As an American and specifically a black American, I am glad that we are having a national discussion about the devaluation of many black lives.

Unfortunately, the movement leading this discussion — Black Lives Matter (“BLM”) — is focused on the wrong culprit and the wrong solution.

“African-Americans are Americans and we are not treated like that. We’re not treated as if black lives matter,” president of BLM’s Worcester chapter, states. But who isn’t treating black lives as if they matter?

Experience and data tell me that the group that most devalues my life is not abusive law enforcement nor white racism — though these exist and should be fought — it is black criminals.

There are many forms of devaluing life, but none compares to murder. And here’s the terrifying statistic: if as a black man I am murdered the chances are 9 out of 10 that my killer will be a black criminal as against a white, Hispanic, or Asian criminal. 9 out of 10.

The cause of these horror statistics is not that the average black person has a propensity to murder, but that there is a subculture of black criminals whose ideas and habits devalue all lives, but particularly black lives.

Some of these ideas and habits, which I saw all-too-closely growing up, are: using violence as a means of arbitration, rampant promiscuity and mistreatment of women, the deification of drug dealers and gigolos, rejecting hard work, violence toward children, discouraging crime-reporting to the authorities, and ridiculing education as “white.”

The black criminal class is the number one devaluer of black lives. While all Americans have a moral responsibility to attack this problem, black Americans in particular need to take the lead through two types of action:

1) Collaborating with law enforcement to vigorously prosecute the black criminals who are threatening and ending innocent black lives.

2) Fighting for dramatic cultural improvement to replace the toxic values that create rampant black crime in the first place.

Collaborating with law enforcement to vigorously prosecute the black criminals who are threatening and ending innocent black lives.

There is no way to deal with the scourge of black-on-black crime, including black-on-black murder, without more rigorous police enforcement.

Of course, this police enforcement needs to be just, and true injustices with law enforcement must be fought. But they must be fought as part of a collaboration with the police to crack down on black criminals.

Most policemen of all races go into the profession to protect individuals of all races. And when they go into black-dominated inner cities, their lives are much, much more at risk, which means they face much more difficult choices and are bound to make more mistakes.

By welcoming police into black neighborhoods, facilitating the catching of criminals, and developing an anti-crime culture, we can make things far better.

This is not conjecture — when it is tried, it works.

Former Mayor Rudy Guliani and former Police Commissioner William Bratton both cited smart and tough policing for the dramatic drop in New York City’s homicide rate during the 1990s. According to NYC.gov, murders dropped 85 percent from 1990s to the mid-2010s. One expert claims that “more than 10,000 minority males were spared the violent death that they would have experienced had homicides remained at their early 1990s levels.” What an amazing example of valuing black lives more.

By contrast, when police are less involved in crime-prone areas, black lives matter less.

According to a Johns Hopkins research team, the phenomenon known as “Gray Effect” is the spike in crime that results from lower levels of police involvement. It was coined after the “surge in homicides and violence in [Baltimore which] came in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, while in police custody, in April 2015.” They state:

“The size and duration of the crime spike is almost certainly attributable to particular features of the unrest and its aftermath, possibly including…police pullback in protest of the city’s leadership” (italics mine) and this appears “to include a decline in community cooperation with police.”

The research shows that when police presence goes down, violent crime goes up. If we value black lives, we need to work with the police, not against them.

Fighting for dramatic cultural improvement to replace the toxic values that create rampant black crime in the first place.

While increased and improved law enforcement can save many black lives from ending and many more from suffering in criminal neighborhoods, we need to address the root cause: the ideas and habits that lead to black crime.

It may be politically incorrect to suggest that some cultures are better than others — but it is absolutely correct. Just as the Renaissance that brought us out of the Dark Ages was better than the Dark Ages, so it is possible for the black inner city to have a far better culture than its current dark ages.

I will be writing much more about this needed Black Renaissance in the future but for now I think it’s important to just start the discussion with a call for basic, civilized behavior: the abolition of violence in social interaction, the willingness to be a productive member of the workforce, respectful treatment of women, and the valuing of education.

This is a problem that blacks must take the lead in solving for themselves. Other races, for their part, need to stop accepting uncivilized behavior for fear of being called racist. The true racism is to hold that today’s black inner city cultural deficiencies are somehow okay for black people.

The biggest obstacle to the solution: Black Lives Matter

Unfortunately, neither increased, collaborative law enforcement nor black cultural improvement will occur as long as Black Lives Matter is leading our cultural discussion — because Black Lives Matter denies the real problem and opposes the real solutions.

Instead of focusing proper attention on the murdered blacks whose lives are 100% devalued — ended — by other blacks, these victims are ignored.

Instead of focusing proper attention on the perpetrators, the black criminal class, BLM focuses only on the sins (sometimes real, sometimes not) of the policemen who are put in the incredibly difficult position of policing crime-ridden neighborhoods with many complicit or scared neighbors. And revealingly, their biggest symbols of “oppression” are black criminals like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown.

Instead of looking inward at the need for cultural improvement, they blame “white power structures” and other forces that have clearly not prevented civilized citizens of all races — including blacks — from succeeding in this country by embracing peaceful living, education, and hard work.

Why does BLM fight against the solutions to the problems it claims to care about? Because most of the BLM itself is a part of the uncivilized black subculture that causes the problems. Often BLM members, with violent behavior, deification of criminals, and victim mentality, are the epitome of the cultural problems that need to be fixed.

If other Americans, particularly, non-blacks, think they are doing me a favor by supporting this movement, you are not. By helping BLM evade the real problem and real solutions you are making it more likely that I and other blacks will be killed. More broadly, you are helping ensure that millions of young blacks will remain immersed in a culture that deprives them of their amazing potential to take advantage of living in the greatest, most opportunity-filled country in the world.