By Anita Stewart
QUESTION: Do African-Americans’ lives matter less because they are expected to kill one another?
There is a lot of talk about Race in our corporate media right now and this has become a very fiery news-peg. Everyone has an opinion or their own take or analysis or stats …
… some would say that the Civil War never ended and that the US still has a huge racial divide.
Others would say that the African-American communities have brought all of this on themselves because of “Black on Black” crime.
With names like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Kimani Gray, Michael Brown, Vonderitt Myers, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and so many more being thrust on our collective consciousness and by corporate media’s constant reiteration and framing of these senseless murders, it has become clear to anyone paying attention that some of these victims have been made into perpetrators.
Many on the Right and some of the so-called Progressive Liberals have taken the stance of:
“Why is Ferguson even an issue?”
“Why should we worry about this since African-Americans are killing each other? Look at all of the ‘Black on Black’ crime?”
This past weekend the former mayor of New York City, Rudy Guiliani had a heated exchange about ‘Black on Black’ crime with Dr. Dyson, Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, on the Sunday morning news program, Meet the Press. Guiliani noted that a huge police presence would not be needed in Ferguson if black people were not killing each other.
A 2008 Report by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) showing stats on ‘Black on Black’ killings can be found HERE.
An updated 2013 FBI Uniform Crime Report, also reveals similar data to the 2008 report:
- 83 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders
- 90 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders
- 14 percent of white victims were killed by black offenders
- 7.6 percent of black victims were killed by white offenders
‘Stop and Frisk’ procedures are disproportionate as revealed by this story and a study published in the New York Daily News in 2013:
NYPD stats: 70% of shooting suspects in first half of 2013 were black.
According to this story, during the first half of 2013, 74% of New York City’s shooting victims were black, and an additional 21.5% were Hispanic. These numbers bear a direct correlation between the victims of color living in the poorer neighborhoods and it is no coincidence that Law Enforcement police these neighborhoods more zealously and much more often. If one was black, one was 25 times more likely to be shot in New York City than a white person; in fact, 55% of Blacks and 29% of Hispanics are stopped and frisked.
In reviewing the numbers, the stats are not that much different. “Black on Black” crime actually becomes a “straw man” issue when discussing topics of Racism and Race, Racial Crime and Police/Law Enforcement Standard Operating Procedures. People need to come together and be willing to have real conversations to bring about change and to work together for solutions in our communities. Letting every issue evolve into one of race versus addressing the root of the problem is part of the disservice.
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