Black on Black crime. Black people, especially youths, killing each other in a low-level genocide. Something that has persisted since the end of slavery in America. And every time a white cop kills a Black kid, it rears up as a justification, a reason and excuse on a list of "to do" things to overcome crime in the Black community, especially Black on Black crime. Then its put back on the shelf until the next time, only important as a talking point in a sliver of space and time before the TV cameras move to the next sordid story. Now in the wake of the Ferguson shooting of an unarmed 18-year old Black kid by a white cop, its again dusted off and injected into the national narrative about crime and Black crime and violence.
Part of the narrative goes that had it been a white or Black cop who shot a white kid there would be no outrage, no marches, and no cries of racism most foul. Maybe those claims are right. But I'm a simple guy and from where I sit what happened in Ferguson was a simple act of murder, an unjustified homicide committed by a trigger-happy cop who saw a Black kid's life as worthless and no value. And its this devaluation of Black life, especially by white people in authority -- including cops -- that is the underlying sense of Black outrage when it happens -- unjustified, callous, warrantless and without basic reason or logic.
And yes, there is Black on Black crime and I suspect that there are reasons and solutions for same. But the truth is that white cops don't kill white kids in the kind of numbers that they mow down Black kids and (grown ups). White people toting guns and having just threatened or kill other people are not shot down buy cops, except in rare circumstances. Cops negotiate with white people holding hostages and others that have committed serious gun crimes. They do not just ride in with guns blazing.
It is the frequency of homicide by cop that continues to spark Black rage; not because Black kids (people) kill each other makes it right for white cops to use this as an excuse to also kill Black people on the very slightest of pretexts. So in my very simple reasoning Black youths killing each other is bad, troubling and cause for concern; white cops killing Black people for minor infractions is not troubling -- its downright alarming.
Black on Black crime is a problem. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered; 94 per cent of the time, the murderer is another Black person. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims .The 94 per cent figure suggests that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks.
Though blacks are 13 per cent of the national U.S. population, they account for more than 50 per cent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities it is 32 times that of whites. Blacks are also disproportionately victimized by violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.
Phew! That's a real, real problem. Let's put this in its awesome unvarnished, no sugar-coated historical perspective.
Economist Walter Williams says that, "The magnitude of this tragic mayhem can be viewed in another light. According to a Tuskegee Institute study, between the years 1882 and 1998, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites. Black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all the wars since 1980 (8,107) came to 18,425, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home.
This, of course, is exceedingly troubling when we consider that guns are not manufactured in the Black community but are as common as Aspirin on a Deli shelf; drugs like cocaine, crack, heroin or synthetic marijuana are not processed or manufactured in the Black community but Black youths are among their highest users and consumers. And yet, with all these damning issues Black leadership has been largely silent. Its as if Black leadership is only activated when a white cop (or white person) kills a Black young man or woman.
Try as I might, I cannot fathom this curious situation. Its as if Black leaders (civic and political) are so desensitized to Black on Black crime that because of its normative regularity they have accepted it as part of the daily life of the Black community. Not that its all right for Black young people to murder each other, but its not newsworthy as when a white cop kills a Black person -- no matter if that Black person is a stone cold killer who is as unsavory a person as they come and who might have been menacing the cop with a gun and got shot.
The message is that Black life is ONLY scared when a white person takes it. And that's serious self-hate -- both consciously and subconsciously. But don't take my word for it; listen to what Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Black icon, says on the issue.
The destructive power of black crime was laid bare in a widely reported comment made by Jesse Jackson in 1993. After his two presidential campaigns, and viewed then by many as the unchallenged leader of Black America, Jackson, in an unscripted moment, said:
" There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved. "
In the view of prominent Black and Latino journalist Juan Williams' view, "That quote from Mr. Black America stripped naked the torment in the black community over black-on-black crime. It was a shock that Jackson was so honest and for people outside the black community it was also proof that, even the celebrated Jesse Jackson, lived in fear of being a crime victim at the hands of black people."
And not to outdone, Black comedian Bill Cosby, a frequent and unabashed critic of the breakdown of the black family, the 70 per cent out-of-wedlock birth rate, and the absence of Black fathers in the home, notes that the NAACP's national headquarters is in Baltimore, a city with one of the highest murder rates in the nation.