Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
If you want one of the worst examples of behavior that turns black Americans off from the conservative movement, look at how many of us respond when a mass shooting or white supremacist terror attack occurs. While some on the right might not care whether or not the Republican Party earns black votes, those who are serious about the future of the GOP understand that it is necessary.
This is why it’s important to make sure we are not engaging in behavior that needlessly pushes people away. Just like the left’s over-the-top race-baiting antics drove people to Trump, the conservative movement makes continual mistakes that repel black voters instead of attracting them.
The pattern has been in place for years. A gunman walks into a crowded gun-free zone and opens fire on the crowd until he commits suicide, is killed by police, or in rare cases, apprehended by the authorities. Inevitably, calls for gun control reverberate over the airwaves, on social media, and everyone’s favorite news sites.
Then, conservatives respond. In many cases, they point out that additional gun laws would not have prevented the shooting. We argue that making it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms will not prevent tragedies such as these. But some use an argument that does more harm than good: They bring up black homicides in the inner cities to deflect from the impact of mass shootings – especially when the shooter is white.
Because on some weekends, more people are murdered in Chicago than in mass shootings. Indeed, inner-city violence claims far more lives than mass shootings. Moreover, the left-wing media is intent on highlighting the race of mass shooters when they happen to be white. This has prompted some to bring up homicide victims in the inner city to downplay or distract from the horrendous nature of mass shootings by pointing out that the media never focuses on black on black crime.
This is what is happening right now in the wake of the mass shooting in Odessa, Texas. All the usual suspects in the conservative movement are using black homicide victims in the inner city to distract from the atrocity that was committed.
By now, you’re probably thinking, “But Jeff, these are facts! More people are killed in gang violence in cities like Chicago and Baltimore than in mass shootings! Why shouldn’t we bring this up?”
It’s a fair question. But the issue does not lie with bringing up black homicides. The issue is WHY people are bringing up black homicides. Allow me to explain.
How often does your favorite conservative news site or right-leaning pundit bring up inner-city crime? Many discuss the issue only when someone carries out a mass shooting or white supremacist terrorist attack.
It’s not a good look. To minorities who are not firmly on the right, it comes off as a cynical ploy to distract from a mass shooting. To them, conservatives appear to be using the deaths of black homicide victims to deflect from the actions of a white mass shooter. After all, how often do you see a conservative bring up black on black crime in the wake of an Islamic terrorist attack? It is yet another reason why blacks are leery of the Republican Party.
Now, this does not mean that we can’t point to cities like Chicago as examples showing that stricter gun control laws do not prevent gun deaths. It is relevant to the discussion that inevitably arises whenever the progressive left thinks they can use the heartache caused by mass shootings to push their anti-gun agenda.
Here’s the bottom line. Conservatives are right. The media is horrible and corrupt. They deliberately ignore victims of violent crimes in inner cities because it doesn’t create a useful narrative for the left. The press downplays mass shootings committed by nonwhite shooters. But despite the validity of our arguments, the way we have handled this up until now isn’t helpful to our cause.
When right-leaning pundits and news outlets only bring up inner-city crime as a way to either deflect from a mass shooting or only to bash the Democrats who run those cities, it comes off as less than genuine to outsiders. They can see that these individuals are not actually concerned about the plight of inner-city residents; they just want to score some cheap political points.
This may not be what these folks intend, but it is how blacks perceive it. If the conservative movement wants to remain relevant, it has to expand its focus. This means attracting people that the GOP has traditionally ignored.
More of us need to bring these issues up even when there is no political gain, but not just so that we can use them to attack the Democrats. Tweeting Chicago homicide stats alone also comes off as disingenuous. When we discuss the issues facing the inner city, we should also talk about possible solutions. If we’re going to complain about Democrats ruining inner cities, we should also be calling on the former Party of Lincoln to start engaging with the black community again. Let’s not continue to make the same mistakes that have contributed to blacks voting 90% for the Democrats. Perhaps it is time for a new approach.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
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