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I firmly believe that black lives matter, but I’m beginning to wonder if America shares that conviction.

If black lives mattered, would the Washington Post have found that in America’s largest cities, nearly three- quarters of the unsolved murders over a decade involved black victims. Would they have found that in Philadelphia, where we’ve had numerous black mayors and police commissioners, there were no arrests in 43 percent of murders where the victims were black?

The police often complain that witnesses in black communities won’t come forward. But I have lived my life in such communities. They are places where our connections to one another are numerous and binding.

In black communities, killers know witnesses and their children. Witnesses know killers and their parents. In such places, where a one-year wait between a preliminary hearing and a murder trial is not uncommon, entire families are at risk when witnesses come forward. If black lives truly mattered, and justice was the goal, wouldn’t there be a more forceful effort to provide witnesses with protection?

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