Two days ago, at the first historically Black university, we saw the worse of what we do to each other. No one was killed, thank God. Not a shot was fired. Yet nevertheless, it was violence of the most despicable order. It was no less than a violent coup. Several innocents were hurt.
We often think of coups happening in a third world nation. When we see them we shake our heads in astonishment and go on. Yet we see similar coups happening in this nation all the time. In the Black community we see coups but they never really affect us. We have neither the social standing nor economic standing for coups to be relevant.
We instead spend our time focused on how we are treated by the majority. We protest, we march in the streets, we vandalize our neighborhoods, we defame others, we argue among ourselves, we isolate from each other. All in the name of Black Lives Matter. But do they? Do we believe this?
When we throw roadblocks in the professional careers of others or when we terminate each other’s leadership in the quest of petty egotism or jealousy, do Black lives matter? Oh, it is easy to display pictures of brutality by the Police or gang violence and say “Black Lives Matter.” However, what we do without firing a bullet matters as well.
When we contort the rules and deny due process to others in the name of petty ambition, this matters. When we do it to each other, Black Lives Matter. This recent event at Lincoln University stands as a classic reminder that Black Lives Matter. Oh, some may argue I am stretching the facts or misusing the facts. I say really?
Blacks and other minorities have been shut out from opportunities or stripped of position by the majority for years. We give it labels such as bias and prejudice. We pass laws like Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. All designed to make it more difficult for the majority to act arbitrarily and capriciously. But what about when we do it to ourselves? Black Lives Do Matter!!
What is worse is some of us will stand mute when this happens. Some of us will not see the injustice in this behavior and simply allow it to occur. When confronted with their silence they will become defensive and confrontational. Yet in their hearts, they have to know their silence was shameful.
Some of us will try to fight back. However, we have not gained the sophistication that it requires to wage a successful response. Moreover, we are associative people. The adage if you are not part of our solution, you are part of the problem reigns strong in our community. Only when our goals are not achieved do we open our minds to alternatives.
Yes, we need to ask Do Black Lives Matter? When we do to each other what the majority does so often we give the majority a sense of validation. Just last week I heard a comeback to Police Murder that the Police murder more of the majority than Blacks. When that notion was debunked it was then argued well more Blacks are killed by other Blacks than by the Police. I believe Blacks killing Blacks is a major problem on so many levels. However, perhaps the most concerning is this reality offers the majority a sense of false validity.
Do Black Lives Matter? I would hope so. Not only when we are assaulted or murdered by the majority. Yet also when we attack each other. We can ill afford to do to each other what is being done to us all.
What happened at Lincoln University was a coup. It was dangerous and it was atrocious. Laws were broken, denial of due process occurred, others were wrongfully shut out of the process. All in the quest for power and gain. We did this to each other.
We cannot allow this to stand. If it does, it makes it easier to be repeated.