If you turn on the news, chances are you’ll probably hear about some type of crime. The media is known to notoriously sensationalize the mundane events of the world for ratings. If all you watched was the news, you’d think the world was an extremely dangerous place. And you definitely get this feeling if you live in Jackson and ever catch the news or get on social media. It seems like every month another young person is senselessly dying and crime is on the rise. And with the high profile trials of Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman igniting conversations between races, people are asking more and more questions. Even if they are ridiculous ones. But is crime really rising?
Cue The Rant!
I found some of the most questionable quotes and points of view while scanning Facebook this past week. The one thing I saw that particularly pissed me off was different variations of opinions when it came to blacks and crime, especially among us. We’ve actually been subscribing to what the media and others think about blacks and crime and haven’t researched whats really going on. We show this when we ask questions like this “Why be upset when other races kill blacks if blacks continue to kill their own people??” There is a huge problem with this statement. I did some digging and this is why:
You are actually shifting the conversation from the real problem. The real question is what is wrong with society devaluing a black life as illustrated in the Dunn and Zimmerman trials. First of all, there is actually no such thing as “black-on-black” crime. Yes, from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders, but that racial exclusivity is true for white victims of violent crime—86 percent were killed by white offenders. For the large majority of crimes, you’ll see that victims and offenders are the same race and have some prior relationship to each other, i.e. they knew each other.
What people don’t seem to understand about crime is that it’s all about proximity and opportunity. Blacks are more likely to be robbed, or injured, or killed by other blacks because they tend to live in the same neighborhoods as each other. According to this report, Blacks are more likely to live near each other or other minority groups than they are to whites. Just as whites are much more likely to live near other whites than they are to minorities, especially black people.
And contrary to what you see on the news and what you think, black people are not more likely to commit crimes. According to the Wall Street Journal, black crime especially among black youth, has declined. As a matter of fact, while it might not seem like it, according to city-data.com, since 2001 crime overall has declined in Jackson, MS.
So contrary to what you might think or believe, black on black crime doesn’t exist. These are indisputable facts. So questions like “why are we mad when someone white kills a black person but not when someone black kills it” off base. Questions like that are meant to shift the focus from the real problems. I’m not mad that black men are being killed by whoever. I’m mad that in 2014 we still get sobering reminders of systematic inequality in our society. Inequalities that let men like Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman get away with murder and have blacks question their own people primarily because of media influences. When we don’t even believe in ourselves, I believe that that is worse than the injustices we witnessed in either of those trials.
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles.