“If Black lives matter, why don’t they care about their OWN communities, when Black-on-Black violence is much higher? Where are those protests?”: A Response

This statement is ignorant to how crime patterns occur. 

To put it simply, the term ‘Black on Black crime/violence’ illuminates the mainstream American tendency to racialize social issues in a way that demonizes people of color. Many people bring up the statistics surrounding Black on Black crime to undermine the BLM movement, showing how they use confirmation bias to find reasons to criticize Black people. Thus, this term frames Black Americans as the violent singular. 

‘Black on Black violence’ is a by-product of residential segregation and concentrated poverty. For more information, reference the section “The Problem With the “13/50 & 13/90” Statistics”. Black homicide offenders do not kill their people merely because of the color of their skin. That is where the major issue with this argument lies. 

It is common for people to commit crimes within their own racial demographic.

Crimes rates committed in each racial community are based on proximity. Whites mostly victimize Whites, Black people mostly victimize Black people, Hispanic people mostly victimize Hispanic people, and the pattern continues. In fact, White-on-White violent crime rates are similar to that of Black-on-Black violent crime rates.

As seen in the table below,

  • The Black on Black crime rate is 63%

  • The White on White crime rate is 56%

Source: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics

Household Poverty and Nonfatal Violent Victimization, 2008–2012

 

Based on these statistics, why isn’t White on White crime a prevalent issue in global media coverage? What are communities that are predominantly White doing to lessen violence within their poorer, poverty-stricken areas? Is the police presence also prominent in those communities?

If a person of color were to be asked the questions above, the answer would be simple: They do not know. Why? Because in most cases, they are not within that community and cannot make judgments about what is being done in those communities. Likewise, how would White people know what is being done in the African American communities to address violent crime? 

 

A more honest term than ‘Black on Black crime’ would be, simply, crime. Crime is crime. Crime is an economic phenomenon; poor people commit more crimes. White Americans are not exempt from this fact.

Despite this, it remains that most neighborhoods labeled as ‘ghettos’, ‘projects,’ or ‘hoods,’ are predominantly filled with people of color, in contrast to their White counterparts. These ghettos were created to trap the poor in a cycle of poverty and crime-inducing physical, and psychological oppression.

See - Redlining

See - White poverty

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WRITTEN BY:

Kelly Allen

GUIDE WRITING TEAM

ABOUT US:

This resource aims to amplify the voices of the Black community, educate people of all ages and races about the Black Lives Matter movement, and guide the country towards a place of equity. 

Disclaimer: This is a student-based group not officially affiliated with Black Lives Matter.

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