DENNIS GARVIN: Black Lives Matter

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Dennis Garvin
Dennis Garvin

I am compelled to preface any comments on race with my own personal relationship with the non-Caucasian community.  I do this rather like someone who uses a garlic necklace to deflect an attack by vampires.  In the USA, it is enough that a message was created by white fingers on a keyboard to earn the author a racist label (or, as in my previous writings, I am a SHRAM- Sexist Homophobe Racist And Misogynist).  So I will share about me and my family, knowing that it protects me about as much as garlic would protect my jugular vein.

I have been a physician for 43 years and spent much of my time caring for indigent patients, regardless of race.   I have done medical missionary work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  I have an African American son-in-law whom I love and who will soon give me my 5th grandchild.  I have a Cuban sister-in-law who has given me an ethnic Cuban niece in whom I delight.  I have four Hispanic grand-nieces and two Hispanic grandchildren.

Many of the nurses who have worked in my office or with me in surgery have been African American, Asian American, or Hispanic ethnicity.  I very much doubt that any of them, or any member of my family, would agree with someone attempting to label me a racist.

Black lives matter to me.  The phrase, however, has become thermonuclear. The problem lies with the group that appropriated that as a title.  It not only implies, it demands its own separateness.  It dismisses all other lives in its demand for attention and further demands its own separate adjudication.   It disdains that which I am about to write:  Black lives matter to me because, as a Christian, I believe they are my brothers and sisters and that God does not value me more highly than they.  The BLM movement, however, promotes a highly select scale of value:  Black lives lost to police gunfire is their issue, to the exclusion of all else.  Unless you accept a motive of racial demagoguery on the part of its supporters, BLM is confusing.

If we could, by magic, reduce to zero the annual death rate of blacks killed by police gunfire, we would drop the total black murder rate by less than 4%. (Washington Post Statistics.) This is the proverbial elephant in the room:

  1. In 2015, there were nearly 6,000 black murders committed by black attackers.
  2. In 2011 and 2012, black on black murders exceeded the number of blacks murdered by white lynch mobs in the entire country for the years 1882-1968, That number comes from the Tuskegee Institute – http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingsstate.html

These data are also supported by the Washington Post- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/11/arent-more-white-people-than-black-people-killed-by-police-yes-but-no/?utm_term=.d453539c0acc

You can also confirm them with statistics from the FBI and the Bureau of Justice.

This is not an issue being addressed by BLM.  The American liberal press addresses the total black murder by handgun issue only peripherally, and only in the context that the entire American civilian population should have their guns taken away.

As a physician, I am familiar with Beta testing.  This is where we isolate a small population in the real world, and assess the impact of a medication or a health maneuver (like draining a swamp or capping a factory chimney).  Chicago, NYC, and Washington DC are Beta test sites for the impact of disarming the civilian population.  We see the results.

The implication of this epidemic in the African American community is addressed, usually by the liberals, as being the fault of the Caucasian community.  There are, however, notable exceptions.  I provide a website to Tommy Sotomayor, an outspoken African American commentator.  Please understand that I do not endorse his language, but his message is clear and unambiguous.  It is no wonder he receives routine death threats from the rank and file gangstas: https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=YOU+TUBE+SOTOMAYOR#id=7&vid=8cdc7e17e3625b4af3a6363bcd99966f&action=click

The issue is the world and the mindset of the inner city black male. This is the societal member who, while representing about 6.5% of the population, accounts for over 50% of the murders. I will give my own opinions and avoid the standard sociological garbage available out there.  If any of it were relevant, we would not be where we are today.  The inner city environment is the result of just such well-intentioned airhead observations and resultant government policies.

  1. I will be politically incorrect and state that men’s needs are different from that of women. In the case of a man, it is a need for   For you Darwinists, it stems from our role as the classic hunter-gatherer.  Men identify with their jobs far more than women.  When men meet for the first time, a common opening question is ‘so, what do you do for a living?’  For a male child brought up in full financial subsidy, he grows into a man without a work imperative
  2. The inner city family is frequently without an effective father figure. Up until the 1980s, the presence of a father figure in a black family was roughly equal to that in a white family.  Currently, the majority of black families are without a father figure and 72% of black births are out of wedlock.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African-American_family_structure  This is due in part to the government structure that makes a family dependent on welfare and then reduces the amount of the subsidy if there is a father present in the home and trying to be a breadwinner.
  3. The high illegitimacy rate has occurred despite the social scientists’ reassurance that universal availability of contraception and abortion would prevent it. While they would vehemently deny it, these phenomena directly coincide with the attack on Christian morality or any other form of ethical standard.
  4. New York City spends over $20,000 per student to educate them per year, in high school. The graduation rates in the cities of our country run around 50% while the suburbs routinely exceed 80% http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/22/education/22dropout.html    One is hard pressed to find data that separates inner city schools from the remainder.  However, data from years ago identified a disparity in funding for some inner city schools and the absence of ongoing significant complaint suggests that this has been accomplished.  ‘No child left behind’ was reflective of such an effort.  This did not result in improved graduation rates.
  1. Liberals love to scream that ‘poverty and lack of education’ are the causes for all our societal ills. Their standard approach is to ‘throw money at it.  If it fails, either deny that failure is failure; or admit that there is failure and blame some white guy.’  They will never admit that there is a deeper issue; an issue within the black community itself.
  2. So, let’s see. We have a black kid, frustrated in his genomic instinct to be a hunter-gatherer.  He has no father figure to emulate. (But that’s okay, because feminists tell us a father is not necessary.)  He has, like all of us, a need to ‘belong.’  The obvious option in the inner city is the group, or the gang.  If this group/gang were to place a high value on education, the kid would have his motivation.  If, however, this group gains identity and respect through universal appearance (tattoos, draggy jeans, sideways hats, dreadlocks), interests (basketball, rap music, gangsta patois), and a disdain for both education and cultural ethics, we have fertile ground for antisocial behavior.  A handgun can become a mere accessory that earns the street respect that is desperately wanted.  Of course, in the drug subculture, it is an obligatory item. In any case, it is interesting how there is such conformity to this image.  Humans are, after all, social creatures.  We all sacrifice a measure of individuality to earn group acceptance.  It is only when group acceptance has malignant implications that we have problems.

Sir Thomas Gray, in 1751, wrote the poem ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard.’  In it, the author muses on the lives that had been lived by those buried in the churchyard.  How many of these unknown, uncelebrated people would otherwise have risen to become a Milton or Cromwell or possessed ‘some heart pregnant with celestial fire’; or perhaps possessed ‘Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed’?  I feel this poem so perfectly applicable to the inner city black male:  who among them, but for a senseless death, might otherwise have lived to provide a cure for an illness, literature and music that might delight and bring tears or laughter to his fellow humans?

We have a difficult problem, but one that is kept from being insoluble by the resolute character of the American citizens.  Americans are famous for accomplishing the unthinkable.  And it begins with the knowledge that we are citizens of a nation with no precedent in human history.  I believe that we start with ignoring the demagogues and those who benefit financially from the continued racial divide.

Here I would apply a medical metaphor.  As a physician, I must avoid blaming a patient’s symptoms on the wrong diagnosis. If I fail, the treatment will be wrong for the problem, just like the current crop of differential diagnoses out there for the black murder rate.

Similarly, the cure for any cancer begins with diagnosing it and giving it a name.  The patient and the family may resist the diagnosis, may even resent you for using ‘that word.’  They can refuse treatment. I do not, however, believe that the right of refusal pertains to a nation with an at-risk population, a population of young men who are not less deserving of our love and compassion than any other group in this country.

Dennis Garvin