A white judge from Tennessee compared Black-on-Black crime to racially-motivated killings by the Ku Klux Klan. 

During a preliminary hearing for a Black man accused of murder, Judge Wayne Shelton went on a rant, stating Black men are putting the KKK to shame.

“I grew up in a time where people wore white robes, and they shot at Black people," he said. "And now, we see young Black men wearing black hoodies shooting at Black men and doing a much more effective job than the Klan ever thought about doing."

While Shelton’s claim makes it appear as if intraracial crime is unique to the Black community, it is worth noting that the rate of Black-on-Black violence and white-on-white violence differs by less than 10 percent.

“The Klan doesn’t exist anymore,” he said. “Who doesn’t care about Black lives now? I’ll let you answer that. I’m tired of Black men killing Black men. If I offended anyone, I can’t help it.”

Judge Shelton has given this speech before. In 2015, after a young Black teenager was killed, Shelton uttered these words once more.

“That life mattered. That Black life mattered to them, and it matters to me,” he said to the two suspects in court. “That’s the absolute tragedy. It’s Black men killing Black men.”

The judge also maintains that he isn’t the whitest man in the room, though he may look like it. Over a century ago, in the late 1800s, his apparent great-great-great grandfather was a free man of color. 

Judge Wayne Shelton claims that regardless of if it’s a racist police officer or rival gang members, it’s an inexcusable disregard for human life—for Black life, as he firmly states.

"Black lives really do matter,” he continued. “The total disregard of that fact by any in our society is totally reprehensible."

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