A familiar refrain, classically touted in the aftermath of an unarmed black child being murdered by police, is “what about black on black crime?” Other writers have called out this line of thinking, pointing to, among other things, the fact that black people do write about and protest violence in black communities and that horizontal violence, or “black on black crime” is rooted in structural racism, but why not tackle this head on?
Let’s address the question. But this time, let’s pose it to the group who never seems to get asked the question: white people. White America’s collective denial of privilege has allowed them to evade introspection. And that’s a shame. But it’s never too late to start. So let’s begin the soul searching.
Dear White America: What about black on black crime?
- If we are all Americans, why are you not worried about crime happening anywhere in America?
- Does crime happening in predominantly black communities make it a “black thing”?
- Doesn’t #allcrimematter?
- Why do you not see this as simply an “American crime” problem, rather than a “black” problem?
- Why are average, everyday white citizens not up in arms demanding an end to violence in American cities such as Chicago?
- Why do you need to wait for an unarmed black child to be killed before you ask a question about violence happening in your own country?
- If you deny the existence of two Americas – one for black people, and one for white – how can you now call for an examination of an issue that is exclusive to something you denied existed in the first place (i.e., Black America)?
It’s almost as if the whole reason for you bringing up “black on black” crime is to deflect from black people’s legitimate grievances of violence at the hands of police. And it’s almost as if you aren’t actually