The question I have to ask is, “Matters to whom”? Why are black people carrying signs, holding rallies and making moral appeals to people or a system that are so callous and has such a low regard for them that they seem to not believe that “Black lives matter”?

How ridiculous it must be and how low we must have sunk to have to “remind” people that we matter. We matter when they’re writing those research grants. We matter when they’re developing a poverty pimp program that employs everybody but the people who they purport to want to help. We matter during tax time and when it comes time to fight a war. We matter when they need a touchdown or a slam dunk. We matter when they need to sell tickets to a concert or the latest movie. And we matter when they need to find out what the latest handshake it or what to copy when it comes to “urban style.”

Why do these kids feel the need to remind them that they matter? Tell yo’ mama and daddy that you matter and tell them to change the educational system that still associates all that is “dark” and “black” with that which is negative, dirty or inferior. Tell them to stop telling you that you’re nobody without a job. Tell them to stop giving you honorific names that you haven’t earned or can barely spell. Tell your preachers to start getting involved in the community and to stop passing the collection plate so much. Ask your pastors why the community looks worse now than it did when the church was built. Ask your bishops and priests why, if black lives “matter” so much, Omaha still ranks number on in the nation in Black child poverty and Black youth homicide. Tell your leadership to find where the $250 million in Community Development funds that were earmarked for North Omaha have gone since 1975, and even more that has disappeared from Milwaukee’s CDBG coffers.

If Black lives mattered, shouldn’t that grant money reflect that fact? Black lives matter? Tell those thugs that are gunning down innocent bystanders that. Tell anybody you know that black lives DO matter, so stop spreading STDs and HIV/AIDS all over the metro area even though you know you’re infected. If you have to tell people that “black lives matter,” then you already know that those people don’t think that they DO matter!

You should be ASHAMED for the world to see our biggest, smartest and brightest begging for acknowledgement from a system that is telling the world that it’s some kind of moral leader.

If Black Lives Matter, then first of all let those lives matter to YOU. And make sure that your actions and words are consistent and that what you do proves that you believe that Black lives matter. If other people don’t believe it, then that’s something that you need to deal with. Why is what others think so important of you when your actions don’t show it?

You’ve got to show that Black lives matter by using more than words and signs. Without practice, preaching is of little use.

MATTHEW C. STELLY

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