Independently Published, 2016
189 pp. $13.55 (paperback)
The dominant narrative regarding U.S. race relations today is that the primary danger to black lives stems from white racism, particularly that of violent, racist cops. This view holds that America is a hopelessly racist nation. An organization, Black Lives Matter (BLM), has arisen to lead protests and even riots in response to instances where a white man, especially a police officer, kills a black person.
Taleeb Starkes’s 2016 book, Black Lies Matter: Why Lies Matter to the Race Grievance Industry, is a courageous, prescient, and truthful account of burgeoning racial conflicts, and its vital message is of life-or-death importance.
One of the book’s most arresting points—backed by a plethora of evidence—regards what is by far the gravest danger to black American lives: black thugs.
“For every Trayvon Martin killed by someone not black [whether white, Asian, or Latino], nine other blacks were murdered by someone black,” wrote John W. Fountain, an award-winning journalist, and professor at Roosevelt University. . . . [Fountain continues,] Imagine Soldier Field . . . filled beyond capacity, brimming with 63,879 young African-American men, ages 18-24—more than U.S. losses in the entire Vietnam conflict. Imagine the University of Michigan’s football stadium—the largest in the U.S.—filled to the limit of 109,901 with black men. Now add 28,233 more—together totaling more than U.S. deaths in World War I. . . . The national tally of black males 14 and older murdered in America over a 30-year period from 1976-2005, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics: 214,661 [roughly 192,000 of which were killed by blacks]. (30)
The hard data is both astonishing and appalling: Blacks, constituting 13 percent of the U.S. population, kill 90 percent of black murder victims. Whites, Asians, and Latinos, composing 87 percent of the population, kill 10 percent of black murder victims. This point alone is sufficient to refute the claim that racist whites are the dominant threat to black American lives.
It gets worse. Starkes writes, “The numbers tell only part of the story of this largely urban war, where the victims [bear] an uncanny resemblance to their killers” (30). As Starkes details, some of the black-on-black murders are unspeakably ghastly. For example, in 2014 in the Detroit suburb of Inkster, a gangbanger walked onto the porch of a rival gang member and shot his two-year-old daughter, Kamiya French, in the head, killing her in front of her father to make him suffer (56). In 2015 in Chicago—which is often referred to by law enforcement as “Chiraq,” because its high-crime areas are akin to combat zones—a gang member shot nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee in the head, murdering him to punish his father, a member of a rival gang. The murderer even composed a rap to commemorate the killing (60–61).1 . . .
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1. Some lyrics are “Shorty couldn’t take it no more, Shorty couldn’t take it no more.” In gangsta terminology, a little kid is a “shorty.”
2. John Lott, “Why Did Ferguson Pay Michael Brown’s Family $1.5 Million?” The Hill, June 28, 2017, https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/state-local-politics/339849-Why-did-Ferguson-pay-Michael-Brown%E2%80%99s-family-%241.5-million%3F.
3. Sharpton first rose to national prominence in 1987 when he supported Tawana Brawley in her infamous hoax about race-based abduction and rape. He falsely accused district attorney Steven Pagones of assaulting Brawley. Pagones lost his job, and it took him ten years of litigation to win a defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, who never apologized. Further, Sharpton routinely has demonized Jews and inflamed racial tensions against them. See Kyle Smith, “Al Sharpton Is Not a Civil Rights Hero,” National Review, July 31, 2019, https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/al-sharpton-is-not-a-civil-rights-hero/.
4. Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, “How Sharpton Gets Paid to Not Cry ‘Racism’ at Corporations,” New York Post, January 4, 2015, https://nypost.com/2015/01/04/how-sharpton-gets-paid-to-not-cry-racism-at-corporations/.
5. Fred Lucas, “These 18 Corporations Gave Money to Radical Black Lives Matter Group,” Daily Signal, July 7, 2020, https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/07/07/these-18-corporations-gave-money-to-black-lives-matter-group/; “Black Lives Matter Network Established $12 Million Dollar Grant Fund,” Associated Press, June 18, 2020 www.voanews.com/usa/race-america/black-lives-matter-network-establishes-12m-grant-fund.
6. Mike Gonzalez and Andrew Olivastro, “The Agenda of Black Lives Matter Is Far Different from the Slogan,” July 3, 2020, https://www.heritage.org/progressivism/commentary/the-agenda-black-lives-matter-far-different-the-slogan; Rowan Scarborough, “Black Lives Matter Anti-Police Brutality Crusade Obscures Violent Marxist Agenda,” Washington Times, July 27, 2020, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/27/black-lives-matter-anti-police-brutality-crusade-o/.
7. “Retired NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik Warns Public Black Lives Matter Fundraising Is Run by a Terrorist,” KUSI Newsroom, July 9, 2020, https://www.kusi.com/retired-nypd-commissioner-bernard-kerik-warns-public-black-lives-matter-fundraising-is-run-by-a-terrorist/.