Do these black lives matter?

Do these black lives matter?

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I was a professional musician for over 55 years, and black music was an integral part of my life.

I performed in many "mixed race" bands, and while I lived in Los Angeles in the late '60s; I was the only white musician in two bands. They jokingly called me "Blue Eyed Soul." By the way, my eyes aren't blue.

Although some blacks resented me at the black clubs we played in south LA -- it was right after the Watts riots -- most accepted me as an individual because of my musicianship. Those people didn't judge me by the color of my skin but by what I did. I thought the same about them.

I tell you this because I want you to know my background and experience for writing this letter in response to many who have written of their support for Black Lives Matter, the protests and in some cases, even sympathy for the riots.

I wonder what their experience has been in the "black" community. But first I'd like to say that police violence and racism is unacceptable and that bad cops should be held accountable for their deeds.

One letter in particular by Kelly Decker ("No lives matter until Black lives matter," June 12), who listed seven names of African Americans who have been killed by police dating to 2014, caught my brown eye. I wonder if Kelly knows just one name of the hundreds, if not thousands, of young black men, women and children who have been killed or shot since 2014 in the inner cities of Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., just to name just a few?

As an example: From 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, through 11 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 25 people were killed in the west and southside black communities in Chicago, with another 85 wounded by gunfire, according to data maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

But they weren't killed by police. They were killed by other blacks. Black-on-black crime is epidemic in these cities. Committed by and large by gangs. Mothers anxiously await the return of their children safe from harm. They live every day fearful there will be another drive-by shooting in their neighborhood.

Do these black lives matter? Apparently not to the Democrat politicians, many black themselves, who have ruled these cities for decades. Does Black Lives Matter (BLM) care? Do any of you who support BLM care? Do you even know about the carnage that is happening in these black communities? But if you do, why aren't you protesting that? Don't those black lives matter?

Decker ends with this curious talking point, "No lives matter until black lives matter." I don't quite understand that, but could it mean that if the young black lives in the inner cities don't matter, then none of the lives here in our safe Napa neighborhoods matter either.

Kent Cohea


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