I carefully pondered whether I should offer my Thought Provoking Perspective on the Ray Lewis sermon for several days. It is very true that anyone can say anything they want to say and, of course, they have the right to do so. However, that does not mean the statements they might make are correct or that I have to agree with the messenger or his/her words. I thought about the near infamous Ray Lewis’ video presentation on Black Lives Matters.
Let me say at the outset that he made some very good points, although, in my view, he was a bit misguided in saying or inferring that black people are not concerned or focused on Black on Black crime. I am going to say this a few times because there is no such thing as Black on Black crime, which is important to note. To me, his presentation in his preacher-like style sounded as if he was pandering to a white audience, and possibly even scripted by someone white.
I say this because a lot of what he said sounded like something you would hear on Fox News or maybe something a Stacey Dash would recite. For example, the popular narrative, alluring to the completely mythical theme that surface every time an unarmed black person is killed by police, or if there is a spike in murders in poverty-stricken urban areas – or both. It goes something like this: “If Black Lives Matter, then how come they don’t matter when it comes to black-on-black crime?” This is white speak because there is no such thing as black on black crime. For example, you never hear the phrase White on White Crime and we know they commit crimes against each other.
In the same sense, the organization chose the name Black Lives Matter because of the weekly killings of unarmed black men, women, and children. Somehow; “they” began to say All Lives Matter! Let’s be clear, if a white person gets killed anywhere on earth “they” will call out the army; all the Black Lives Matter movement is saying, what about black lives – don’t they matter.
There is always a famous face to push the theme the Fox News types want, which is to change the narrative. Lewis’ video in which he states this myth in, basically, a sermon that decries the surge in murders in Chicago this year while managing to lay the blame on the Black Lives Matter movement inferring they doesn’t care about such things. Until the Black Lives Movement came to be the many killings by police was hardly mentioned in the news. This is important and needed because now some attempt to address police misconduct. Is one more right than the other, of course not but we pay the police.
Let’s be clear, Ray Lewis is an athlete, albeit a good one, he is a football player and must appeal to white folk to continue to obtain marketing and other opportunities. I did not hear his voice concerning the uprising during the Freddy Gray police action in the city where he lives, which is also one of the most crime-ridden cities thrown into turmoil by a death of a man in police custody. I do appreciate his passionate, intense feelings and maybe his sincere approach but in my view – he was a bit misinformed.
Lewis angrily is walking down a dangerous, counterproductive path, or I should say a slippery slope. He’s leading a lot of people down there with him because of his star appeal. They follow him and heed his every word because he carries that much cachet in the city and beyond. Frankly, what got to me was the ironic timing of his video; just weeks before the anniversary of the unrest in Baltimore surrounding the death of Freddie Gray. I say this is a white folk move to divert the attention from that fact.
If Lewis really thinks “nobody” is trying to stop crime in cities like Baltimore and Chicago, somebody has been lying to him. That narrative is simply not true! It’s also not true about activists who are fighting police brutality and misconduct, which was the motivation behind the formation of the Black Lives Matter Movement. We must remember there were those who disagreed with both Martin and Malcolm on issues and their approach. Of course, we can agree to disagree, but we should be honest in the approach to the topic.
If he had thought about his attempt to bring forth this issue of Black on Black crime; he would have discovered that the very term “black on black crime,” is a myth! Further, the time and place the phrase is often used is an old, not-very-original tactic to change the subject away from the abuse of vulnerable populations by people who are sworn to protect and serve them.
Make no mistake; I applaud Ray for his success and his concern for black people but if he chooses to have some input on the subject of the organization maybe he should try sending one based on facts, not fiction. Still we can agree to disagree concerning his message, and frankly I disagree with him on this rant. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…