Posts Tagged ‘Black on Black Crime’

What about ‘black-on-black’ crime?

August 27, 2015

Whenever there is an outcry about an unarmed black person being killed by a white person or by a police officer, there are those who downplay its significance by pointing out two facts.

  1. More black people are killed by other black people than are killed by white people or killed by police.
  2. More white people are killed by black criminals than black people are killed by white criminals.

So why the outcry over the relatively small number of innocent black people killed by police?

My answer is that, of course, we the people should be concerned about all violent crime, no matter what the race of the perpetrator and no matter what the race of the victim.  All lives do matter.

race.cardBut we should be more concerned about crime that goes unpunished.  And we should be most concerned about unjustified killings by people in authority, because that tears at the fabric of society.

There are two reasons to focus on police killings of unarmed black people.  One is that these tragedies occur against a background of abuse of black people.  The other is that, in general, police are not unaccountable for their exercise of deadly force.

I can see how police officers in certain circumstances might mistakenly think they are in mortal peril, and take an innocent life.  What’s troublesome is the apparent lack of remorse for taking innocent life, especially when it is the life of a black person.

Eric Garner, a harmless black man accused of illegally selling individual cigarettes, was choked to death by New York City police while saying “I can’t breathe.”  New York City police held a demonstration saying, mockingly, “I can breathe.”  I are willing to believe this callousness is not universal.  But it is certainly not limited to NYC police.