A few days ago I was totally impressed by the conversations and dialogue going on about Black life in America.
Today, in my mom’s group on Facebook (started by Raquelle Harris, a Detroit area journalist), we started talking about the fallacy of Black on Black crime that is used to both paint Black people as inherently violent by those who hunt and kill us and still used by Black people who are ignorant about crime statistics and buy into the Black people and neighborhoods as violent trope. As much as I’d like to take full responsibility for my writing, it is experiences such as these that give me something purposeful to share with you all. So let’s get to it…
So first let’s break this bullshit down to its shitty parts.
“IF Black lives really mattered…” Black lives do matter but we know who is responsible for this based on the mere fact that there is a question about a Black life having value. Someone Black invented that light you stop at while driving that warns you first that a stop is coming, to ensure you have time to stop, to save your life. His name was Garrett A. Morgan. Remember his life when your next drive ends with you walking through your front door. Someone Black invented that refrigerator truck that carries blood and organs for transplant that saved your Granpa Joe’s life. His name was Frederick McKinley Jones. Remember him when you need that pint. Someone Black was the first American soldier to die in a US war at the Boston Massacre in 1770 which led to the start of the American Revolution in 1775. He died helping to protect the throngs of White soldiers who regarded him as less than human. Remember him. We matter, there is no IFs about it.
“They’d stop shooting each other”… well we will stop when you stop. How about that! “Most states police forces kill Blacks at a higher rate per capita than Whites” and “in 2019, 24 percent of all police killings were of black Americans when just 13 percent of the U.S. population is black – an 11-point discrepancy. ” The fact that a person TASKED with the job of protecting and serving a community can kill an unarmed Black person 99% of the time with no repercussions is a much greater example of inhumanity than the reasons that are often present when citizens kill one another. Just yesterday I watched Watch Black Market with Michael K. Williams, there’s an episode about carjackings in Newark and these guys are basically saying… I had no food, no place to live, I can’t get hired, my children were hungry… I have to eat, so I don’t want to kill you but if you fight me I will because I’m hungry. Poverty and desperation tend to fuel neighbor v. neighbor killings. Narcissism, fear, power, and privilege tend to fuel unjustifiable police murders of people of color. Hunger and poverty induced madness is far different from state sanctioned killings and directly related to racist policies and actions that just fuel these fires.
“94% of all Blacks are shot by Blacks” … Murder or killing or shooting even is not a crime of race but one of proximity. Most US cities are segregated. After White flight, neighborhoods tend to be homogenous. Crime is typically committed by a perpetrator in the area where he/she lives. According to the FBI in 2013, of the 3,005 White people murdered, 2,509 were killed by White people. Similarly, if the 2,491 Black people killed, 2,245 were killed by other Black people. If we use these statistics, White on White crime happens more than Black on Black crime, so where’s the fake outrage? Stop it… stop promoting this garbage and stop repeating it. Black on Black crime as a justification or argument about Black people being killed, specifically by police, is a non-sequitur. Don’t do it.
We have to keep tearing down these false images. Sending Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben to the Sweet Home Plantation in the sky. Talking about discrepancies in pay versus levels of education between Whites and Blacks. Breaking down these facts and supporting them with data. Figuring out ways to talk to each other and then spreading the knowledge we gain is imperative. Not for them but for us. Black people aren’t responsible for teaching White people about the racism their ancestors created and they still benefit from. But we must educate ourselves so we don’t swallow their misinformation whole.
As for Blackness… there is no shortage of that. we are drippin melanin everywhere! We are the original man, the world is ours. We are where it all started.Black life.
And as for a Black on Black… that’s just how we like our couples and ours cars yo!
…all black. All chrome. Black-owned. Black tints. Matte black.
-Beyoncé, Black Parade
Black Maybachs, Black seats, White piping. Remind me of Paul McCartney and Mike fighting. The girl is mine. Life’s a bitch. So the whole world is mine!
-Jay -Z, Maybach Music
Find Raquelle Harris on Rocki’s Reality, her podcast and as a contributor to Rolling Out and This is R&B.