Due to recent race motivated attacks against Black churches in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee last week alone, and despite the long documented history of attacks on Black churches in America, we are already hearing the usual rhetoric, from pundits and so called experts, that Black people killing Black people does not seem to rise to the level of critical importance in the Black community as when a non-Black person kills a Black person. Well before that intentionally distracting rhetoric takes any real hold on our psyche, allow us to impart upon our people some fact-based data to use as talking points to shut down such absurdness with quickness because guess what, Yes America Black people DO care.
We are absolutely disturbed, bothered, upset, angry, or whatever other appropriate predilection you want to use, to describe the state of affairs in the Black community as they relate to Black people (youth in particular) killing other Black people. The fact that I am using this platform on behalf of my organization and scores of our supporters to speak on and state this fact should be evident enough. In this, the 20th anniversary year of the October 1995 Million Man March, anyone who says, thinks, feels, or believes Black people are not disgusted with the state of Black on Black crime (especially death) is a person who is selectively forgetting the many movements over the years (to include efforts in the Hip Hop culture like the song Self-Destruction, which most definitely pre-dates 1995's Million Man March). Movements aimed at attacking not only the issue of Black people committing crimes against Black people, but the documented conditions (ineffective educational institutions, insufficient housing or housing opportunities, etc) contributing to the issue.
Do not just let those who routinely come out of their dark closets to state differently get away with besmirching the good work undertaken by concerned Black people to right the ship and stem the tide of violence in our communities across this country. That would be a disservice to their hard work. Some of our brothers and sisters lost their lives trying to educate us on what the bigger picture is and why such self-harming acts are not in our best interest. Groups like Shop Talk Live, Third Eye Open, R.E.A.L. Horizons, Jireh's Place, The Interrupters out of Chicago, the Colorado Black Round Table, the NAACP, the National Urban League, the Nation of Islam and countless other religious groups, thousands of community based and community derived organizations, and tens of millions of concerned Black people are absolutely fighting to bring about an end to the violence we commit in our own communities against those who look and sound like us. Please, do NOT let anyone tell or convince you of anything different.
Now granted, it does appear not much head way is being made in our internal efforts to stop the self-harming violence we witness everyday in our communities, but that is another conversation we most definitely need to have. Mostly because we as a people cannot and have not been able to agree on how we need to go about addressing the issues with education, employment, housing, representation and so forth and so on that are explicitly contributing to the violence in our communities. Most of us want to do things our own way, and have staunchly refused to work with others who may have a different perspective on an approach in mind. New flash Black people, there is no one single solution or effort to the multitude of challenges facing Black people across the globe, much less in this country alone. Therefore a strategy should encompass a multitude of approaches...and this does include self-defense, which is a God-given human right. It speaks directly to the rights of Black people to preserve themselves and their way of life. Make no mistake, and like it or not, there is absolutely a "black" way of life. One only needs to actively, with intent and purpose, research our African roots and heritage. That too is another conversation for another time so I will get back on message.
We must acknowledge that as an under-served, under-resourced, overlooked, neglected, and abused community when it comes to such areas as education, employment, housing, political representation and others, we are living in conditions as a majority collective (according to available data only about 10.6% of America's Black population makes $100k or more in salary annually) that are ripe and rich for the crime and self hate we continue to see in and perpetrated against our people. It doesn't help that the media, supported by politicians, bureaucrats, hate groups and countries, and business corporations alike, are exacerbating and exploiting these conditions and our own inept actions for their personal financial and career gains. It doesn't help our cause that events like the Million Man March and efforts from brothers like Minister Malcolm X are downplayed or flat out dismissed from history by the powers we allow to be because the people responsible for the leadership of such events refuse/d to placate, fold, sell out, conform, capitulate to the wills of the powers we allow to be. And it does not help our cause that when we are told or challenged to identify the efforts (both past and present) that we as a community have undertaken, we stumble through our memories and stammer with our words failing to vehemently defend our own.
Why do we care so much when we are attacked from outsiders America? Well according to the 2013 FBI Hate Crimes Report, of the reported 3,407 single-bias hate crime offenses that were racially motivated, 66.4% (2,263) were motivated by anti-Black or anti-African American bias, but only 21.4% (728) stemmed from anti-white bias. This means that in this country alone a crime of hate that is motivated by an anti-race bias is three times more likely to be against a Black person than a white person. In fact, if you add up ALL the other single-bias hate crime offenses in America for the year of 2013 that were motivated by anti-racial attitudes against every other race in America other than Black people the total crimes against Black people (2,263) nearly doubles that number (1,144). We inherently and innately know this already. We live it. We see it. We experience it. It is a part of the real Black experience here in America, and while very unfortunate, it partly defines what it means to be Black in America for a large majority of our people. Yet we have to sit back and listen to the readings of the racist lunatic from last week as he and his completely disillusioned comrades claim that Black on white crime is on the rise? That is categorically wrong, and when confronted with that mess every Black person needs to speak up, speak out, and shut that foolish white supremacy based rhetoric down!!!
According to the data in the table titled Known Offenders Race and Ethnicity by Motivation approximately 1,335 of the 2,263 hates crimes against Black people in 2013 were committed by white people. In case you are not tracking the mathematics of these numbers, 1,335 is more than half of 2,263, so more than half of the race motivated attacks against Black people are committed by white people...that is a fact. However, on the flip side of the 728 anti-white crimes committed, 299 were conducted by Black people. Proportionately 299 of 728 is a high percentage, but it is no where near half, and if we go by the number of attacks alone, we see that white people are committing hate crimes (1,335) against Black people at more than 4x the rate at which Black people commit hate crimes against white people (299). No matter how uncomfortable this information may be for you, these are the facts according to this nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency as collected from nearly 12,000 other law enforcement agencies across the country. Like it or not, this is what it is…period! This data is not a part of any conversation, and it needs to be because it is an accurate and exact depiction of the facts of life for Black in America.
We care because we are tired of being unjustly targeted in a country our ancestors built...literally. We care because we are tired of being labeled as worthless lazy welfare recipients. We care because we are tired of being blamed when we are the ones attacked and killed. We care because we are tired of being labeled as the criminals of this society, when data shows that 70% of all arrests for all crimes in this country are NOT made against Black people. We care because we are tired of being called animals and thugs. We care because we are tired of being ignored. We care because we are tired that nothing ever said about us, not even in the face of true data, is ever fact based. We care because we are tired of being asked what have we contributed to this society, what are we bringing to the table in the grand scheme of things. We care because we are tired of these white supremacy motivated acts of terrorism and tyranny being perpetrated against our elders, our mothers, our fathers, our husbands, our wives, our children, our spiritual advisers, our neighbors, our cousins, our brothers, our sisters and on and on and on. We care because we are tired of being profiled. We care because we are tired of being distracted, dismissed, and downplayed by outsiders (and some insiders) as we work to correct the generations of targeted abuse directed at our people. We are sick and tired of having history retold in a way that completely eliminates the fact that without Black Africans and their ascendants (ancient and modern) there would be no world history to speak of.
Listen, this piece is about a value that we parents in the Black community have instilled in our children for generations since our ancestors were brought here from Africa. This is about a core survival principle your hood should have schooled you on in your youth from the very first day you stepped outside to play on the block on your own without parental supervision. That value and core principle is this...fight among yourselves all day long all you want; we're family and fighting is what families do from time to time. However, at the end of the day, you better not let an outsider come into your home or onto your block and put his or her hands on your family and friends…no matter what you better stand by your people, at least in public that is. Lol! Remember this lesson? You cannot convince me that this is a value and principle that I am alone in being taught as a child growing up in Brooklyn?
The problem we have in our community today, as I assess things, is that we do not see each other as family, as a community, as a nation, as brothers and sisters, and this is why and how you can have a racist wolf in sheep clothing walk proudly into a Black house of worship and fellowship without fear in his heart, and kill innocent members of our family. Then we, eventually, have to entertain people (some from our own family) distracting us with the Black on Black crime rate rhetoric and how Black people get all bent out of shape when a non-Black person does something to a Black person, but we remain silent when the person committing the crime is Black.
Do not let them distract us for if we do, then we miss all of the following, which serve to highlight just how real the state of terrorism against the Black community is in America. Read this CNN article. However, focus more on the comments section at the end of the article. If you ever really want to know what people think about significant social events, read their raw unedited comments at the end of a story or article. One of the unique wonders of cyberspace is that it affords you a certain level and amount of autonomy, privacy, and secrecy. It is like the movie Surrogate starring Bruce Willis (Yes I am a sci-fi movie geek so what) you can be and say whatever you want with impunity without any fear of reprisal from the general public against your true identity. Read some of the comments people are making. Check out the victim blaming and utter denial of historical facts from some in white America in response to the author’s fact-based account of America's history.
Article Comments Section Excerpts (Ignore all the grammar and spelling errors, it is not their fault):
"As tragic as it is, this story is being blown way out of proportion. People always want to find some deeper, more profound meaning behind every story. Sometimes a tragedy is just a tragedy. As if the murderous actions of one delusional psychopath represent anything about America. To insinuate that this incident is indicative of deep-seeded racism throughout the entire country is absurd. This was an isolated atrocity caused more by mental illness than anything else."
- Not indicative of deep-seeded racism throughout the entire country? This person obviously does not know anything about their history and suffers from a severe case of amnesia.
"This is another example of the media blowing things out of proportion. Telling people not to say All lives matter because its offensive to those who say All black lives matter... Shouldn't we be promoting unity and not chastise those who seek it. Well I promote it. All lives, truly do matter. The words by this hate mongerer, do not"
- The all lives matter mantra pops up AFTER the Black lives matters movement takes a firm hold, and this person does not see how covertly racist that is? The all lives matter mantra popping up after the Black lives matter movement is not intended to be inclusive. It is intended to once again exclude, ignore, and deny Black people any sort of national recognition and acknowledgement of hate the citizens of this country have perpetrated against Black people...according to the above data sets.
"So far in 2015 Blacks, though only 1/6 the White population, have murdered ten times as many Whites than the reverse. For some reason the MSM doesn't like to broadcast this fact Furthermore, Blacks are far more likely to be killed by fellow Blacks than by some rouge White gun nut or loose cannon cop."
- Then there is this person whose facts are so emotionally obscured they demonstrate the open racism of this person's character.
"You suffer from a serious case of white guilt. No mention of that fun loving example of black pride "the new black pathetic panther party". Maybe a breakdown of the exclusive "black" only clubs in Congress, businesses and religion (Nation of Islam), will show you just how far we have come. Yup, racism is alive and well, still being fed a steady diet of lies of why we all could get along, if more "investment" is made in minority communities and guns are forbidden in cities like Chicago or Baltimore. I expect this blaming to continue being spurred on by the healers of our nation, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton or Louis Farakann."
- This person is the cream of the crop. I don't even know what to say here.
Now read this second CNN article followed by its comments section:
“What happened in Charleston is horrible. It is also extremely rare. The writer's attempt to conflate this incident with Michael Brown et. al. is intellectually dishonest. Her fear of spree shooters and police violence is also completely unfounded. African-Americans are at risk, almost exclusively, from other African-Americans. In Baltimore in 2014 there were 208 murders, 189 of the victims were African-American - all were killed by other African-Americans. This canard being propagated by many in the media, that African-Americans are more at risk from police than from street crime is a pointless distraction.”
“How about the fact that the majority of young black men that die from gunshot wounds are shot by other young black men--stop taking a clearly deranged outlier like Dylann Roof and saying he exemplifies the current state of racial tension in the US. If you are worried about getting home tonight it is because you are most likely afraid that you will be shot by a young black man--not Dylann Roof.”
“Every day, headlines tell us about incidents of hate or horrendous crimes against innocent black people and our children.” I couldn't take you seriously after this... 30 years white people have been waking up afraid their children or themselves would be jumped, mugged, raped, or killed for walking into the "Wrong neighborhood" this problem is so much larger than" Black America.”
“To lump in a whole country with a handful of self serving psychos is a little disheartening at best. I'm so tired of being considered inherently racist because I'm not black, that I actually find myself becoming racist sometimes for the first time in my life and not giving people the benefit of the doubt. I think of myself as a pretty caring and benevolent person, so if I'm having these types of feelings and reactions to these incidents, I'm sure it must be pushing the wackos right over the edge. I think we can expect more incidents like this. My advice to the general black population would to not let a few hate filled spouters be your spokespersons. Rise up above the frey and make your own voices heard. Otherwise I think we are headed to an eventual civil war in this country.”
“This is a terrible incident but also a very isolated incident. While this guy makes me sick to my stomach and he deserves death, this entire attempt to lump this into a national race issue makes me sick.”
“This shooting by Dylann Roof was a race hatred incident, and he deserves the maximum punishment. BUT, those other incidents the author mentions were all manufactured to fan the flames of race hatred in the U.S. Even the McKinney pool incident was one of trespassing. Those who make their living off of fighting racism are the cause of it's continuance in the U.S. They desparately search for yet another incident to fan the flames of race hatred fears to justify their continued fight against it. And in using incidents such as those the author cited, they promote lawlessness in the black communities. If the author is afraid due to her perception of growing race hatred, she has herself to blame for fanning the flames of fear-mongering.”
“Here's the problem I have with both the gun control and r ace hustling crowd: Their narrative is that the country is fundamentally rotten to the core, as exemplified by gun violence and ginned-up mass racial hatred when that is simply not the case. Most rational people can look at the United States and see a country with it's fair share of problems, but also realize that the people who do these things, whether it is Roof or Holmes or the rioters in Ferguson or Baltimore, are people on the fringes of society. If they would perhaps concentrate on those individuals rather than trying to indict the entire country (read: the "white" part), they would have a much better chance of being accepted by the majority of people in the country and not just those on the left and in the liberal media.”
And then there are these under-reported incidents that completely rip the rug from under the feet of the above comments:
Cross Burning - 2014
Threatening Interracial Family - 2014
You can always count on good Ole Miss to be a part of any conversation associated with race hate crimes
Race Hate Crime Spree, Jackson MS
Good Ole Miss Strikes Again
Ole Miss Student Drapes Noose and Confederate Flag
So in closing, yes America Black people DO care!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!