Why Black Lives Have to Matter

Speaking as an attorney and an author who has researched the subject thoroughly for my novel Unreasonable Force, the Black Lives Matter movement has done a lot to generate awareness in the last two years about how blacks are treated differently by our society in general, and by the police in particular. However, the roots of police violence go far deeper than just our historic racism. It is an epidemic that has grown to unacceptable proportions because our society has become desensitized to war and violence, and the police have become militarized and identify African Americans as targets.

There has been much controversy discounting the movement by saying that “All Lives Matter.” Of course all lives matter, but all lives can never matter unless we first address the problem of police brutality directed toward people of color. Of course, there are cases of police brutality against people of all races in America, but the overwhelming majority of police violence involves attacks against black people.

This problem of police brutality has been exacerbated by the government and the corporate media which follows it. We are a militarized nation. We have been purposely fed information by the military industrial complex which has made us desensitized to violence and war. At home, we accept violence in our streets, using the “us or them” mentality which makes us objectify our fellow human beings instead of treating them as such. African Americans are the “us,” and the Black Lives Matter movement is important because society, in general, and the police forces of America, specifically, are treating black people as the “them.” Too many police upon seeing a black person, immediately assume that suspicious activity may be afoot, and that puts them on a state of alert that can cause unnecessary deadly effects.

There should be no more “boots on the ground” at home. Police violence is out of hand, and the use of bodily force and deadly force are kept in check by nobody, because cops are allowed to make decisions about what level of force to use with virtually no supervision. This can have deadly consequences for an innocent, unarmed person, against whom the officer has no legal right to use such force. It is a problem which must be addressed with education and activism at the local level, and Congressional representatives who represent the military industrial complex must be voted out on the national level. Black Lives Matter can make a difference, but they need the support of all other lives if anything is going to change.

Kenneth Eade is the bestselling author of the Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series. Read other articles by Kenneth, or visit Kenneth's website.