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Violence Threatens Black Lives

I am not oppressed. I am free. African-Americans need real policy reforms, not racial antagonism.

By Nestride Yumga
June 8, 2020 1:47 pm ET
A Black Lives Matter flag at a protest in Washington, June 7.
If the only black lives that matter to the Black Lives Matter movement are those taken by rogue police officers, then let it be clear: Not all black lives matter to them.
It tears my soul as an African-American resident of Washington that 30 young black men and women in the District of Columbia to violent crime in the first three months of 2020. The police didn’t kill them, but that doesn’t mean their lives mattered less.
America has a major problem called violence. The high crime rates in African-American communities demand more social activism and economic initiatives in recognition of the value of all black lives. But the Black Lives Matter movement throws racial antagonism into this equation to create an even bigger problem by turning Americans against each other, tearing down our cities, and bringing shame and disgrace to our great country.
They don’t organize nationwide protests for other issues that seriously affect our communities. They don’t protest the police department for letting homicides go unsolved. They don’t protest Congress or the Federal Reserve for access to capital. They don’t protest the school system for failing African-American children.
African-Americans need messages of hope and motivation more than ever. Pity is patronizing. This movement’s agenda is to make sure we feel oppressed and depressed, so that we hate ourselves more and despise our fellow Americans.
The person who makes you believe you’re oppressed also limits how far you can go. If African-Americans are oppressed, it is by the people who tell us we are, and who will do their best to shut us down when we try to scream “We are not oppressed!”
I am not oppressed. I am free. I am blessed to follow in the footsteps of great black American women such as Harriet Tubman, Cathy Hughes and Sheila Johnson.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X never allowed us the luxury of victimhood. They taught that the struggle for constitutional rights must be waged every day. If rights are not for all Americans, then they are for none.
We need successful African-American brothers and sisters—many of whom were born into impoverished and violent inner-city America—to become some of the world’s most powerful voices. Their lives prove that as African-Americans in a country of opportunity, we all can achieve our dreams and won’t let anyone tell us otherwise. We need them to speak out against the horrible bigotry of low expectations perpetuated by Black Lives Matter and its “white guilt” leftist backers.
Black Lives Matter and its supporters don’t represent all black Americans. They don’t represent our communities, they don’t speak for us, they don’t act in our best interests, and they don’t care about our prosperity. The overwhelming majority of black Americans are for peaceful, effective protests, like those led by Martin Luther King, and for real reforms that help us prosper and be free.
Ms. Yumga is a senior airman and dental assistant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and an administrator for a private health-care organization.
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