(ThyBlackMan.com) “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside cannot hurt you.” –African Proverb–
Few topics of African-American bedlam have been as hush-hush and controversial as Black-on-Black Crime. We’ve discussed our hair, our bizarre dislike of each other. And thanks to Oprah, we had a national debate about color consciousness (dark skin vs. light skin). But when it comes to Blacks victimizing other Blacks, we refuse to talk about it. Why? To find the answers, indulge me for a second as I direct you to the following sentence.
Picture this fictional scenario: Reverend Bayruth Madison is addressing a huge crowd on the state of Blacks in America. Among the people in attendance, are celebrities, politicians and folks of every socio-economic status. Acknowledging the masses, the
“Oh yeah,” says Madison adjusting his tie. “How can we forget the deplorable social conditions, that’s responsible for our young men, wasting their lives behind bars? Men who could have made great contributions, were it not for the fact they are Black, and at the mercy of a racist society.”
As the minister’s words resonated with emotion, the crowd chanted, “No Justice, No Peace.” Suddenly, from out of nowhere came a lone voice. “What about Black-on-Black Crime Mr. Madison?” The sound continued, “You and other Black leaders, who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons, protest, and take to the streets when African-Americans are murdered by people of European descent. However, you can’t be found when Blacks kill each other. Why is that?”
Stunned by the comments, everyone turned to see who had the audacity to bring up a topic, that many African-Americans refuse to acknowledge. But there she stood, an attractive Black woman in a pinstripe suit, who knew the controversy her question incited.
Observing the mood of the crowd, the curious woman repeated the question. “Why is it that when Blacks kill other Blacks, no one in the African-American community blinks an eye? And since you have all the answers Reverend, would you care to respond?”
“You know Black people don’t air their dirty laundry in public,” Madison mumbled. “Yes,” proclaimed the woman, clenching her fist. “And that is the problem. Perhaps, if we focus on how we treat each other, we could drastically reduce Black-on-Black crime. But that doesn’t interest you does it Mr. Madison, because you’re too busy pretending the problem doesn’t exist.”
Hearing the anger in the woman’s voice, Bayruth Madison was rendered speechless as he looked down at the podium. Not surprisingly, silence is the general reaction of African-Americans when discussing this issue. It is a topic no one wants to talk about, but I do, and I will.
Stop Pointing Fingers!
Do you know who is responsible for the high homicide rate among Blacks? If you say Caucasians you’d better guess again. The # 1 group responsible for killing Blacks, are Blacks. That’s a “stunning” revelation isn’t it? So are the statistics: In 2016, 90.1% of Black victims were murdered by African-Americans. According to the Justice Department, young Black men aged 15 -19 are the leading victims of homicide at the hands of other Blacks. These figures show that instead of trying to live peacefully, we are committing crimes against each other. Why is that?
Speak Up Now!
Black leaders address racism and police brutality. But how many times have they had a candid discussion about Black-on-Black Violence? Moreover, can you recall the last time the issue appeared on a race relations panel?
So, where is the outrage? Where is the outcry from the Black community? Sadly, our voices are eerily quiet. Why do we get angry when a racist skinhead shoots a Black woman at point-blank range, but remain unaffected when a 16-year-old African-American teen breaks into a home and stabs the 87-year-old Black home owner 30 times? Have we become so predisposed to violence in our community we simply don’t care?
For too long we’ve been thinking the enemy was the other race; but if they were our enemy then, who is the enemy now? Unfortunately, our enemy has changed his color to Black. Or is that the way it’s always been? Yes, we have met the enemy, and when it comes to crime and violence, it is US.
How to Combat Black on Black Crime
* Stop denying that the problem exists. It’s easy to say Black-on-Black crime doesn’t affect you, it does. It affects all of us, from the richest of the rich, to the lowest of the low. Similarly, we should stop saying this is not a problem. The truth is, it’s our problem. Therefore, don’t ignore the facts. Arm yourself with information about the physical and psychological impact this is having on our community.
* When Blacks kill each other, show as much anger as you would if the situation was reversed. Have you given much thought to the message we send when we protest White-on-Black violence, yet look the other way when we commit crimes against each other?
* We should instill in ourselves that violence is not the answer, and everyone’s life is valuable. So let’s put away the guns and knives, as we work to stop the flow of blood that threatens every Black man, woman and child. How’s that for a dose of reality?
Staff Writer; Peggy S. Butler