Posted By Levi
Since the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the media about violence in the African-American community. There is no doubt that the level of violence by blacks against other blacks is very high and needs to be dealt with as an urgent issue.
But in describing this kind of violence the media have a favorite term for it – they called it “black-on-black” violence.
I hate the phrase. I think it is derogatory and suggests that there is something unique about black people when it comes to violence; that they are more prone to violence than others.
But this is false. The phrase should be thrown in the dustbin. If the media can’t come up with a better term then they should equally use the term “white-on-white” violence when discussing violence within the white community. This seems only fair to me. Why?
Because, like so many things in America, violence is also segregated, it is affected by race. Just as blacks are more likely to be killed by other blacks, whites are more likely to be killed by other whites.
Here is the evidence.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders. During the same period, 86 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders.
So, yes, there is “white-on-white” violence as well.
Besides, blacks are no more criminal-minded than whites. As Jamelle Bouie pointed out in an excellent article for the Daily Beast, there has been a dramatic decline in crimes across the country for several years now.
If blacks were more criminal prone, then one would see an increase in crimes by blacks even as crime rates are falling across the board. But crime rates among blacks, and black youth in particular, are also falling dramatically.
Again, here is the evidence.