It is the position of the editorial staff at Beyond Black & White that the killing of Trayvon Martin, an innocent, unarmed teenager, was tragic. We are shocked and saddened that the Martin family did not receive justice for the loss of their child. Many of our readers–myself included–have biracial sons–and the thought of any of our children being a target because of their dress and color of their skin frightens us to the core.
However, we often discuss issues within the black community that you will be hard pressed to find on any other news site. We are all observing in real time the outrage reverberating throughout black communities, and black leaders like Al Sharpon vow to “never rest” until George Zimmerman is punished. Perhaps during one of his multitude of press conferences some reporter might be brave enough to ask him if he will also “never rest” until the crisis of black-on-black crime is addressed.
A 2007 special report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, reveals that approximately 8,000 — and, in certain years, as many as 9,000 African Americans are murdered annually in the United States. This chilling figure is accompanied by another equally sobering fact, that 93% of these murders are in fact perpetrated by other blacks. The analysis, supported by FBI records, finds that in 2005 alone, for example, African Americans accounted for 49% of all homicide victims in the US — again, almost exclusively at the hands of other African Americans. [SOURCE]
“The people who are complaining about the Trayvon Martin verdict should turn their attention to the unacceptable levels of black-on-black violence that cripples urban communities. We should not be second guessing the jury. The jury examined the evidence and decided not to convict, despite the presence of a judge that seemed biased towards the prosecution. Folks, its time to move on to the real problems facing black communities. It’s what we [black people] do to ourselves. It is imperative for the police to police in situations where disgruntled people are threatening violence over the not guilty verdict,” said Dr. Carol M. Swain, Expert on Race Relations, Politics, and Immigration.
To be sure, depressed urban areas predominately populated by African Americans are rife with rape, pillaging, and murder on a daily basis. Chicago reached the pitiful 200-murder milestone on Independence Day.
“In Chicago, every day, someone who could be Obama’s son, gets shot. The usual suspects say NOTHING and fight to keep the population defenseless. That shows how much they really care,” says Craig Bergman, a nationally syndicated radio host and President of Patriots for Christ.
Why is it that the black community is the most adept at galvanizing to fight against an outside threat, but seems impotent in addressing the mess in it’s own house? Even more frustrating is when called out for this, many in the community would rather engage in “Look, over there!!” tactics, blaming poverty, racism and classism as the main culprit to absolve any and all personal responsibility. “The outrage should be about us killing each other, about black-on-black crime,” especially in Chicago, rather than a single wrongful killing in Florida, said T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami Inc, in an article published last year in the Daily Caller. “Would you think to have 41 people shot [in Chicago] between Friday morning and Monday morning would be much more newsworthy and deserve much more outrage?”
The I can only surmise why black-on-black crime is downplayed in the media (besides that it’s a powder keg) is that there is a perception that black people don’t value black life, so why should others? Although simplistic, it’s the same argument for why white people are puzzled when they aren’t allowed to say “nigga,” when black folks say it left and right. You can’t expect others to value you if you don’t value yourself.