Seattle Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman couldn’t be more right, and ESPN’s Michael Smith couldn’t be more “dead wrong.”
Last week, Sherman spoke to the media on his thoughts regarding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Most people in the audience probably expected Sherman to respond with infatuation for the movement, but instead, Sherman gave perspective on something that so many Americans are wondering themselves. If black lives do matter, why is there so much black on black crime occurring throughout the United States? And, if black lives matter, why is so much protest and violence aimed towards the police and not criminals?
ESPN2’s noontime broadcast “his & hers” features co-hosts Smith and Jemele Hill, who weighed in on Sherman’s comments last week. Smith specifically unloaded on Sherman, saying that he was “dead wrong,” on the issue. He also called Sherman’s account “extremely counterproductive commentary,” and said that Sherman needed to do more reading and introspection on the topic before offering his opinions to the public.
Hill chipped in with laughable comments of her own, claiming that black on black crime in urban areas is a product of “the failure of law enforcement to adequately police those communities.” She also added: “I hate, in general, the conversation – as if we, as multi-faceted, fully functioning, thinking individuals, can’t occupy two issues at the same time. We can care about black lives in our own communities and also hold the police, and those who have been tasked to police us, accountable for their actions.”
Really? I don’t know where to begin with either of you.
I could take Smith seriously if he wasn’t looking down at his sheet of notes every three seconds, pulling out useless statistics as the logical foundation of the fallacy-ridden argument that ESPN spoon fed to him for the segment. If Smith were truly an intellectual, he’d be smart enough to displace himself from the thought-box that is ESPN. He says during the segment that he applauds athletes for speaking out about the issues, but clearly those opinions must align with his own (or should I say ESPN’s) to avoid scrutiny.
Furthermore, Smith should ask himself whether or not Sherman’s commentary is truly counterproductive, or if he just raised a completely intelligent and respectable argument for which Smith has no erudite response.
If BLM activists are willing to create violence in their communities for the handful of killings by police of blacks (most of which are legally justifiable and handpicked by the liberal media for us to feast upon), why can’t they acknowledge the far greater number of black on black murders that occur each year?
As Sherman described in his response to the media, each of those deaths is the loss of someone’s brother, friend, or other family member. Do those lives matter to BLM activists?
And if, as Hill said, both issues can be occupied at the same time, why can’t they at least acknowledge Sherman’s commentary as a reasonable examination of the greater issue? How is it possible for these issues to be simultaneously occupied when you neglect to acknowledge that one of these issues actually exists? Many Americans are honestly confused why police are the target of attacks from this movement. If black lives matter to BLM activists, why aren’t they targeting the source of a much greater injustice?
Smith can call Sherman’s remarks a deflection, but the real deflection is from BLM on all of these simple, unbiased questions. Sherman’s observation isn’t a red herring, it’s a logical inquiry that displays his uncertainty with a social movement, whose founding principle expresses that black lives matter, yet instinctively dismisses the relevance of the thousands of black on black murders that occur each year. Police haven’t failed in these major urban centers, they are the last line of defense for law abiding citizens in the sanctuary cities and gun ban areas where many of these homicides occur.
Most importantly, advocates of BLM, and the activists themselves, need to understand that asking these questions isn’t an undermining of the argument at hand. Many of these questions need to be answered, just for basic understanding of what the movement really stands for. The general public will never support a movement that it can’t fully understand.
Americans want to know if the movement is a mechanism to examine and influence perceptions on the value of black lives everywhere, or if it is a display of pushback to those legally and morally obligated to uphold our laws and protect our citizens.
And like many, I’m still not certain which of the statements above accurately describes Black Lives Matter.