The issue of Black on Black Crime has been referenced to dismiss the current issue of Police Brutality and the institutionalized oppression of the Black Community.
Often issues such as gang violence, substance abuse, and crime within the black community are used as divergent tactics to take attention from the conversation that needs to take place about oppression and institutionalized racism.
When unarmed blacks are being shot dead in their communities by police officers and constantly racially profiled, black people are expected to keep quiet because of the gang violence that exists within the black community.
The easiest way to ignore black on white crime and police brutality is by refocusing the conversation and flipping it so that somehow white people criminalize blacks and make them a scapegoat to try and mitigate their unacceptable behavior.
Over the past 40+ years, black men have been forced to become a commodity in America’s prisons. As a result, a large percentage of black men have entered/are entering the Prison Industrial Complex, which is also known as the prison pipeline. See also this post on PTSS, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.
Thus, further tearing apart the black community. (Understanding the Root Cause of Violence in Chicago’s African-American Community, 2012) The Prison pipeline has had a major impact on African-American families and herein lies an important reason that History Education to Black American youth is so important!
In 2018 it was reported that one in nine black children have a parent behind bars. It was also found that approximately 70% of black men who have been in prison will most likely return. While black men are in prison, their ties to gangs strengthen which contributes to the rise in gang violence in various cities.
The phenomenon of blacks, particularly black men in prison as a result of black on black crime is a tactic to further divert the attention of disparities in the justice system, the disparity in reducing mental health issues, and systematic failure of African-Americans.
The situation of gang violence in cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, and New York City is said to be the “root cause” of violence in the black community. These cities are also where acts of police brutality have escalated and many of the situations have been publicized in the mass media. But what do they actually know about People of Color?
Ray Lewis, the ex-NFL Star, posted a video rant on his Facebook page to express how he felt about Black Lives Matter and what he believes the focus should be. In his video, he says: “I try to figure out why nobody pays attention to black folks killing black folks.
We have the situation again where we are being victimized because it happens: 1 bad white cop, 2 bad white cops, 3 bad white cops kill 1 black brother. There is no racially inclusive model. But there’s not a day when don’t have black on black crime, blacks killing each other.”
Recently CNN conducted an interview with Black Lives Matter organizer, Aaron Goggans from DC. Mr. Goggans believes that the phenomenon of Black on Black crime really is a myth. He began his interview by saying: “It’s important to talk about the myth of black-on-black crime. It’s just that — a myth.”
He comes to a closing with this: “The movement is also focusing on so-called state-sanctioned violence, which is a different thing, … Actually, it’s the state that systematically creates systems that will kill black people, both black children, black men, black women, black trans, black queers, or black non-gender-conforming people and that’s exactly the problem Ray Lewis didn’t address in this video.” There’s so much stress in communities of color which comes as no surprise, does it?
Ray Lewis’ video is a perfect example of someone using the issue of black-on-black crime to dismiss the issue of police brutality. Black on black crime really is a myth that is used by a white capitalist patriarchal culture to redirect attention away from white on black crime all while decreasing accountability. Looking back at the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment implementation, still much is left to achieve, don’t you think?
Black on Black crime is used to excuse injustices done to blacks by comparing an issue like gang violence to an issue like police brutality. The two are not comparable, and should not be compared when it comes to the myth of black on black crime versus the reality of white on black crime.