So an institute launched by a black college after a black college student was murdered by another black individual in 2012 proves Black Lives Don’t Matter, and no one outside of Little Rock, Arkansas pays attention to the findings.
‘It’s a people problem': Arkansas Baptist College hopes research institute reduces crime, KATV.COM, May 8, 2021
In 2016, Arkansas Baptist College launched a research institute to help reduce not only violence overall in the state but specifically with homicides in the Black community.
The program is called the Derek Olivier Research Institute. The director, professor Edmond Davis, said this research was started after one of their students was killed.
On the corner of West 17th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive there is a building called the Derek Olivier Research Institute (DORI). According to Davis, the building was named after Derek Olivier, a first-semester freshman student-athlete from a small town in Louisiana.
Derek’s mother, Alma Olivier said her son was given two options: go to the military or attend college. Alma said her son, who is the youngest of three siblings, chose to attend college to avoid being shot.
But in September 2012, two days before his 20th birthday, Olivier was shot several times while changing a tire on a car across the street from campus. Derek later died at a local hospital, and nearly nine years later, his murder remains unsolved.
“It still don’t seem like it’s real, it doesn’t seem like it’s going on nine years. We have pictures of Derek in every room, so it’s like my baby is still here he’s just on vacation,” Alma said.
In the wake of Olivier’s death, DORI at Arkansas Baptist College was born in August 2016. Davis said the institute is led by eight young people, called DORI students, and most of these researchers are African-American males.
“When in fact 90 plus percent of the homicides are committed by, to and against African-American males and females and women,” Davis said. “This is something that’s at the precipice of change and we hope and pray that it falls on the right side of history.”
Davis said their focus is to collect and analyze data and trends related to violence, with the goal of mitigating homicides specifically in the black community. He said the institute was not fully operational until the fall semester of 2020.
Student-athlete and DORI researcher, Malik Goodall understands the topic of violence from his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. He said hearing Derek’s story inspired him to be part of the change against the violence in the Black community through research.
“Us just being college students, you know living our daily lives that things like that could happen to us,” Goodall said. “As soon as we go off-campus, even though we’re in school we’re still living a life that’s just reality, and we have to always remember that.”
Goodall said in nearly two years of him being a researcher for DORI, what impacted him most was the percentage of Black men who die by homicide. He said those numbers remind him of what he has experienced back home.
“I get calls from my mom telling me that there’s another killing right now that just happened right now from our own community,” Goodall said. “It always touches me, but it doesn’t mean it touches me less. It always hurts to see that we have another black male gone or another black female gone.”
According to Davis research from the institute, they have found include:
- Homicide is the #1 cause of death for African-American males ages 1 to 44.
- In 2020, 35 African-American males were killed in Little Rock, 15 in North Little Rock, and 28 in Pine Bluff.
- In 2018, 80 percent of murders by white people were committed by white offenders.
Davis said their research proves they can help law enforcement and other community leaders to reduce these crimes. He said from the data they try to implement 21st century best practices with preventive measures.
“It’s not an African-American problem it’s a people problem, but it takes a wraparound to mitigate this issue. Our students are involved in helping out, other researchers are all helping out,” Davis said.
According to Davis, their goal is to use this research to impact root causes of violence and to prayerfully keep families from having to bury their children. Alma said she is thankful for the institute being named after her son.
“I’m more than sure that Derek is smiling down on that DORI center because he would always tell us he was a beast,” Alma said. “He was that type of person that if he could help someone, that’s what he did. That’s how he got his life taken by helping someone.”
Davis told KATV they are working on potential partnerships in the future to help spread their research across the state and possibly around the nation.
According to Davis, some of the other data they collected includes:
- An African-American male fratricide happens every 1.3 hours every 24 hours.
- Black Males are nearly 7 percent of the U.S population, but 50 percent of all U.S. homicides.
- The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans while African-American male fratricides were more than 6,000 that same year.
- In 2020, 241 people were killed by police officers compared to 7,029 Black fratricides, which is 29 times greater.
No, it’s not a people problem at all. It’s a black problem. The faster we can admit this, the more honest we can be about actually proving not just black lives matter, but all lives also have merit.
Being truthful about how America’s homicide problem is almost exclusively because of random black people engaging in violence (primarily against other black people) at rates far, far beyond that of any other racial group is the only way to prove black lives matter.
The Derek Olivier Research Institute (DORI) in Little Rock has produced the data, but no one outside of the black college seems interested in understanding what their research proves—black lives don’t matter to other black people.