Why is their tension amongst South LA Black Activists
I smell…tension! With the African-American community in a continued uproar over the violence plaguing our community, it doesn’t make matters any better, when you have top leaders pitted against one another. Both are highly respected and doing an outstanding job, both individually and collectively, of bringing awareness to the suffering Blacks are facing at the hands of police and each other. Things came to a head at last night’s South Los Angeles town hall meeting, where Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was the coveted guest speaker.
By now we are all aware that the mayor ran out of the town hall, after the Black Lives Matter group, made it impossible for him to get his carefully constructed message out. Attendees at the event at the Holman United Methodist Church, did not plan on seeing the spectacle that was made.
Black Lives Matter members stood up in unison and turned their backs to the mayor, as he began to speak.
Mayor Garcetti remarked that “black lives matter in a unique way” and made some references to slavery and discrimination. 2 Urban Girls didn’t attend but found his remarks on multiple social media accounts.
However, in an article published last week, by Betty Pleasant, titled “Soulvine: racial profiling, Black-on-Black crime, Brown vs. Ali” she spoke to activists Najee Ali, political director of the National Action Network, and Dr. Melina Abdullah, professor and organizer of the BLM-LA chapter.
Apparently the Black community believes BLM-LA isn’t doing enough to bring attention to Black on Black crime, as they are doing with police brutality, and Abdullah set the record straight.
Abdullah’s point of view is that “Violence within the Black community is an extension of white supremacy.” She further shared with Ms. Pleasant, “Our [BLM-LA] emphasis is on ending state- sanctioned violence. We mourn the lives lost to violence in the Black community and we recognize the need to stop it”.
Ali, on the other hand, mildly denounced their efforts by saying, “I’ve participated in all the ‘stop the violence’ activities held in the community and [the] Black Lives Matters people didn’t attend any of them, let alone organized them.”
Some in the community believe that the term “Black Lives Matter” should concern all black lives, not just those killed by police, yet, putting one organization down, in favor of another, on the premise that one is doing more work than the other, is petty. They are both doing important work in the community and that should never be forgotten.
Where’s Dr. Anthony Samad? 2 Urban Girls would love to hear his take on this.