The New York-based Black group, Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) is defending the Black Lives Matter Movement against what it says are false criticisms from right-wing political pundits that the Movement was responsible for the tragic deaths of five Dallas police officers.
While condemning the murders, by “callous policemen and by a disturbed former Afghanistan veteran,” IBW is also calling on President Obama to be “fair and balanced” in his posture towards the “horrific and terrorist-like murders” in recent days by visiting Baton Rouge and St. Paul after he visited Dallas on Tuesday and “to demonstrate, in both words and deeds, his equal concern for the families and communities of those who died in all three cities.”
In citing the official statement put out by Black Lives Matter (BLM) leaders on Friday, IBW said “the unvarnished truth is that the Black Lives Matter Movement has never called for the murder of police officers and has said over and over again that it is time in this country for policing to be accountable, transparent and responsible.”
“We agree with the BLM that this is what communities in the United States want to see from the people who protect and serve them,” said IBW’s president Dr. Ron Daniels. “There needs to be accountable, responsive, transparent policing that has oversight from those communities and that is accountable to the communities they are supposed to protect and serve.
We also call on civil rights and human rights organizations to stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement to ensure that they are not scapegoated, repressed and marginalized,” he added.
Daniels called for an urgent national conversation on race and structural racism, saying such a conversation must involve all strata of society and should be more than “just talk and pious rhetoric” and, instead, must produce a public policy agenda of action items that include thorough-going criminal justice reform, comprehensive community-based economic development, and a reparations program.
He said the these should seek social justice and a starts a process of repairing and healing the “ongoing devastating social and psychological consequences from the historical crimes of chattel slavery and legal Jim Crow segregation.
“America needs to find the honesty and moral courage to confront the sins of its past and the living consequences of those sins today,” Daniels said. “Now is the time for all people of good will to commit themselves to this imperative.”
The IBW president also noted that the time is long overdue to end the War on Drugs, “which over the past 25 years has contributed to a spike in police brutality, accompanied by an explosion in the mass incarceration of young black and brown men in vastly disproportionate numbers across the country.
“The War on Drugs has been a war on black and brown communities which has broken thousands of families and beat a path of social and economic devastation across the United States,” Daniels said.