Currently there are marches taking place highlighting Breonna Taylor‘s murder in Louisville, Kentucky. No police officer has been arrested for the reckless shooting on that fateful night. My heart goes out to the Taylor family.
The game-changer in shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “End Racism” came about because a lot of young white people started marching by the tens of thousands with some Blacks and people of color regarding the injustices in our nation.
But why are there no concerns expressed through marches and rallies when our city youth, in particular Black males and females right here in Boston, are murdered? We should feel outrage when someone unarmed is shot and killed by police anywhere. However, the Black community should show outrage locally since we have so many parents and loved ones who are mourning the loss of victims in their families.
In regard to Breonna Taylor, many are sad and angry that it appears Black lives do not matter as much to white America. In our nation, we should be angry and outraged when an unarmed person is killed by police, whether that person is Black or white. The good cops should vehemently denounce racist cops or those who are too quick to shoot. There should absolutely be police reforms implemented immediately regarding the use of deadly force.
I believe those of us within the Black community must stand up for all of the parents and family members who have lost loved ones to violence on the streets of Boston and the surrounding areas. There are too many shootings and homicides in Boston that go unnoticed by the masses of protesters. As a senior pastor of 30 years, I have officiated at or participated in hundreds of funerals for young homicide victims over those years. There are so many grieving loved ones who are in pain and feel ignored because their murdered loved one was not a part of a national discussion.
Americans need to view the violence and homicides in the Black community as an American problem. There are some basic things that we can do to address all violence and homicides with dignity and equity. We should be concerned and voice it publicly when we lose our neighbors to violence. Law enforcement should work with families to solve more homicide cases in our city neighborhoods.
We should be more empathetic toward parents and families in the aftermath of homicides. As a Black man I am cognizant of the visceral pain, frustration, and fear that envelop the Black community after a murder.
Many do not speak up because of the fear of retaliation. That is a reality that we should be concerned about. Nonetheless, we cannot allow outside people to capitalize on the trauma in the Black community in ways that benefit them.
We should not allow others to politicize urban trauma and drama, but we do need to work on eliminating violence and homicides. All lives will not matter until urban Black Lives Matter, too.
Those fallen urban youth who were caught up in the street violence were Americans. Moreover, we can’t be silent because there are too many innocent young people who have been killed.
Let‘s stop pointing fingers at each other and unify for the greater good of humanity. Let’s stand together and show concern for all families.
Bishop William E. Dickerson, II, is the pastor at Greater Love Tabernacle in Dorchester.