It's a term I hear often, especially in the wake of the death of Trayvon Martin. Whites implore Blacks to reflect on the crime they inflict on one another. The implication being that Trayvon's death deserves neither sympathy nor scrutiny...it's a Black problem. Some Blacks, as well are all too willing to shoulder responsibility for lawlessness because "we kill one another".
Contrary to the chatter, the problem isn't that George Zimmerman is a race other than Black, the problem is that those empowered with the duty to see that justice is carried out, failed to do their job. The problem is that they treated the victim with absolute disregard. They made no effort to confirm the shooter's story or seek witnesses, they simply took Zimmerman's statements as fact and then dumped Trayvon's body in the morgue without making a single effort to identify him. If you're the parent waiting for your son to return from a convenience store, have you no right to expect at least that much? As a matter of race, do you think that would have been their response if Trayvon had been a young white boy? If the perpetrator had been Black, do you think he would have simply gone home? Those are the issues.
I don't dispute that Blacks kill other Blacks, particularly as a result of gang activity. But so do Latinos, yet there is no "Latino-on-Latino" crime. Whites certainly commit their share of crime as well. In fact, the vast majority of serial murders are committed by white men, who prey on other whites. The shooting at Columbine, the gunman in Norway was a white man who killed 92 white people. From the "Wild West" to vigilante lynching, to the act of war; indeed Hitler was white and the vast majority of his 11 million victims were white; Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy...all white men who murdered white people, yet these misdeeds are not relegated to be "white-on-white" crime.
That Blacks are simply unredemptive criminals is a stereotype that has been perpetuated by the media, law enforcement and revisionist history. I lived most of my life in Chicago, a city with high gang and crime activity, but I've never personally known a crime victim, let alone anyone who was murdered. I'm not certain I can distinguish a gunshot from a firecracker. I raised my two girls there...all of their friends are alive and well. But I do vividly recall that the police department was once cited for exposing the identity of African Americans who had been arrested to television cameras and print media while they guarded the identity of white individuals, even if it meant putting a police jacket over their faces. Sadly, many of our leaders also help to perpetuate misconceptions and stereotypes about Blacks.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul wrote in one of his infamous newsletters:
"If you live in a major city, you've probably heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking.
"It's the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos. The youth simply walk up to a car they like, pull a gun, tell the family to get out, steal their jewelry and wallets, and take the car to wreck. Such actions have ballooned in recent months."
use the information from this outdated resource (1992) because in a
recent interview, Ron Paul admitted having made the statements and
suggested that "it is still true today."
The FBI does not keep separate statistics for carjacking. I'm not certain if such a crime would be considered robbery, larceny-theft or motor vehicle theft, so let's look at all three. Ron Paul specifically mentions that "they pull a gun", so let's look at arrests due to Weapons charges too.
According to 2010 FBI statistics:
Clearly, the numbers simply do not support Ron Paul's statements or what the vast majority of Americans believe. Ron Paul suggests that these numbers are out of proportion to the Black population. It can also be said that the prison population is out of proportion to the racial breakdown of arrests. It is common knowledge that the majority of those imprisoned are there for non-violent drug charges.... and they are Black. But even that statistic betrays what the public has been led to believe.
In 2010 there were 485,043 Drug arrests; 361,520 or 74.5% were white, while 117,693 or 24.3% were of Blacks. For those who make the asinine argument that the crime statistics are disproportionate because Blacks are only 13% of the population, it is important to note that Whites are not 74% of the population either. The real question ought to be why color-coded statistics are recorded in the first place.
How do we explain the disparity in how society views the acts of one race versus another? Are there degrees of death? Do you ever read about such extreme police activity waged against whites? Look again at the statistics. Why doesn't the prison population reflect the arrests? Why are so many Black men killed at the hands of law enforcement because an officer "thinks" he sees a handgun? Whites own the vast majority of handguns, yet we seldom hear of these violent encounters with the police.
From "Birth of a Nation" to cartoons like "Heckle and Jeckle" and news journalism, the media plays a major role in how we perceive things. Case in point, the media was quick to point out that George Zimmerman is not a white man, but according to his parents is Hispanic. But it was the media who had said he was white in the first place.
A major news outlet conducted a poll in an effort to determine whether Latinos or Whites had a lower opinion of Blacks. Not only does such a poll incite resentment, but displays mindless and institutional racism. The results would cause the "professional" white anchor to ask his white cohost, "Aren't you surprised to find that Hispanics think less of Blacks than Whites?" This is responsible journalism? To inquire about racial profiling or the relationship with law enforcement might have been appropriate, but why poll at all? What everyone is missing is the fact that the race of George Zimmerman is not the issue...Trayvon Martin's race is.
The anger is about Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Ramarley Graham, 14 year-old Derek Lopez, Sean Bell, 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones and countless other unarmed Blacks and Latinos who are gunned down by law enforcement. The anger is about arbitrary laws like New York's "Stop and Frisk" program that targeted 685,724 New Yorkers in 2011; 88% of those stopped were people of color; 9% were white. The anger is about the "racial" difference and indifference shown by law enforcement and legislators.
As catastrophic as Trayvon's death is, for those who seek to have an open an honest dialogue, it can become the catalyst toward healing Blacks and educating whites to a social inequity that has never darkened their doorstep, but is forever present for Blacks.