics—a perfectly logical activity in a society that values even self-inflicted victimhood over values like character, hard work, and selflessness.

  • Happycrank

    What has made Wesleyan’s students so timid and afraid of controversy?

  • Anthony

    A fair and reasonable essay by both an American veteran and 30 year old college student. Wish it were more Millennials similarly engaged in American societal vitals!

  • Richard Terrelonge

    Black lives matter is a group advocating for the right to life of Black Americans. The police have hierarchies and groups to advocate on their behalf. In the current environment In our country I don’t expect either side to spend much time looking out for the other sides interests. African Americans having faced dogs, fire hoses, batons, lynchings, castrations, amputations well understand that only strong resistance keeps the baser instincts of our majority brothers and sisters in check.

    The right to assemble and protest is enshrined in our constitution yet in Ferguson when peaceful protesters assembled to exercise their right they were met with the same type of force as one would I see in a combat zone. If lives matter or if black lives matter where was the right wing. When a cattle rancher in the west refused to pay his grazing fees the right was out with assault style weapons pointing at police threatening to kill them. Not a protest from the right. Say anything related to gun control and the right will quickly assert their second amendment rights to be used to stand up to the government meaning the police first followed by the military.

    This document from Wesleyan is the kind of manifesto we see issued prior to a campus wide killing spree and the administration rightfully reacted to restrain the instincts expressed here.

    • Happycrank

      If “black lives matter,” then what about the 110 blacks killed each week by other blacks?

      • Drakken

        Statistics.

      • Happycrank

        People, oddly enough.

      • BG Davis

        What about the thousands of racist comments like yours every day?
        What’s your point? If any.

    • Debbie

      It’s clear that BLM cares primarily about the lives of Blacks like Michael Brown who choose to become violent criminal thugs, which is why it will never be respected outside of “progressive” circles and enclaves.

      • BG Davis

        No, in fact to any honest, rational person it’s not clear at all, because it’s not true.

    • Alex

      “the right was out with assault style weapons pointing at police threatening to kill them” — Please stop spreading this lie. No one pointed weapons at the police officers or federal officials or threatened to kill them during that standoff

      “the kind of manifesto we see issued prior to a campus wide killing spree” — And please stop with the ridiculous hyperbole. This is so stupid it really needs no answer.

      • BG Davis

        “No one pointed weapons at the police officers or federal officials or threatened to kill them during that standoff”
        Gee, so all that media footage, complete with sound, was fake? Right.

  • Neet

    This is bad journalism. The official data on police killings in America shows that for the past couple decades, that number has never been steady. Yes, more officers were murdered in 2014 than 2013 but 2013 was a fluke– it was the safest year EVER for police. Researchers have concluded there is no evidence BLM increased killings of police. I cant believe this article would be published without taking 5 minutes to check those stats… You are perpetuating the same old media stereotypes. And, Black Lives Matter is not only protesting police brutality but also police harrasment. On a national average, black drivers are twice as likely to be stopped than white or hispanic drivers. Thats not happening because of a few rotten police– our police system is racist.

    I believe the real critique of BLM is that they are not doing enough to get thier message through to other races. Even the name of the movement has divided the races. At the end of the day, institutional racism is not going to end when a small, minority group stands up. The majority of people living under that system need to stand up.

  • Anonymous

    Your civilization is dead. Long live mob rule.

  • Nunya Beeswax

    You don’t combat a dominant cultural narrative that says “Black people are always guilty” with a narrative that says “Black people are never guilty.” The cure for calumny is not hagiography, but the truth.

    The Oscar Grant case is not the Nate Wilks case is not the Yonas Alehegne case, and so on. There are obviously cases where police officers have engaged in brutality and needless killing, just as there are cases where it is not so easy to see who was at fault and cases where the police did what any reasonable person would expect them to do (pro tip : if you’re walking toward a police officer carrying a gun and you refuse to put it down when they tell you, expect to be shot).

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  • Mr. Reality

    Good article.

  • Oaklandish

    Greetings from Oakland, CA – home of the Black Panther Party (you college kids look that one up). Anyway, yes…black lives do matter. HOWEVER, with the high percentage of black-on-black violence, I often wonder why they are not reading their own t-shirts.

    • Full Measure

      Yes,

    • BG Davis

      Yeah, right. How about you, non-college dude, tell us why the Black Panther Party started in the first place?
      Again the tired racist argument that black criminals kill black people (wow! what a startling concept). And so for you that makes it OK for the police to kill unarmed black Americans.
      A great racist argument.

  • Nnam

    This article is written by someone who has a lot to learn.

    • SWalkerTTU

      Presumably that’s why he’s at Wesleyan.

  • RR

    Somewhere in this country, 3 PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE.
    http://killedbypolice.net/

    So… you wanna bitch/complain that a couple dozen cops die each year? Okay. Any death is a tragedy. But we’re at nearly 1,000 citizens of this county that have died at the hands of police, as of today. If the “Black Lives Matter” people aren’t speaking up, who will?? YOU?? No, I don’t think so. Schmuck.

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  • Peter Gozenya

    gjhgjhg

  • Full Measure

    #LivesMatter #BehaviorMatters

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  • Anonymous

    You are not a CONSERVATIVE if you could in any way support two ffaggots marrying. WTF would you be “conserving”? It’s like saying “I’m a pro-choice conservative”, they don’t go together, murdering babies is something that conservatives are trying to STOP. Jesus Christ specifically told you in Matthew 19:4-6 that MARRIAGE is BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. So how could you call yourself a “conservative” and be AGAINST that which Christ taught specifically? Since no one in their right mind in those days thought that what two perverts did to each other should be called marriage, WHY DO YOU THINK JESUS FELT THE NEED TO SPECIFICALLY SAY WHAT HE SAID? Obviously He could see what was coming down the pike, after liberal scum had softened up the country with their baby murdering and cries of TOLERANCE, and he wanted to PRE-EMPTIVELY weigh in!

    Every conservative should be like Kim Davis. But most of you are FAKE CHRISTIANS, and not saved at all BIBLICALLY, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:38, like Ms Davis IS. If the mistreatment of slaves was sufficient to cause “brother to rise against brother” in the Civil War, as it most definitely was, then how much more worth FIGHTING is the holocaust visited upon all races through abortion? Or the PERVERSION of the GOD GIVEN institution of MARRIAGE? The problem is that you really don’t represent the values that you claim to represent.

    • Liz

      As a Christian, I don’t support gay marriage, because God doesn’t, and so I agree with Kim Davis morally. If it was as simple as upholding the law, however, as a public servant, the decision would have to make would be whether to do the job she’s paid to do, or quit. The problem that few people seem to be addressing though, is that the “law” supporting gay marriage is not a LAWFUL “law”. Only an enabling act of Congress, the people’s representatives, can render a “Supreme” Court ruling enforceable law. So she was enforcing the law, according to the right that she had.

      • DookerT

        What the hell are you talking about an act of congress can only make a court ruling enforceable? You have no clue what you are talking about. The supreme court reviews laws ALREADY passed by congress or in the constitution and interpret them as best they can upon the oaths they swear when they are appointed. The term “marriage” is not copyrighted, owned, or manifested by Christianity or any other religion on the planet. Religions can no longer co-opt marriage or its tenants. Denying persons the ability to marry, based solely on the fact they are the same biological sex, is denying them equal justice before the law, period, end of story. The rest is just babbling over the semantics of the term marriage, which for the rest of the adults in the room, is irrelevant.

    • God? Who is this god person? Does he vote in this country? The United States does not recognize the laws of foreign dictators.

    • DookerT

      This guy is either a well researched troll or fucking crazy. I have no doubt that real conservatives, say Ben Shapiro, would be embarrassed by someone like you.

  • Black Lives Matter; Take Pride In Parenting; End Our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect; End Community Violence, Police Fear & Educator’s Frustrations

    During a February 2014 on-air discussion about “Gangsta Culture” with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett (Google search discussion), Bill O’Reilly intelligently and compassionately talks about America’s expanding and shameful National Epidemic of Child Abuse & Neglect, aka Poverty, that for decades has deprived countless children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    Besides O’Reilly and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, how many Americans are addressing this topic that is at the core of most all the issues and social problems many Americans of African descent are today experiencing?

    Speaking At The Eulogy For The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, President Barack Obama said:

    “Perhaps it causes us to examine what we’re doing to cause some of our children to hate.” (Applause.)

    Video Excerpt from Obama Remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T_GwYI7MnQ

    With all due respect to my American neighbors supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, I believe your cause would better serve all Americans if your organization were to honestly, openly and compassionately address our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect, aka Poverty that for decades has deprived untold numbers of depressed children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    I strongly suggest members of the Black Lives Matter target communities that have embraced The Street Culture Baltimore Mom of The Year Toya Graham desperately struggles to keep her son from embracing.

    In his 2015 Grammy award winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”

    During a January 20, 2011 LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and *VICTIM DENIAL* that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:

    “Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.”

    “I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment. My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”

    It seems evident to me Kendrick identified the source of his depression, the roots of poverty, the child abuse/maltreatment that prevented him, his brothers, sisters, cousins, neighborhood friends, elementary and JHS classmates from enjoying a fairly happy, safe Average Joe and Josie American kid childhood.

    Seems the adults responsible for raising the children in Kendrick’s immediate and extended family placed obstacles in their children’s way, causing their kids to deal with challenges and stresses young minds are not prepared to deal with….nor should they or any other children be exposed to and have to deal with.

    It seems evident to me these PARENTAL INTRODUCED obstacles and challenges cause some developing children’s minds to become tormented and go haywire, not knowing OR NOT CARING ABOUT right from wrong…because as they mature, young victims of child abuse realize their parents introduced them to a life of pain and struggle, totally unlike the mostly safe, happy life the media showed them many American kids were enjoying. RESENTMENT

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but if I was raised in Kendrick’s family I would most likely be silently peeved at my parents for being immature irresponsible “living wild” adults who deprived me of a safe, happy childhood.

    Though like many victims of child abuse, most likely I would deny my parents harmed me, seeking to blame others for the pain my parents caused to me.

    I wonder how little Kendrick and his classmates reacted when their elementary school teacher introduced the DARE presenter and they learned about the real dangers of drugs and how they harm people, including their parents? *Cognitive Dissonance*

    In a Oct 25, 2012, LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick talks about being a SIX-YEAR-OLD child who was not able to trust and rely on his mom…essentially he speaks about being emotionally abandon by his own mom.

    Growing up during the 60-70s I listened to virtually ALL American music artists of African descent writing beautiful songs admiring, praising, wooing, lamenting, respecting and loving the MATERNAL HALF of our population.

    I am curious to know if members and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have wondered why for the past three decades, many popular American music performers of African descent have been characterizing the maternal half of our population as *itches and *hores…essentially less than human creatures or people not worthy of respect?

    Honestly, I have a feeling most BLM supporters don’t have the strength or will to face the truth about who is responsible for filling our prisons with depressed, angry, frustrated, sometimes suicidal teens and young men who were victims of early childhood abuse and neglect at the hands of immature teen girls and women who irresponsibly begin building families before acquiring the skills, PATIENCE and means to properly raise a fairly happy American kid who enjoys Safe Street to travel and play on.

    Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke offers sound advice to all Americans, “Fix the ghetto!”

    I’m with Sheriff Clarke. I believe we also need to re-examine society’s child protection and welfare laws.

    I am hoping when camera technology proves its worth in protecting police officers, as well as identifying officers who require further training or officers who have no business serving the public in a LE capacity, we will use that same technology to protect children by monitoring the common area of homes in which caregivers have established a track record for failing to properly raise, nurture and/or supervise their children.

    Recently I watched a video that saddened me as well as enlightened me when I learned child welfare investigators test the hair of child abuse victims for “ambient” exposure to drugs.

    Holy smokes, the numbers were critical. At the least cameras would expose signs of intoxication in homes identified as requiring extra care to prevent children from being emotionally and or physically harmed.

    If we do not take affirmative action to protect children, “the ghetto” will continue to thrive, fueled by poor parenting, resulting with depressed kids maturing into depressed, sometimes suicidal teens and adults who often vent their angers and frustrations on their peaceful neighbors, instead of the person(s) responsible for introducing them to a life of hardship, pain and struggle.

    This video depicts horrific examples of men who were victims of childhood abuse and neglect, conditioning a young teen to embrace the criminal, anti-social ‘Street Culture’ Baltimore Mom of The Year failed to protect her teen son from…not to mention representing the fear peaceful people living and WORKING in the community experience knowing depressed, angry, unpredictable, sometimes suicidal teens and young adults need to vent their angers and frustrations for being introduced to a life of pain and struggle by irresponsible, “living wild” single moms and/or dads.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3ChOLiJa8k

    This is a recorded act of criminal child abuse, maltreatment and violence against…”A little girl, catching a cool breeze from an air conditioning unit in the yard, was blindsided by another child about her same age, who had evidently had some practice with fighting fierce. The small victim wasn’t alone, as there were plenty of nearby witnesses, who could have protected her but didn’t because they were too busy recording the brutal beat down and encouraging it.” | Written By Amanda Shea

    What I see in this recorded act of criminal child abuse, is adults conditioning children to embrace the cycle of child abuse, child maltreatment and violence passed down from generation to generation by depressed Americans who are content living in the poverty they are primarily responsible for fueling when irresponsibly birthing children from selfishness, instead of the love between two committed adult partners.

    https://www.facebook.com/mediatakeout/videos/vb.731743396857610/1037463359618944/

    NY Times May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers

    Quoting the NYT article, “The suicide rate among black children has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, surpassing the rate for white children, a new study has found.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/19/health/suicide-rate-for-black-children-surged-in-2-decades-study-says.html

    Who or what is responsible for traumatizing, abusing, neglecting, maltreating children to the point where depressed young kids believe their lives are not worth living?

    With all due respect to my American neighbors of African descent, the oppression of humans that led to racism and slavery has largely been replaced with a new form of human oppression that impedes and deprives many American children from experiencing and enjoying a safe, fairly happy American kid childhood.

    #TakePrideInParenting
    #EndChildAbuseNeglect
    #ProtectKidsFromIrresponsibleCaregivers
    oo-

    • BG Davis

      Right. So all this means that it’s OK for the police to kill unarmed black civilians. Right.

      • Guest121

        I’ve noticed your comments all throughout this thread, and after reading this one, I feel the need to say something. Could you realistically perceive the original comment as being anti-BLM or by being pro cop-killing? I think you could. Realistically speaking, I can see where you might have gotten that. I can’t say I agree, but I also can’t blame you. The purpose of the initial comment was hardly touching on the actual issues BLM is trying to stop. They stated that they believed the BLM movement would be better served fighting child abuse and neglect over police brutality. Their mentality was that the reason kids (black or otherwise) grow bitter, lash out and commit crimes is because they grew up in a neglectful or abusive home. I won’t claim to agree with all of their points, but I think that general idea is spot on. By bringing an end to child abuse, we stand to see a drop in crime. This drop in crime will possibly (hopefully) bring an end to the stereotype “black people are criminals”. It has to deal more with the root cause of an issue; being proactive over being reactive. Of course people getting killed by police is a problem. It’s a huge problem, and it’s one that needs to be solved. I think the best solution is to combat both; and Black Lives Matter, with their impressive rally turnout and rather membership numbers, could really make that happen. Someone in another comment pointed out that BLM is responsible for the increased presence of video cameras and recorders being utilized in the police field. That is an amazing accomplishment! I think if BLM made that happen, then they could really tackle the issue of child abuse and neglect.

  • Tim

    What I’ve seen of the BLM crowd are obnoxious, loud-mouthed bullies who don’t want to have a conversation….they want to have a CONFRONTATION.

    I agreed with everything they said about cops targeting blacks unfairly; but when I brought up that waaaaaaay more blacks are killed by other blacks each day, I then became a bigot who ‘didn’t understand’ the problem because I was white.

    In other words, they profiled me because of my color.

    Now, WHY should I support such a racist group?

    • BG Davis

      No, they responded to your deflection. Yes, blacks are killed by black thugs. That does not mean that the police have the right to kill unarmed black civilians. Unless you think that the police should be thugs also. Or that unarmed black civilians are fair game.

      • ernie cohen

        The problem is that police kill Black and White civilians in the same proportion as the rest of society does. So the numbers argue pretty convincingly that, on the whole, they aren’t discriminating based on race.

  • 4aCo-operationation

    The problem is blm is founded by racists who can’t change their spots; their deeply flawed presumption that racism is a major problem factor in our judical system; when economics is by far the main corrupter and the real problem guarantees they will fail to achieve anything positive or longlasting that is good. They lack the understanding of the difference in types of civil disobediance such as boycotting and protesting a business that has racist policies: and disrupting the general public: And they justify; even lionize, criminal elements over all those who believe in orderly peaceful Assembly and the Right to Free Speech; openly threatening not only law enforcement but disorder; while issuing blanket accusations against all white people with never ending demands of payment for some generalized offense going hundreds if not thousands of years based on skin color. They are inciting riot; looting, arson, and everything that comes from them; they will never be a part of any civilized society; because quite to the contrary, they are the enemies of it.

  • Wdcg

    I agree with you completely. The only thing I can’t understand is that when a police officer kills a person, the benefit of the doubt goes to the police officer starting from the police chief down to the police union and conservatives. Can we start with an independent investigation, a jury trial of necessary and asking for the police departments to be open with all the facts and data. Whenever I hear in a press conference after a police officer kills someone that the police officer was correct in shooting a person, I distrust that statement and the police. Could it be that the police officer even acting in good faith made a mistake? But all I hear from conservatives is that that isn’t possible. I think that’s where the BLM starts because they feel they aren’t getting any justice and are automatically seen as at fault.

  • Loeil Alice

    Bravo for asking the question! QUESTIONS CAN NOT BECOME TABOU IN A FREE SOCIETY. carry on, and good luck!

  • Pingback: Blog: In Response to the Wesleyan Student Who Questioned #BlackLivesMatter | The Writer's Bloc()

  • A thoughtful article that raises good points. I’ll be sending in a donation to Wesleyan this year earmarked for the Argus (in response to the curtailed funding of the paper.) Or perhaps I should pay to advertise my business in the Argus. Would the Argus take advertising dollars from an alum selling sexy lingerie?
    Antonia Townsend, ’93

    Founder, Enclosed
    http://www.TheEnclosed.com

  • Tatiana Covington

    Grow up. You’ll be out of that five-year playpen someday. And you’ll have to work for a living!!!

  • Cat Camille

    I’m also black and I find no issues with this article. As a matter of fact, it brings up some important points that should be questioned and entertained. I support Black Lives Matter but I also believe there are ignorant people that can take this issue…on both sides…way to the left or way to the right. Articles like this SHOULD spark conversation and debate; it is also necessary for the course of gaining understanding of varying view points.

  • Jason Coogler

    Pretty well reasoned article. As far as media coverage, until the public realizes that with 24 hour news cable channels now, the media has more interest in stirring up controversy and conflict than actual factual, reasoned news reporting, the country will continue to be largely polarized.

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