Have you ever stopped and wondered what "black on black crime" literally and actually means based on the definition of the words in that phrase? Simply put it means Black people committing acts that constitute offenses that can be prosecuted and punished under the law. That's putting it simply and when put in simple terms like that it is not a myth. It is a reality for many of us and so there is no argument or debate against the fact that our people are unfortunately being targeted by criminals who look and sound just like them. People who share a common ancestral culture and spirituality with them.
However, in the context of American socio-politics it is not that simple and thus we can argue that the skin color of the attacker is irrelevant to the victim of the attack. Do you really care about the skin color of the person who robs your mother, or assaults your sister, or kills your child? If you do not care then the skin color of the attacker should not be the focus of any local, state, or national dialogue.
The skin color of the individual perpetrating a crime is not the focus of national debates when the attacker of a white person is another white person, so why is skin color such a phenomenal thing of great interest when the perpetrator of a crime against a Black person is another Black person aka "black on black crime"? Have you ever stopped to wonder why the media, the politicians, the bureaucrats, the police, the rich and elite, the purveyors of racism, and yes some of our very own, go out of their way to identify the color of the skin of the perpetrator harming a Black person when that perpetrator is a Black person?
Is the intent on the part of the dominant culture to promote the ideology that Black people are savages who are prone and predisposed to violence and criminal activity? Is the intent to say that other races do not harm their own? Is the intent to distract us from the fact that Black people, according toresearched data, are the most hated in this country, and we are attacked the most by people from other races? Is it to justify continuously denying us in our efforts to correct and address the wrongs committed against us or by us?
White people live with and thus attack and harm other white people at rates close to between 85 - 90%. Hispanic people live with and thus attack and harm other Hispanic people at rates close to between 90 - 95%. Black people live with and thus attack and harm other Black people at rates close to between 90 - 95%. The act of Black people attacking other Black people is not and can never be in question or doubt. However, what is in question, what is in doubt is this notion that Black people are not concerned with Black people attacking other Black people. Nothing could be further from the truth, yet this is the prevailing narrative shoved down our throats by those from outside our community and inside our community. All my life we have been marching, holding vigils, praying in church, establishing street gang intervention groups, neighborhood watch programs, and etc. yet all those previous and ongoing efforts get tossed to the sideline every time someone throws out the "black on black crime" mantra and we just fall right back into the trappings of it.
According to Richard Rothstein, Research Associate at the Economic Policy Institute federal housing policies in the 20th century are largely to blame for ongoing racial segregation and its economic effects. Mr. Rothstein explains that in the last 60 years, Black families were intentionally excluded from affordable housing options across the nation. Since wealth largely comes from housing investments, and home values have increased dramatically over that time in many areas, those policies have exacerbated income and wealth disparities. This may not be applicable to everyone in receipt of this write up, but Black Americans in general earn about 60% of what white Americans earns, and accumulated wealth among typical Back households is a mere 6% of the typical white household.
The bottom line outcome is federal segregation policies, and the resulting economic fallout from them for Black Americans, have contributed to lower educational attainment rates in segregated schools among other negative social characteristics (employment, housing, political representation, to highlight the more prominent ones). These characteristics are in turn used to justify institutionalized and systemic racism and racist attitudes. The racism is then only exaggerated and exacerbated by us allowing the term "black on black crime" to exist because it paints a very disparaging picture of us that says we are worse than others and probably worse than the worse. However, based on annually accumulated Hate Crimes data and Known Offenders Race and Ethnicity by Motivation data pulled from the FBI, we know that belief is absolutely not based in fact and is completely unwarranted and unfounded.
Let us commit this day, as advocates for the Black community, to bring about an end to the use of this divisive and toxic term, because crime is not inherently a black thing. It is a people thing and it unfortunately is what humans do.
Let us commit this day as advocates for the Black community to bring about an end to the use of this divisive and toxic term, because we recognize the harmful long lasting effects of negative speech on a people's psyche.
Let us commit this day as advocates for the Black community to bring about an end to the use of this divisive and toxic term, because we are fighting the good fight against crime coming from within and outside our community and we should not allow anyone to tell us different.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!