There is a strange confluence of conclusions
among supposedly opposed political forces, on the subject
of Black-on-Black crime. Why is it that most crimes committed
by Blacks are committed against other Blacks? You will hear
that question asked at gatherings of the most racist white
reactionaries, and at great and grand convocations of African
Americans of all political persuasions. In a perverse convergence
of nonsensicality, very similar conclusions are usually drawn:
Black culture, it is said, has somehow been fatally undermined,
and that is the root of such high levels of Black-on-Black
White racists actually believe that Blacks are
simply prone to criminality, and must be held in check through
rigorous surveillance and the iron hand of a vast incarceration
system. However, they rarely voice these base opinions so
baldly, but instead blame welfare dependency and chinks in
the armor of the criminal justice system as the culprit. These
reactionaries are not really upset by the gruesome statistics
of Black-on-Black crime, but rather, they celebrate them,
as proof of white superiority.
Blacks tend to moan and groan about ignorance
and - above all - racial self-hatred, as the root cause of
fratricide among African Americans. Blacks hate their condition
and hate each other for being in it, the theory goes, and
therefore lash out, brother against brother, and brother against
sister, and so on.
It's all nonsense. Black people don't hate themselves,
or each other. We are all we've got, and in highly segregated
communities, all we know. If African Americans committed crimes
based on hate, we know who the victims would be: white people.
But there is a great price to be paid for crimes against whites
in this society. All the statistics show that the risks are
extremely high, especially for acts of violence by Blacks
against whites. For the career or novice Black criminal, the
choices are clear: confine your crimes to your own community,
and you will stand a chance of beating the system. Go outside,
and the full weight of the state will come down on your head.
American society devalues Black life, and every
Black child knows it. Criminals operate within the parameters
of the society in which they live, just like everybody else.
They weigh their chances as they roll the dice. Every African
American citizen in the nation understands that the dice are
loaded mightily against them if they are convicted of a crime
against a white person. It is only logical that the criminal-minded
would choose Black targets of opportunity. After all, that's
what white criminals did during Jim Crow. They were confident
of impunity, when committing outrages against Black men and
women. Why should Black criminals act any differently?
Black-on-Black crime is a product of white racism,
which sees African Americans as less than full human beings.
The Black criminal takes advantage of that fact. From his
point of view, it is quite a logical choice. For Radio
BC, I'm Glen Ford.