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Stevie Wonder: If Black Lives Matter, then Stop all this Black-on-Black Killing

3 ¼ min

If I was to name one of the more interesting and unpredictable parts of my week, it would have to be the handful of hours I spend volunteering in a children’s program in the inner city of Minneapolis. The kids I see week after week come from a variety of backgrounds, but if classified according to the categories used by public schools, many would fit into the African American, Free-Reduced Lunch fields.   

Lest one think that I’m selflessly giving of myself, I’m not. I’m getting many great returns, one of which I received the other day when a 5-year-old student came up and gave me a genuinely loving hug. He was soon joined by another little guy… and another… until the outpouring of love was literally knocking me off my feet!

It’s precious moments like this that cause one to reflect on what these kids are facing in life. Where will they be in 10 or 15 years? Will they be set on the course to becoming successful young men, or will they be caught up in a cycle of dysfunction and violence?

Unfortunately, the odds suggest the latter is more likely to be the case. Many will end up as school dropouts, unwed fathers, and perhaps even the perpetrators or victims of homicides.

That last point was recently addressed by musician Stevie Wonder at a rally in Minneapolis. According to Billboard, Wonder spoke to a crowd about the apparent cognitive dissonance that persists in the black community:

“It is in your hands to stop all of the killing and the shooting wherever it might be,” Wonder said. “You cannot say, 'Black lives matter,' and then kill yourselves. Because you know we've mattered long before it was said, but the way we show that we matter, the way that we show all the various people of color matter is by loving each other and doing something about it. Not just talking about it, not just waiting to see the media and press come when there's a horrible thing."

Intellectual Takeout has shown the truth of Wonder’s words when it comes to black-on-black crime in Chicago, but what about Minneapolis?

The most recent data from the Minneapolis Police Department answers this question. The graphs below give the breakdown of homicides with a firearm between 2009 and 2014. As can be seen, 57 percent of the suspects and 79 percent of the victims were black.

Minneapolis Homicides by RaceOther data in the report suggests that the numbers are even worse when it comes to non-fatal shooting incidents. In that category, 69 percent of suspects and 79 percent of victims were black.

But perhaps what’s even more tragic is the fact that some of these victims still rank in the juvenile category. According to the report, 87 percent of juvenile homicide victims were of black heritage.

Those are scary numbers to any individual, but particularly so to one who works with those in this community and knows a name and a face which may one day be one of those statistics.

In the aforementioned piece on Chicago’s high black-on-black crime rates, my colleague Devin Foley cited CNN black commentator Don Lemon. In Lemon’s eyes, the 72 percent out-of-wedlock birth rate in the black community and the subsequent absence of fathers is responsible for the cycle of destruction which young black men are subjected to.

Given the above crime numbers, combined with the fact that the black out-of-wedlock birth rate in Minneapolis measured at 86 percent in 2014, do you think Lemon’s assessment of the situation is correct? Would we see a decline in crime, not only in the black community, but in others as well, if we abandoned the hook-up culture and returned to one of strong families headed by two married parents?

Image Credit: Antonio Cruz/ABr bit.ly/2s3WYN7

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.

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Gabyrojasr
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The point of the article was lost. It doesn’t matter if Stevie Wonder said this ten thousand years ago. It’s still accurate today. Check how many “celebrities” have programs to help youth in black communities. We need to have happy, respected and loved people, in order to give it back. Education is also importante. But you can have that and still be heartless or perceptible to your surroundings, you’ve lost your time and money. This articule was a great example in numbers, take care of your own is the highlight. Police need better training, yes, but reduce the numbers of the graphics also. Less drogas more sports. Somehow drugs is hurting our society so much. People have perceptions, that if you are green, you must be from Pluto, stop assuming. Help your communities. Be careful what you preach, hatred will bring that back. Stay safe everyone. (I’m Hispanic, in South America we went through the same issues as US. Only thing is we stopped differences among color; statistics are like male/ female,. We may need to add another option.)
 
 

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wg
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The demonstrations are about the disproportionate killings of black people by POLICE. Furthermore, the quotes from Stevie Wonder were made three years ago in 2017, and NOT in response to the death of George Floyd, as the article implies. The omission of that fact is disingenuous and deceitful. When Stevie says “It is in your hands to stop all of the killing and the shooting wherever it might be,” he is also referring to the protests against systemic racism, from the marches of his hero MLK, to those of this past month. How else, besides protests, does the author imagine black people can "stop all the killing" of black people by white police at a rate far higher than that of whites by police in similar circumstances? I will forward this article to Mr. Wonder, who is a personal friend, and see if he would like to respond. I hope you will have the integrity to print his response if he deigns to respond.
 
 

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MatoSapa1910
The article does not have to relate to the despicable killing of Mr, Floyd to be extremely relevant. The point is that Black Lives Matter does nothing to work to change black communities to reduce violence and criminal behaviors, which would solve 99% of the problems faced by the black community. There is no systemic racism and no need for the mass destruction going on. There is a need to enable the firing of bad cops and prosecuting brutality. There is a need for better police training.
Minerva
So do you think it's OK for blacks to kill each other at a rate far greater than cops of any color kill unarmed blacks (10 cases last year)? More cops are killed by blacks than cops kill blacks, so let's put that into the equation & find a solution where #ALLBlackLivesMatter
Vet4life
It so disappointed, to see another person focused on the wrong issue. If you had any decency, you would control your tongue and look for the good within this article, instead of the circumstance, you find so unbearable, you have to threaten a woman. I could see if the article did damage to the Black community. (Or Mr. Wonder)
xxxninjasrusxxx
You fail to realise that AT LEAST, in many cases more, than twice as many whites are killed by police each year than blacks. Do your research first then complain about blacks dying to police. https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/
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JaydeeDaley
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Yes, not a lot of people are trying buying BLM because we seem to get really angry at white people without being angry at ourselves. Too many of us fall into the same old negative stereotype, as if the Devil has written the storyline and we don't have eyes to see it. I'm all for black empowerment based on our achievement so that we can be positive role models to show how BLM really does matter.
 
 

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tesmith47
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whites kill whites for the same reasons Black kill Blacks, money,sex, prestige etc. White america kills Blacks because they are Black, BIG DIFFERENCE!!! and not comparable
 
 

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Wrigley13
Sooooo....if I walk through a black neighborhood, and I’m assaulted, and killed, what are we calling that? I’m white....
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JLenardDetroit
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So, the LeftWingLoons going to try and CANCEL Stevie Wonder (not like he's popular with Kids these days anyway) like they are Terry Crews FOR DARING TO SPEAK TRUTH?!?!?
 
 

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