When Attorney General Bill Barr began his opening statement before the House Judiciary Committee on July 28, 2020; one of his first utterances was a familiar refrain often used whenever individuals attempt to justify unwarranted or overzealous policing aimed at the African American community. When explaining why he intended to send Federal troops into various metropolitan areas he read this prepared comment, “The threat to black lives posed by crime on the streets, is massively greater than any threat posed by police misconduct. The leading cause of death for young black males is homicide. Every year approximately 75 hundred black Americans are victims of homicide. The vast majority of them around 90% are killed by other blacks, mainly by gunfire. Each of those lives matter.” The Attorney General claimed this upsurge in “Black-on-Black” crime was the reason for the Justice department deploying anti-crime task forces into several major metropolitan areas.
As Ronald Reagan used to say, “There you go again.” “Black-On-Black” Crime; it is the great chorus that is consistently used as a bludgeon to dull or silence any legitimate call against white racism. In this instance the issue is unwarranted, unjustified police brutality and police murders of innocent unarmed Black men in disproportionate numbers. The refrain has also been used by those who oppose the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The argument goes like this, If you are so concerned about Black lives mattering, then why don’t you do something about Black-on-Black crime. Who does not agree with stopping any senseless murder, no matter whom the perpetrator. If it were a legitimate argument, what does one have to do with the other? So you mean to say, if I murder someone, you then are justified in murdering them too? You see how foolish that logic is. However, beyond the foolishness of the logic the argument itself is false and fake.
It sounds like a strong argument that’s supposed to silence the protests against white racism and the white bigotry perpetrated by the police, an agency employed to serve and protect all of its citizens and administer equal protection under the law. But the only problem is the argument is bogus at best and a flat out lie at worse. According to the 2017 National Crime Victim’s Rights Week Resource Guide: Crime and Victimization Fact Sheets, Homicides are largely intra-racial; Of crimes involving a single offender and victim:
81% of white victims were killed by a white perpetrator;
89% of all black victims were killed by a black perpetrator.
Did you get that. When a white person is murdered in America, 81 percent of the time someone white killed them. The only problem is, we don’t call it: WHITE-ON-WHITE CRIME, even though it is. I wonder why Attorney General Bill Barr is not sending Federal troops to the White neighborhoods where this outbreak in White-on-White violence is taking place?
Funny how you can twist language and leave out facts to make one group of people seem more violent against themselves than anybody else. When gangs have a violent shooting in some urban neighborhood, its always portrayed as black-on-black crime, but when a mafia hit is reported on the local news and bullet ridden cars are seen outside a midtown restaurant somewhere, do they ever call that White-on-white crime? How about the mass shootings reported in schools and public places across the nation committed by white perpetrators against white victims, are those labeled white-on-white crimes? It appears that we have a problem in our reporting in this country. Could this be “FAKE NEWS.” Could this be an attempt to portray one race of people as more violent and self-destructive than everyone else in America?
The fact that all major crimes are intra-racial should not be a surprise to anyone with an ounce of common sense. The homicide statistics for blacks and whites; is the same for Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and every other ethic group in America. America is a very segregated nation. We live in extremely segregated communities. The moment someone “black” steps foot into a white neighborhood, ten cop cars show up minutes later. How in the world could someone black or brown ever get close enough to rob someone white much less shoot or kill them.
The real issue that needs to be addressed, which is common among all Americans, is how extremely violent this nation is. We feed and entertain ourselves on brutality constantly. From our entertainment, to sports, to the video games we play, to our virtual reality war games and the list goes on and on, we are constantly consuming violence that begins at an early age. This consumption of barbarity seems to be numbing us to the death that happens around us in America, so that no matter how outrageous public mass murders are, we still cannot agree to any kind of sensible legislation to control the spread of unwanted illegal firearms. Over 400,000 non-fatal firearm incidents happen annually and the good news is that number is dropping from what it used to be in the early 1990s. However, the numbers dropping will mean nothing if there is no change in our national behavior.
The issue of violence, homicide and murder is an American problem that we all should join together in addressing. But as long as we continue to create this bogus Black-on-black crime fallacy to divert our attention from the real issues, we will never solve the important mutual challenges that we face. What are those mutual problems; unjustified police brutality against Black Americans and people of color; and inordinate gun violence in America. That’s where our focus should be. But as longs as we fall for the race baiting “Black-on-Black Crime” okey-doke, we will never unite to address the real problems that paralyze our nation.