Black On Black Crime And Police Brutality – One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

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It never fails, every time the outrage comes following the murder of a black person at the hands of police. There’s always a select few that bring up the myth of black on black crime citing extreme violence in urban parts of cities like Chicago, St. Louis and New Orleans.  There is no great debate when it comes to this conversation. It is most often presented as concern when the true intent is deflection; deflection from irresponsible policing.

But let’s analyze the myth for a moment. If black on black crime wasn’t a fallacy where would it have come from? How did it began? 

Black people are more violent than white people

This effort to dehumanize black people and label them as animals is quite laughable. White people have pillaged through whole countries, raping, murdering and enslaving the black and brown people of the world in the name of Jesus and a war against terrorism, all while masking these heinous crimes as nobel in an attempt to make the world a better place, though their true intent was revealed. Secondly, violence often goes hand-and-hand with poverty. So this crime is not a black thing, it’s a poverty thing.

And black on black crime is almost always brought up after a black person is gunned down by police. Cynical thinkers believe that the outrage is misplaced because black people killed each other all of the time; forgetting that people commit crime where they live. There is a very different lens placed over black people and our communities we are frequently demonized for actions that are universal, yes bad, but universal. The similarities between blacks and whites often goes unnoticed because the focus is on black people ie. following a black person around a store to prevent them from stealing, while a white person comes in unnoticed steals and goes on about their business –  this is white privilege. 

The difference between black people killing other black people and police killing black people is the racial bias, consequences and oath taken. Police swear to protect and serve. Police are almost never prosecuted for the murders of black people. And black people aren’t going around killing black people for the simple fact that they’re black, police are. Police have racist ideologies about black people; to them all black people dangerous so they won’t hesitate to shoot. Too many black men have lost their lives because of someone’s idea of who they might be. This is why racism is not the belief that one race is superior to another but power plus prejudice. White people are the only group of people they can actively put others in danger by the stereotypes they create. The idea that women’s bodies are “sexier” calls for an excuse for black women to be subjected to sexual assault. The types of clothing black men wear can deem this as “thugs” thus putting their lives in danger. White people’s words come alive and they harm and kill. 

So when we deflect the conversation of police brutality with black on black crime we have to remember the dangers in black people being killed just because they are black. The deep, dark history in America is repeating itself fifty. And we must recognize the power in words coming off the tongues of people who are in power and the danger of those same words. They own the media thus depicting their stereotypes of non-white people as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Let’s also remember that black people are perfectly able to focus on more than one thing. The Black Lives Matter movement was created to address police brutality against black people and there are other organizations that address gun violence in black neighborhoods. I stand with any organization who first priority is black lives but these are two different fights – I’m willing to fight both.

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