Jussie Smollett, Amanda Boozer-Brown, and a Chicago where black lives rarely matter – Washington Examiner
Twitter is enraged by the Cook County district attorney’s decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett. Smollett had been charged with falsely claiming he was the target of a hate-crime assault in Chicago.
I get the anger. The evidence against Smollett seemed strong, and his perceived lies carried significant costs. But Smollett is far less important than a lady you’ve probably never heard of: Amanda Boozer-Brown.
Who is Amanda Boozer-Brown, you ask? One of Chicago’s many forgotten dead. On Monday morning, as she sat in a car with her family, a gunman brought Boozer-Brown’s life to an end. Amanda’s husband was also critically wounded. But he wasn’t the only victim. Boozer-Brown’s one year-old baby son “was hit in the knee and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, police said.”
Such is life in Chicago these days. A city where black lives matter, but only if they’re the lives of a celebrity, or lost at the hands of police officers.
I call out the Black Lives Matter movement deliberately here. Police racism is a legitimate concern that must be addressed, but with their narrow concern about when and where black lives matter, the group has fostered a political calculation of the same. If official neglect leads to the greater violence that is ripping apart black lives in Chicago, they hardly care at all. The impact is most obviously felt in the decision of Chicago Police Department officers to avoid that which is best placed to counter the bloodletters: aggressive policing alongside community engagement.
Just read John Kass’s most recent Chicago Tribune column. There, Kass outlines how police officers are actively avoiding confrontation with drug dealers (the drug trade being the primary motivation for black-on-black shootings in Chicago). The police officers are ready to do their job, but they lack the support of their political leaders. And so the death count runs higher.
Get angry about Jussie Smollett if you like, but be more angry about Amanda Boozer-Brown.