I‘m not sure whether New York City Mayor Eric Adams believes Black Lives Matter should be doing his job for him, whether he wants to make BLM into a unit in his city’s police department, or whether he thinks BLM is actually out here committing murders in NYC, but he sure does love throwing shade at the movement every time there’s a high-crime day in the city he’s in charge of.
“If Black Lives Matter, then Black Lives Matter when innocent people are shot on our streets,” Adams said during a news conference in reference to the violence that happened during the Juneteenth holiday.
According to Adams, there were 10 shootings and six homicides in the city on June 19. Presumably, Black people made up the bulk (if not all) of the victims that day, so now the ex-cop mayor who believes Jordan Neely was “assisted” with the chokehold that killed him is, once again, feining concern for Black lives being taken unjustly. Six people out of a population of nearly eight million died in his city, and somehow BLM is responsible and not the city’s leaders.
Just to cut through the minutiae of repeating the same obvious explanation for why BLM isn’t accountable for every crime involving Black people, here’s what I wrote last year when Adams said the same general thing after three people were killed in NYC:
First of all, Adams probably isn’t the one to be making this non-point in the first place seeing as he, in an attempt to bolster his “tough on crime” campaign, recently reinstated a plainclothes police unit that had been previously dismantled over complaints of racial profiling and police brutality.
Secondly, do we really need to explain again in 2022 what BLM is specifically about? BLM protests exist in order to pressure authorities into bringing authorities to justice when authorities kill Black people unjustly, or when authorities refuse to do anything about racist citizens killing Black people.
Assuming the shootings Adams has gotten his tighty-blues all in a bunch about were committed by Black people, protests to bring said shooters to justice would be pointless since our justice system has never been hesitant or lenient when it comes to Black criminality.
And yet, we actually stage anti-gun violence demonstrations in our neighborhoods and cities all the time.
Before Black Lives Matter there was the “Stop the Violence” movement, which has been around for decades. Even in recent years, in response to gun violence in urban areas, there have been anti-gun violence marches put together by activists and community members in Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Brooklyn and countless other cities. Just because these demonstrations aren’t covered in the media as much—because there is no controversy surrounding them, unlike BLM—doesn’t mean they’re not happening.
But Adams insists on joining white America in invoking Black-on-Black crime in response to Black Lives Matter. He insists on pretending violent criminals can be pressured into changing their ways through public protests the way city officials can. He insists on using any amount of Black death as an opportunity to express his contempt for the movement, likely because, well—one a cop, always a cop.
Or maybe he’s just another Black conservative who needs white people to hear him say all the anti-Black things they wish to say publicly themselves.
Either way, it is long past time he stops blaming the movement for his failure as a leader. It’s self-serving, tired and annoying.
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