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Chicago can ‘partner’ with its police, with their help

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Even before Chicago’s carnage-infested Father’s Day weekend was finished, the predictable emails from readers began to flow in.

“Where’s Black Lives Matter now?” they asked in so many words.

The surge was predictable. At least 106 people were shot in Chicago, 14 of them fatally, over the weekend, the highest number of shootings in one weekend since at least 2012, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Catching the most attention among the deaths, 3-year-old Mekhi James in the West Side’s Austin community was fatally shot in a drive-by that police said appeared to be intended for his dad.

And again we are shocked. Chicago has had lots of gun-related crime shocks in recent years.

And as in other cities, some of these have been protested by the Black Lives Matter movement, formed to push back against police shootings of unarmed African Americans.

 

I’m not a big fan of the movement, although as a Black man I’m happy when anybody thinks that we matter. The movement’s name, for starters, is too vulnerable to distortion and demonization by its critics and opponents who want to cast the group as promoting Black supremacy.

Its leaderless resistance-style of organizing also leaves it vulnerable to hijacking of its mission and public image by people who don’t have the movement’s interests in mind, except perhaps to make it a scapegoat for right-wing or racially tinged rage.

“All Lives Matter,” go the anti-BLM factions, supposedly claiming the moral high ground.

To which I, as an African American who pays attention to such things, respond, true, but too often Black lives don’t matter enough.

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