Black Lives Matter, take 1,004…
‘Provocative’ billboard campaign targets homicides and violent crime in Charlotte, Charlotte Observer, March 22, 2021
When Charlotte recorded its highest number of homicides — 122 in 1993 — the local chapter of 100 Black Men of America launched a billboard campaign to address the violence. Nearly 30 years later, after another record-setting year of homicides, the organization is bringing back the same campaign.
On Monday, 100 Black Men of Greater Charlottere-launched its Stop the Violence effort to help reduce the rise in homicides in the city. The organization primarily mentors young Black men, but spokesman Johnathan Hill said the group decided it wanted to address how many of the victims fall into that demographic after last year’s deadly spike.
The campaign consists of 34 “provocative” billboards across the Charlotte region as well as a series of community panels, according to 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte’s website. The group also hopes to partner with the city to connect people to violence prevention resources and also hold community listening sessions.
The billboards were expected to be up by the end of Monday, Hill said.
The messages on the billboards, splashed against a black background, read: “Our Pandemic. Together we can cure the violence,” “We can’t all rise. If we’re not all here” and “We’re losing the Black race.”
Charlotte ended 2020 with 123 homicides before the Mecklenburg District Attorney’s Office reclassified two cases as justified homicides . The city has also seen an increasing number of homicides each year since 2014, when there were only 44 murders.
The victims tended to be young Black men. According to previous reporting by The Charlotte Observer, nearly 80% of the victims were Black, over half of the victims were under 30 and separately, male.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte has seen 18 homicides this year. A year ago at this time, there were 21 homicides.
Hill said the organization hopes that everyone— not just those living in high-crime neighborhoods — will find inspirations in the billboards to discuss violence.
“We wanted to make sure (the billboard) resonated with them from their specific perspective in their view from the youngest child all the way up to someone sitting in the boardroom somewhere,” he said.
Charlotte, North Carolina is a majority white city, but homicide appears to be an avocation primarily committed by the black minority population.
The violence of black people, almost exclusively by black individuals targeting other blacks, has nothing to do with white people.
It has everything to do with a lack of impulse control and a poor future time-orientation, which is a key indicator why these billboards must be tailored to the black community of Charlotte. Because without this community, Charlotte would be virtually free of violent crime.
Keep telling us Black Lives Matter, because billboards in Charlotte depicting black people shooting other black people—and begging such violence ends or else the black race is “lost”—is a powerful reminder they do not.