Apparently, black lives don’t matter in America. For several years a lot of people have been pointing out that a lot of blacks–who aren’t guilty of capital crimes–are getting killed by police and/or in questionable cases of self-defense. Any check of the stats will show a lot more blacks are getting killed this way than whites, and a lot more whites are getting killed this way in the United States than citizens in all similar countries (including many with higher crime rates, such as the United Kingdom and France).

If black lives did matter, the response to that fact would be obvious: all human life is precious, so we would go on a national campaign to find out what every other country is doing, learn some lessons, and try to save some lives. Instead, America has done anything but taking that action. Common responses have been to say that people have made the complaint in the wrong way, that decreasing the number of civilians killed by police is somehow bad for the police officers, and that other things also kill lots of black people (as if that we’re relevant).

If black lives mattered, we wouldn’t care who complained about it or how they said it, it would matter only that human beings are at stake.

Inaction speaks loudly, and it says black lives don’t matter in America. Actually, it kind of says that white lives don’t matter either. But that’s a topic for another day.

-Karl Widerquist, Beaufort, North Carolina, June 7, 2018

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 983 articles.

Karl Widerquist is a Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University-Qatar. He specializes in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and a member of the BIEN EC for 14 years. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News. He is a cofounder of the journal "Basic Income Studies." Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Most of Karl Widerquist's academic writing is available at his research website (Widerquist.com). For more information about him, see his BIEN profile (https://basicincome.org/news/2016/12/bien-profiles-karl-widerquist-co-chair/).