At first I though this was an April Fool’s gag from the New York Times, but the story is dated today. It’s an amazing development that they’re actually reporting such inconvenient truths.
The reality is stark. Sure, many people are angry, especially African-Americans, when unarmed black men are shot to death, like Trayvon Martin or Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old killed in the Bronx by a police officer who was part of an antidrug squad. The Graham shooting in February has raised troubling questions about police tactics.
But only the willfully indifferent can fail to notice that the greatest threat to young African-American and Latino men comes from other African-American and Latino men. In this city last year, the police say, those demographics accounted for 96 percent of shooting victims and 90 percent of murder victims, with similar percentages for the shooters. It is a limited source of comfort that violent crime, over all, is way down from its peak two decades ago, Fort Greene being no exception.
The names of the “willfully indifferent” are Obama, Sharpton and Jackson, in case you were wondering.
“We’ve got to stop this war against one another,” the Rev. Mark V.C. Taylor, pastor of the Church of the Open Door, said as he led the marchers.
One woman took up the same cry. “We’re killing ourselves,” she said as she walked. Her voice was soft, the words said less in anger than in lamentation.
Shhh. We’re not supposed to notice.