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All talk, no progress: Stop ignoring inner-city gun violence

By Dion J. Pierre COLUMNIST

The late-summer shooting of the young, unarmed, African American teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer has provided American  liberals with a narrative they have longed for since the onset of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s anti-police rhetoric. Also in the past few months, the left has used the incident as a means to indulge in egregious levels of race-baiting.

Sticking to the archetypal black-versus-white storyline, the intelligentsia of the left claims that America’s predominantly white police force is at war with African Americans. Insufferable as their message may be, liberals have again led themselves to believe that it is their destiny to show up in their white and shining political correctness.

While this rhetoric has been effective in energizing their equally insufferable electoral base, their zeal is entirely misplaced. If liberals cared as much about African Americans as they claim, they would focus on the black-on-black slaughter that is disturbingly prevalent in urban communities.

According to a report by the Violence Policy Center, African Americans are four times more likely than any other racial group to be victims of homicide. In 2011, there were 6,309 black homicide victims. Seventy-seven percent of these victims were killed by handguns, and 73 percent were murdered by someone they knew. Eighty-six percent of the victims were men 30 years of age and under, and as many as 90 percent of male African American homicide victims are murdered at the hands of other African American males.

Also, a recent study analyzing crime data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that African Americans are also more likely than any other racial group in the country to be victims of gun violence, at an alarming rate of 18.5 firearm deaths per 100,000 people.

In the face of this Culture of Death in the African American Community, accompanied by the seemingly infinite tears of mothers mourning their children and the plethora of black bodies gunned down in our cities, it is incomprehensible that liberals continue to behave as if white people are callously leading African Americans to the slaughter house.

Even more disgusting is the failure of black leaders like Al Sharpton, who seem so preoccupied with their own exposure that they fail to address this issue.

The bright side is that a number of honest scholars have sought to analyze the root of this pandemic, and many say that socioeconomic factors contribute greatly to inner city violence. It could also be the case that the dissolution of the black family has significantly added to inner city dysfunction.

According to the latest government statistics, an estimated 73 percent of African American children are born out of wedlock. While poverty undeniably influences the fact that out of wedlock birth rates are so high, few could argue that the absence of a stable family life has not had an adverse effect on black youth.

If policy makers truly aspire to be realistic about which remedies will have the highest efficacy, they must abandon the race wars and the demonization of our police officers. Instead, our focus as a nation would be better directed at rebuilding urban communities from the ground up. This includes recalculating how we invest in education and re-championing family values.

In calling on crutches such as abortion, welfare and lower standards of law and education, the left exercises nothing but a subtle superiority complex. Instead of “yes we can,” their message is, “you do not have to, because your race renders you incapable.”

If liberals continue to focus solely on the issue of race because it helps them sleep at night, we will all stand witness to what is starting to look more and more like a de facto eugenics program against African Americans. While the issue of the day is Michael Brown, there is a much longer list of victims who will never share in Brown’s martyrdom because it is not politically viable.

The real victims are African-Americans, but not in the way the left would like you to think.

The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed section are those of the authors of the articles. They are not an endorsement of the views of The Chronicle or its staff. The Chronicle does not discriminate based on the opinions of the authors. 

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