It seems that every time a black person is killed, or unjustly beaten or convicted there is a tremendous outcry from the black community, followed by an outcry from the “other blacks” and other races reminding blacks, how more of a threat blacks are to other blacks and other races and how we don’t stand up when the roles are reversed. But here is why they are wrong, and here is what you need to tell them about that argument:
- Holding only 12 percent of the nation’s population but over 40% of the prison population, one thing is for sure: THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM LOCKING BLACKS UP. When blacks commit a crime, more often than not, they are going to do the time. What’s more upsetting is that blacks are served 2.5 to 5.5 harsher penalties than their white counterparts for the same crimes committed. With this kind of judicial disparity, there is no need to boast how justice needs to be served when justice is READY and WILLING to serve it when it comes to blacks. The judicial system work so well to provide justice to us but not so well to give us justice. However as we have seen any other cases, when the injustice is happening to blacks from other races, there is a chance that it will be ignored or a slap on the wrist compared to what the black race receives. The Trayvon Martin incident proved that notion when it took the police days/weeks before they decided to charge George Zimmerman (only after the black community voiced their displeasure in great numbers) with any criminal charges for killing an UNARMED teen, only to find him not guilty of a crime, stating to the American public that a black man is guilty of being a threat if he is found to be in (what some classifies as) the wrong neighborhood for him.
- Contrary to others beliefs, black on black crime is not ignored in the black community, and we fight this battle constantly throughout the year. However, if mainstream media does not cover it, most who say this will not hear about the “stop the violence rallies” that go in this country often. We do not condone, nor tolerate the killing of our black brothers and sisters by anyone and our black community does not ignore that. Hundreds of stop the violence movements occur throughout the country that bring out guest speakers, celebrities and the community to shed light on the harsh reality of what happens in our community, not because its an epidemic but because every life in our community is deemed precious even if others don’t care to think so. However, how many whites have stood and supported our stop the violence movements? How many media outlets constantly show our stop the violence protest to the country? How much money has been funded for black neighborhoods and war on violence initiatives, not by police but for the black community to take charge of themselves? We don’t ignore our killing of each other, others do.
- We as community, have to stop thinking black on black crime is an epidemic. I understand how small our population numbers are compared to whites, but the percentages of race on same race crimes are virtually the same, which illustrates how we kill more of the people we live around. Our neighborhoods and schools are segregated, and so our interactions and problems are going to reflect the individuals who we commonly interact with. The real issue with this however, despite the similar percentages, no mention of white on white crime epidemics. This tactic allows blacks that are keener to fit in to society, to believe their people are a bigger problem to society than society is to them. It allows them to lose focus on the issue and believe a different issue exists.
- Black crime is not an invitation for other races. One of the worst things we do is bring up our intra-race relation crime whenever we deal with situations such a police brutality and other race inflicting crimes. When that argument is presented you send the message that we don’t value ourselves so why should they, and failing to see that other races commit crime as well. All races have a criminal history but yet only black people seem to use our crime as a justifiable means for our people not to be angry at other races. This does not make the issue ok, but it does not mean that other races are granted permission to inflict violence on our community and deem it fitting because society deems us a problem to society and ourselves. Ultimately when we have blacks present the argument “we kill ourselves and we say nothing” it gives the impression that a.) We are a problem, b.) That other races are justifiable in their force against us and c.) It ignores the issue that just occurred taking the blame off them and placing it on us.
- Police brutality is a bigger issue. Police brutality should/needs to overshadow intra-race crimes because of the authoritative abuse and message. The very people sworn to protect and serve ALL PEOPLE seem to be protecting the rest of the people from blacks. Constant patrolling of predominately black neighborhoods, overly aggression, and personal prejudices and stereotypes become problematic for the black community. Without a leg to stand on and lack of judicial knowledge, many blacks find themselves in situations where they must submit to an officer instructions or face physical and verbal consequences. Without video or audio footage, most cases are sided with the cop and the system because he has an authoritative stature regardless of his ability to lie and fabricate stories. The bigger issue however is the punishments for officers involved in criminal acts against the black community. Three officer-involved-shootings happened across the country this week alone killing three black men: John Crawford, Mike Brown and most recently Ezell Ford. In each case the officer is sent on paid administration while the family of the victim is preparing a funeral. In the past, officers of shootings have either been found not guilty of a crime or sentenced to petty times (Such as in the case of Oscar Grant and the officer received 11 months). With this kind of injustice, one can realize why the bigger outcry for justice is with police brutality cases. There has always been little ownership on police officer accounts but rather a means of justification. And as stated previously, because a societal belief that he is an officer and he can’t possible act on human emotions or even lie means he is the truthful piece in this whole case (especially if someone dies as a result and aren’t around to tell their side of the story) and society agrees. Recent studies from Stanford, have already shown support from whites in favor of laws if blacks are punished harsher. But let’s think if the roles reverse and the officer is a victim of shooting by a black man, are officers allowing that black man to go home and be with his wife and return to his job while they perform an investigation? Will that black man receive a petty sentence or not guilty verdict? I think the real truthful question is what laws are in place for black people to protect themselves from police harassment and brutality before it can occur? Can blacks physical defend themselves against police brutality if they are unjustly or overly abused without the fear of a cop pulling his gun or receiving assault charges?
The riots in Ferguson MO and across the country are just a sign of a community whose patience has run out and who wants justice to be served as swiftly as if this was a black man committing the crime. What we have not realized about the riots however is that black community did not impose the riots, however the police enticed it. The events of a teen set for college on Monday, was gunned down by a law enforcement officer on Saturday. Those events led to a prayer vigil for reflection where police showed up in riot gear, weapons and police dogs, while people prayed and sung and talked without any weapons. From there enticed words such as calling these people “animals” and caused a reaction that would soon follow by media outlets reporting more on the riot and less on Michael Brown. This is what the black community saw, and this is what sparked up rise. And this is why I refuse to redirect my attention from police brutality.