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Legendary former Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis has a bone to pick with Black Lives Matter.

He thinks the movement should focus more on “black on black” crime.

Whatever that means.

On Saturday, Lewis posted a video to his Facebook page citing statistics saying that the murder rate in Chicago “soared 72 percent in 2016,” with 141 murders in the last month, though DNA Info has the numbers much lower, at 151 murders in the past year for Chicago.

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“Why do we always find ourselves half the victims, and now we have the separation once again that we’re being victimized because of one bad white cop, two bad white cops, three bad white cops, killing a young black brother. But every day we have black-on-black crime, killing each other?… The March murder rate rose by 29 percent, but we’re not rioting in the streets [about] black on black killing each other,” Lewis said in the video.

It’s amassed more than 3 million views since the weekend.

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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman shared similar sentiments last year.

Lewis is not the first person to use this argument, and, in fact, the Black Lives Matter movement has an answer for those who ask what their stance is on black on black violence:

“The idea that black-on-black crime is not a significant political conversation among black people is patently false. In Chicago, long maligned for its high rates of intraracial murder, members of the community created the Violence Interrupters to disrupt violent altercations before they escalate. However, those who insist on talking about black-on-black crime frequently fail to acknowledge that most crime is intraracial. Ninety-three percent of black murder victims are killed by other black people. Eighty-four percent of white murder victims are killed by other white people. The continued focus on black-on-black crime is a diversionary tactic, whose goal is to suggest that black people don’t have the right to be outraged about police violence in vulnerable black communities, because those communities have a crime problem. The Black Lives Matter movement acknowledges the crime problem, but it refuses to locate that crime problem as a problem of black pathology. Black people are not inherently more violent or more prone to crime than other groups. But black people are disproportionately poorer, more likely to be targeted by police and arrested, and more likely to attend poor or failing schools. All of these social indicators place one at greater risk for being either a victim or a perpetrator of violent crime. To reduce violent crime, we must fight to change systems, rather than demonizing people.”

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SportingNews NFL writer David Steele wrote an excellent critique of Lewis’ comments, concluding that the ESPN commentator is misguided and misinformed:

Lewis is sending a powerful message in his video.

Next time, he should try sending one based on facts, not fiction.

 

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