Black Lives Matter has done the nation a service by forcing Americans to reckon with a horrifying spate of police killings of unarmed African Americans. Without the movement, the names Eric Garner and Walter Scott wouldn't resonate. Nor would Sandra Bland, who died in police custody and whose name was invoked during the most recent presidential debate. Despite this, Black Lives Matter has been severely taken to task, if not outright scorned, for its focus on police killings when, as its critics readily note, people in black neighborhoods are often at much more danger of being killed by other black people.
Why, they ask, hasn't the Black Lives Matter movement been more concerned with - in wording sometimes fraught with condescension - "black-on-black crime?"
It's a criticism typically associated with the political right, frequently thought (and frankly, frequently meant) to suggest that what black people need is to simply comport themselves differently, rather than endlessly complain about the depredations of (presumably) white police. However, even without such acrid, tribalist intent, it's possible to think BLM's mission is currently incomplete.