First they protested because of the shooting of an 18 year-old Black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white policeman, Darren Wilson, as Brown resisted arrest. Protesters used the mantra, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” as they marched down the streets of Ferguson, Missouri. Then many weren’t satisfied with just marching and chanting, they began to break windows of businesses and looting.

Then they protested because Officer Wilson was not indicted for murder. So they began burning until 25 businesses were burned to the ground, many owned by blacks who had put all their savings to start these small businesses.

Then within days, a black man in New York, Eric Garner, was killed as he resisted arrest, so protesters marched chanting his last words, “I can’t breathe.” In both cases, professional community organizers, including Al Sharpton, encouraged by President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, began protests all over the country.

Some college students didn’t even know why they were protesting, but laid down in the street in a “die-in.”

Next hundreds of thousands of protesters marched across major cities blocking traffic, shouting “Black Lives Matter,” “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” “No Justice, No Peace” and “I can’t breathe.” Then dozens descended on malls, including in front of Macy’s, shouting “Shut It Down,” saying they want to “have their voices heard” about supposed police brutality and the so-called “militarization” of police.

They were determined to shut down major highways and thorough-fares leading to major events. In Miami, they held up traffic for hours as visitors and locals tried to have fun at Art Basel, a great economic engine for South Florida. In New York, they stopped traffic by lying down in intersections. In Oakland and Berkeley, California, they broke windows and looted stores and conducted violent acts.

Professional protesters stopped traffic in Washington, D.C. close to the White House with the intent of shutting down all traffic for four hours, demanding that President Obama come down to listen to them as people tried to make their way to the Nets NBA game where the Royal family from England (Prince William and Duchess Katherine) would be attending.

So I ask, why the protests, with people from the Occupy movement, students and anarchists, who started with the death of a couple of blacks and the refusal of grand juries to indict the police officers who caused those deaths and then continued with other reasons they determined were civil rights?

Seems they just wanted to show they had power. But for what? They say “black lives matter,” but nothing about all the people who die at the hands of other blacks. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a murder occurs every 37 minutes and over 7,000 blacks died in 2013 with over 96 percent murdered by other blacks.

A few days after Eric Garner died, Tavis Smiley confronted Bill O’Reilly by naming the five (5) black victims murdered at the hands of white cops. But he doesn’t seem to care about the Black victims of violent deaths by black criminals. I guarantee there are many more than five. So who marches for them?

According to the Black Star project, headed by Phillip Jackson, just in Chicago alone, from January, 2012 to January, 2013, 174 black and brown youth were murdered, mostly by gunshot.

So let’s pay homage to some of the real innocents.

Tyrone Lawson, 17

Rey Dorantes, 14

Victor Vega, 15

Michael Santiago, 21

Marcus Turner, 19

Ulysses Gissendanner, 19

Devonta Grisson, 19

Ezquiel Velasquez, 17

Octavius Lamb, 20

Junior Estudillo, 19

Devante Watts, 19

Neriyah Beller, 4

Joshua Davis, 18

Hakeem Walton, 20

Kenton Scott, 15

Jeffrey Stewart, 16

Porshe Foster, 15

Sherman Miller, 21

Christopher Jacobs, 19

Keith Noceda, 19

Emilio Palomo, 16

Freddie Hernandez, 20

Sergio Oliva, 15

Taylor Fitting, 16

Anthony Bagsby, 20

Darrell Austin, 19

Rodney Stewart, 17

Joshua Lowe, 20

Travis Henry, 19

Tre Henry, 19

Devin Harris, 19

Earl Cunningham, 18

Marcus Freeman, 21

Devon Greer, 21

Denzell Williams, 21

Patrick Robinson, 18

Terrence Johnson, 17

Terrance Wright, 18

Jamiere Brown, 18

Modell McCambry, 17

Nawal Aysheh, 20

Rakiem Douman, 21

Jonathan Williams, 17

Derek Davis, 17

Francisco Merino, 19

Dejuan Jackson, 17

Edgar Ortiz, 20

Thaddeus Tucker, 18

David White, 21

Jesus Garcia, 17

Julia Duda, 2 months

Muhammed Kebbeh, 19

Joseph Coleman, 18

Jalen Stogner, 17

Johnny Howell, 19

Aaron Gaithan, 18

Christopher Spraggins, 20

Jamal Clayton, 19

Lucian Dreux, 17

Freddie Williams, 21

These are some of the names we need to talk about. And we don’t have to block traffic and punish other innocent victims to “make a statement” nor “have our voices heard.”

Barbara Howard is a political consultant, radio host and commentator and motivational speaker. She is Florida State chairwoman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Trade & Travel goodwill ambassador to Kenya. She may be reached at