The past couple of days we have all been dealing with Black men being killed execution-style by white police officers. Alton Sterling was selling CD’s when approached by police. The graphic video shows the officers tackling Sterling, with knees to his back and others shooting him several times, a total of six. Including one in the head. Philando Castile, shot while reaching for his wallet with his girlfriend and daughter in the car. Another graphic video shows Castile’s blood-drenched white t-shirt and the officer with his gun drawn pointed at a bleeding Philando Castile. These traumatic events happening within hours of one another.
Every time this happens to one of us (which is way too often), Black folks are fed up and are vocal about it. This vocalization awakens the trolls, black and white alike, screaming “well what about Black-on-Black crime!? How can you be mad about police brutality when you guys kill each other all the time!?” *insert heavy eye roll*
There are way more than three reasons why you should shut up about Black-on-Black crime, but I’m going to give you a quick three. Follow me.
1. It’s dismissive & disrespectful
We are in mourning. This is terrible. This is a tragedy. And for all intents and purpose, we are in the middle of a war and losing. There is a war on Black bodies for simply existing. That’s what we’re talking about, here. Yes, there is something to be said about the crime within the Black community, but that’s not the topic of conversation right now. It’s very “#AllLivesMatter,” and it’s disrespectful. It’s dismissive of our feelings, and it’s a distraction from the topic at hand. And just because we’re not discussing the intra-community crime, doesn’t mean it’s not on the agenda. We can, we are, concerned with more than one problem.
Systemic racism is real, people. The very infrastructure of this country is built on bigotry, and we have been on the receiving end of said bigotry since day one. How dare you dismiss our feelings while we’re trying to process the extremely racist system we’re forced to navigate daily? Where do you get off? And news flash, just because you deflect to Black-on-Black crime, doesn’t make the issue at hand go away. So you’re saying that we have no right to be upset about racist cops and vigilantes killing us because systemic racism, generational poverty, and unequal employment and housing disparities keeping people of color (POC), namely Black folks, marginalized and tucked away to one area and sometimes they harm one another? Your argument holds no weight, and it brings me to my next point.
2. Most violent crimes are intraracial
This means a victim’s offender is usually someone of the same racial group. Intraracial crime is not unique to Black folks. According to the US Department of Justice, 84% of white people are killed by the hands of other white people. Yet, no one is talking about this. The Huffington Post records that in 2011, there were more cases of whites killing whites than there were of blacks killing blacks. Between 1980 to 2008, a majority (53.3 percent) of gang-related murders were committed by white people, with a majority of the homicide victims being white as well.
So why is there a microscope on Black-on-Black crime but not White-on-White crime? See systemic racism and media manipulation.
3. You sound dumb
The third and final reason to shut up about Black-on-Black crime is because you appear to be uneducated and it reveals your ignorance. It’s clear that you haven’t done your research on this topic. It’s clear that you didn’t even try to educate yourself on the topics of police brutality and intra-community violence, because if you had you’d know that most people commit crimes against people in their same community. You would know that your argument of “Black-on-Black crime” holds no weight.