Racial tension is at an all time high within the confines of American culture. Events are constantly split into the subject matter of black and white. The events in question, as of late, have been police shootings of unarmed black men. One side argues the shooting was justified. The other side argues the inconsistency of the justice system as several police offers have not even been indicted. The message sent to the black community is one of “I’m sorry for your loss, but…..”. African-Americans are then left to deal with the sorrow of losing yet another in a system they feel is designed for them to fail.
I’ve engaged in plenty of discussions regarding race as of late. One thing is clear to me. We. Are. Divided. Whenever I engage in these discussions, I often leave the conversation on my soapbox; disgusted with the person who disagreed with me. Not because they disagreed with me, but because they were spewing hatred. These conversations take place on the internet which is a breeding ground for trolls. So, I should not expect meaningful discussions. I’ve taken note of my racial conversations, and I find one common denominator in the argument of those that oppose me.
Black on black crime.
For those who don’t know, this phrase points to crime within the black community. It usually points to homicide, assault, or crimes of a violent nature. It is the argument of the opposition that black people do not care when they kill their own. Let a white police officer kill a black person, and black folks are taking to the streets.
Let’s talk about this incorrect notion.
First off, what is black on black crime really? I know I’ve given a definition, but let’s get real here. Black on black crime is used as a distraction when major race issues emerge in the media. I remember hearing about black on black crime in the early 1990’s as a child. It seemed as though people wholeheartedly bought into this idea that black on black crime was an epidemic. As a kid, it shaped my mind to think only my race acts like this. That simply is not the truth.
This time last year racial tensions sparked anew when Michael Brown was shot by Darren Wilson. There are several versions of this story. However, the facts remain that Michael is dead, Officer Wilson is out of a job, and people ran to their respective sides getting ready for verbal battle. Former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani’s weighed in on this subject. He and Michael Eric Dyson, a respected leader and professor in the black community, discussed this situation on NBC’s Meet the Press. The conversation turned into a heated debate on police interactions with African-Americans. Giuliani quoted the following statistic.
“Ninety-three percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here.”
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the widespread perception of black people in America. We are judged by this one statistic.
And that bothers me.
This stat, taken from the 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, quoted by itself is irresponsible. Why you ask? Are the numbers not true? Sadly, yes they are true. However, numbers can be skewed to tell a story. Giuliani failed to mention the 84% of white on white crime that occurs in America. In 2013, intraracial murder stats show 83% of whites committing murders within race, and 90% of blacks doing the same. I’d say these stats are too close for comfort regardless of race. Yet and still, most people fail to mention that statistics highlighting intraracial crime for Caucasians because they are virtually unknown. You asked why again, so here you go.
White intraracial crime is not highlighted. At. All.
Ask yourself this. Have you ever heard of white on white crime? Mexican on Mexican? Indian on Indian? Have you ever seen a news segment dedicated to what the Hispanic community needs to do to stop all of the killing? No? Why is that when crime statistics show crime within race is higher than interracial crime? Because it goes along with the narrative that black people are an inherently violent race.
Again, that is not true.
These stats show me we ALL have work to do. Yes, there are cultural and racial differences. Nonetheless, I still love you regardless of your race. I would hope you love me the same. Crime does not feign itself to be specific to one race. So, let us stop, and give the benefit of the doubt to one another. At the end of the day, you are my brothers and sisters. I want all of you to be safe, happy, and successful. Think about that next time you mention black on black crime.
We are all in this life together.