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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The only black victims who matter

I wasn't going to weigh in on the Trayvon Martin case. It's a tragedy, but we don't know what happened and it is truly dismaying to see all these people leaping to conclusions and then marching and speaking out on race by assuming that they know what happened. A florida special prosecutor is reviewing the case and the Department of Justice will do its own investigation. However, Juan Williams puts his fingers on what is truly illuminating about this episode. Those who are marching or yelling into cameras about Martin's death are silent for all the other black victims of crime. They only seem to care if they can find a racist angle to the crime.
But what about all the other young black murder victims? Nationally, nearly half of all murder victims are black. And the overwhelming majority of those black people are killed by other black people. Where is the march for them?

Where is the march against the drug dealers who prey on young black people? Where is the march against bad schools, with their 50% dropout rate for black teenaged boys? Those failed schools are certainly guilty of creating the shameful 40% unemployment rate for black teens.

How about marching against the cable television shows constantly offering minstrel-show images of black youth as rappers and comedians who don't value education, dismiss the importance of marriage, and celebrate killing people, drug money and jailhouse fashion—the pants falling down because the jail guard has taken away the belt, the shoes untied because the warden removed the shoe laces, and accessories such as the drug dealer's pit bull.

Supposedly all of this is just entertainment and intended to co-opt the stereotypes. But it only ends up perpetuating stereotypes in white minds and, worse, having young black people internalize it as an authentic image of a proud black person.

There is no fashion, no thug attitude that should be an invitation to murder. But these are the real murderous forces surrounding the Martin death—and yet they never stir protests....

While civil rights leaders have raised their voices to speak out against this one tragedy, few if any will do the same about the larger tragedy of daily carnage that is black-on-black crime in America.

The most recent comprehensive study on black-on-black crime from the Justice Department should have been a clarion call for the black community to take action. There is no reason to believe that the trends it reported have decreased since 2005, the year for which the data were reported.

Almost one half of the nation's murder victims that year were black and a majority of them were between the ages of 17 and 29. Black people accounted for 13% of the total U.S. population in 2005. Yet they were the victims of 49% of all the nation's murders. And 93% of black murder victims were killed by other black people, according to the same report.

Less than half of black students graduate from high school. The education system's failure is often a jail sentence or even a death sentence. The Orlando Sentinel has reported that 17-year-old Martin was recently suspended from his high school. According to the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office, in the 2006-07 school year, 22% of all black and Hispanic K-12 students were suspended at least once (as compared to 5% of whites).

This year 22% of blacks live below the poverty line and a shocking 72% of black babies are born to unwed mothers. The national unemployment rate for black people increased last month to over 13%, nearly five points above the average for all Americans.

The killing of any child is a tragedy. But where are the protests regarding the larger problems facing black America?
It's not black victims of crime who stir all these people, it's the perceived racism involved in the Martin case. And they work to portray George Zimmerman as white by calling him a "white Hispanic." I'd never heard that description before. It seems to be a classification that the media are using for this one story. Do they describe Barack Obama as a white African American?" To ask the question is to reveal the real bias in the way the media wants to portray people.

Before jumping to conclusions, let's wait for the investigations.


Chris said...


You mean that folks should apply consistent, rational, fair (wow, there's a word-du-jour) principles when making judgments?

Boy, you sure know how to ruin a good ol' histrionic, phlegm-flinging White-Liberal-Guilt, Dem-Plantation-Black hissy fit wet dream.


Ladybug51 said...

I would just like to share a book title with you for enlightenment. Though much of what you say is dead-on, I'd truly like you to look deeper at the socio-economic reasons that the system is set up to ensure black poverty and sustain the class of poor blacks, Hispanics, "foreigners"... There is a very real difference in how cases are tried against African Americans vs. white Americans. Until the system is "colorblind", NOTHING will change that. I'm reminded of something I learned from corporate America; nothing is racist unless a white "authority" says so. That is sad, but true.

Please check it out and see if your perceptions are not tweaked by the truths found within:

The BlackWhite Divide In America...Still by
Marlin Foxworth, PhD and Ralph Gordon