So…you think the Black Lives Movement should focus on Black-on-Black crime?
So it’s this “black-on-black” crime thing again, huh?
The Black Lives Matter movement has been about protesting racist, discriminatory and, too often, fatal practices of police departments against unarmed African-Americans.
The movement has focused on what these departments are doing wrong and asking for the local governments to hold the police accountable and provide consequences for officers who are found breaking, manipulating or skirting the law.
The Black Lives Matter has also proven to be unlike other protest groups because it has a plan. The Black Lives Matter 10-point campaign called Campaign Zero.
According to the Atlantic, in its article Will Black Lives Matter Be a Movement That Persuades?, “The Campaign Zero agenda draws its strength largely from the fact that many of the policies it recommends are ‘best practices’ taken from existing police agencies. Details on each of the icons above can be found here, accompanied when appropriate by links to police departments that have already embraced a given reform.”
To do this, the movement focuses its protests on local governments and the news media. The marches, the protests, sit ins, rallies and sermons are to raise awareness and petition the powers that be to get off their asses and do something about what it’s enforcement agents and peace officers are doing to its own countrymen.
So who then, in the case of black-on-black crime, should the movement protest?
Police misconduct can be attended to by powers of higher authority; who does one aim protests at to curb acts of straight-up or random criminality?
The suggestion becomes more and more ridiculous and strategically distracting every time it’s bought up.
This is criminality we’re talking about, not a government agency acting up. These are criminals, sociopaths and psychopaths. Are they supposed to care and change their activity because some people are mad at them?
So are Black Lives Matters members supposed to picket in front of crack houses? Are they supposed to go up to young, angry and armed drug dealers on the street and pick fights? Are they supposed to dress up in costumes and do battle like Phoenix Jones?
This isn’t the movies where bullies run away scared when someone stands up to them.
These are murderers, they’ll just shoot you. And if they miss, they’ll follow you home and shoot you there.
So are you asking young, educated, politically-ambitious and often times Not-About-That-Life children to throw their bodies at a hail of bullets in hope that the drug dealers simply give up when their clips are empty?
Who came up with this plan, Ben Carson?
Maybe the point of the argument is to suggest that the Black Lives Matters movement focus on politically lobbying elected officials to create programs and resources to help and/or address issues such as poverty, school funding, atrocious out-of-code housing conditions, prison reform, along with police misconduct. Then wait for said elected official to find the time to take the issues through the political process of creating legislation while finding funding for the often costly government-provided resources and policies to address some (at best) of these social ills in the hopes that indirectly, at some point, the poverty that leads to crime, and the crime itself, just…goes away?
According to Washington Post writer John McWhorter:
First, let’s realize that there have been protests against police brutality in black communities forever as well. BLM is making a difference because of the new possibilities that social media offer. And to their credit, in the short span of a year, they’ve moved from demonstrations to policy proposals: Campaign Zero, a movement offshoot, has put forth a comprehensive set of recommendations for potential remedies, and activists recently met with Democratic presidential candidates. I would only urge BLM organizers to expand these opportunities just as fiercely to addressing black-on-black crime. Yes, black communities are deeply concerned about black-on-black crime — but it would be hard to say there is any sea change in the general patterns lately. We seek real change.
Okay, first things first, black people do work within their communities to address things such as crime, assault and poor attention to public services. While it can be addressed by the Black Lives Matter movement, it doesn’t have to be. There are many others who have tirelessly worked to make change.
But secondly, and this is the most worrisome to me, there is an inherent fallacy in McWhorten’s argument that is unnecessarily race based: the idea that the people perpetrating the crime in the black-on-black crime scenario have anything in common with their victims aside from race. Like Black on Black crime is some special, culturally unique phenomenon. Such an idea is exasperating in its utter…wrongness.
Once and for all: BLACK ON BLACK CRIME ISN’T A THING!
What racists, the political right and misguided black folk call “black-on-black crime” is just crime. It’s the result of poor, disenfranchised people living together in tight quarters. People commit crime against the people closest to them and since black people tend to live next to black people, you have black people committing crime against other black people. Outside of that dynamic, it’s not a separate thing.
Black people aren’t killing black people because they’re black, they’re killing them because they’re right next door. That’s how stray bullet deaths work.
Not only that, but according to Adam Hudson of AlterNet, “black-on-black” crime, even if it was an actual “thing”, has been going down steadily for years:
[S]o-called black-on-black crime has decreased over the decades. In the past 20 years, black-on-black homicides decreased by 67 percent—a sharper decline than white-on-white homicide—and “[a]mong black youth, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest in more than 40 years,” according to Demos. Throughout the country, crime has continuously fallen since the 1990s. Plus, black-on-black crime is hardly unique. Most crime is intra-racial. Around 90 percent of black homicide victims are killed by black offenders, while white people kill each other at roughly the same rate.
The myth of black-on-black crime is so unfounded that to an intellectual and well-versed individual, it almost automatically invalidates any argument it’s used to buttress.
It’s not like all black people meet every second Friday of each month to talk about community affairs, offering drug dealers a 5 minute spot at the podium to talk about their plans and giving time for a Q&A in case anyone has objections.
It’s only the most racist and ignorant who believe that blacks, more so than any other ethnic group, have some type of intimate connection to the criminal element that takes hold in their communities. Unfortunately, the Post’s McWhorter seems to be that type of person.
It’s also the most racist and ignorant who think that it’s black folks responsibility to address the problems of inner-city, poverty driven, organized crime.
For certain individuals, it is easier to believe that urban blight is black folks’ responsibility to fix and black folks alone. These people do not believe that systemic racism is a thing. So they create something called “black-on-black” crime as an easy out, to basically say: Black people are inherently violent and evil, they need to fix that about themselves and stop bothering us.
Yes, people who subscribe to this thinking are idiots and assholes
And let’s not get it twisted, blacks do protest crime that happens in their communities. There has never been a shortage of individuals working within the community to make things better. Do you want to know one of the many ways they attempt to “make things better”: They protest police inactivity in catching criminals and closing cases on murders and crimes.
So in the end, it will always come back to forcing police departments to own up to their responsibilities rather than doing their jobs for them.
That’s what the Black Lives Matter movement is and always has been about it. Saying anything else is simply a distraction.