Conversations surrounding police brutality and racial profiling have always been controversial. There's a large divide between those who believe African Americans are unjustly targeted by the police and those who don't. Black-on-black crime is one of the several deterrents people use to stop conversations about racism in their tracks. Many people argue that since black people are more likely to be murdered by another black person than a police officer, that should be everyone's main focus. Unfortunately, while that sentiment might seem logical on the surface, it's incredibly flawed for multiple reasons.
1. Intraracial crime is prevalent among all races
People seem to think that African Americans are hell bent on murdering their own race exclusively. In reality, it's a little more complex than that. Since people of any race are more likely to live near each other, and most people commit a crime where they live, most murder is intraracial. In other words, Blacks kill mostly Blacks, Latinos kill mostly Latinos, Asians kill mostly Asians, and so on. 86% of white people are murdered by other white people, yet we'll never hear about "white-on-white crime". I wonder why that is.
2. 'Black-on-black crime' is on the decline and has been for the last decade
Another myth about black violence is that no one really cares about it, especially black people. This couldn't be further from the truth. Thousands of African Americans are working in their community every year to reach out to the youth and reduce violence and gang activity, including celebrities like Russel Williams and Snoop Dog. School districts are bringing in speakers to educate kids on the danger of joining gangs. As a result, black-on-black crime is the lowest it's ever been, and it's declining every year. The lie that black-on-black violence is some spiraling epidemic is only that – a lie.
3. Black civilians are going to jail, police officers are not
I think nearly everyone can agree that we'd rather not see anyone murdered. In addition to that, we all also what justice if someone is killed. I think it's safe to say that this is happening in most instances of black-on-black crime. A criminal kills someone, they get arrested, and everyone gets closure. Done and done. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case when a black person is unjustly killed by a police officer. For the families of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, and many others, there was no closure. Time and time again police officers can partake in deadly and excessive force and still face no conviction.
Hopefully, we can all now understand the differences between police brutality and black-on-black crime, and why one might cause more uproar than the other. Yes, all violence is bad. We all know this. But not all violence is getting the same response, and that's something we all should be protesting. #Black Lives Matter