Without fail, whenever a gross act of violence at the hands of some bigoted white man (be him a cop or be him John Doe) and the black community is justifiably enraged and rightfully galvanized, the question is posited “how come blacks don’t protest when blacks, kill blacks?” or something to that affect. It’s usually said by a black person. The same kind of black person that hardly ever speaks about any of the societal ills that disproportionately affect the black and the poor. But when black people are united for a cause they along with right wing media pundits and otherwise tone deaf whites begin bantering about all things black and criminally related.
FYI to those of you that continue to interject with “but what about black on black crime” when the adults in the room are discussing the longstanding problem of police abuse of and murdering black people with impunity–Inner city urban and mostly drug related crimes are actually down in America. Pretty much every urban center outside of Chicago is seeing a 20 year low in so far as the kind of crime that you people like to label as “black on black crime”. But I’m going to entertain your silly query anyway and elaborate on why you have it so wrong.
Crack cocaine during it’s incubation period, just like alcohol during prohibition, was the biggest driver to the spike in the inner city crime rate. During the 20’s and early 30’s it was Italians, Irish, Jews and the regular WASP’s of the day that were in the streets killing one another at an even higher rate than the “thugs”(code word for nigger) in the hood today. The government saw fit to mitigate the problem of urban violence after only 15 years on that failed experiment due to the stress that the high crime was putting on society. Once alcohol was once again made legal the crime wave stopped. There was almost overnight a precipitous drop in crime.
Black people in America received no such reprieve as it pertained to the illegal commerce that serve as impetus to the violence plaguing our communities. Instead of policy being crafted to abate the perils of illegal drugs and the violence that went hand in hand with it, our government exacerbated the situation by making those already illegal drugs even less legal and by making the penalties far more punitive while increasing exponentially the presence of cops in majority black neighborhoods. That in and of itself created and served as the backbone to Americas ever expansive prison industrial complex. A highly profitable industry that continues to serve as a revolving door whereby the prison culture and all of it’s ingrained and deeply toxic proclivities are being perpetually exported into communities of color and incorporated into the cultural construct–So much so that myriad aspects of prison culture are almost synonymous with black culture. Such an untenable phenomenon hit black America like a category 5 storm. I guess you can say that crack and all of it’s derivatives was Ronald Reagan’s Katrina. It really was that bad and it really did that much long term structural damage to the black community. In spite of this all out assault on our community as a whole we have persevered and in the spirit of our ancestors that endured far more dastardly deeds committed against their humanity, and lived through far more dire straits, we are overcoming even the conspiracy to make the black family endangered and extinct. I say conspiracy to make endangered and extinct devoid of all hyperbole and making no excuses for those caught up in the whirlwind. It really was a concerted effort to destroy our community and there is ample evidence to back such a claim. From the CIA’s dalliances with the Contra Rebels during Iran/Contra that got the crack game started, to the collusion of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to craft crack cocaine specific laws along with a draconian sentencing structure to go with it–thereby insuring the life altering affects would reverberate through every level of inner-city black life. Broken homes, truancy, foster care and of course rampant drug abuse was all a result of direct and indirect action by our government. And it was a bi-partisan hit job because even though Reagan and Bush got the initial ball rolling it was Bill Clinton that stamped into law the sentencing disparity that had crack dealers doing ten times more time in prison for selling the same amount of rock cocaine that a coke dealer did for selling the powder and more potent form of the narcotic.
Some 30 years later crack cocaine is now a known commodity. It no longer has zombie apocalypse like power to creep up on and take over unsuspecting house holds and communities as it did from Brooklyn to Watts from the late 80’s and through the 90’s. While it still remains an impediment to the community’s long term strategic survival it’s nothing close to the albatross that it used to be.
I say all of that to say that if you are not actively working in the community to help the unfortunate victims of societal circumstance–SHUT THE FUCK UP about black on black crime!