January 2, 2007, - 3:52 pm

Worth Reading: Liberal Black Columnist Decries Black-on-Black Crime

By Debbie Schlussel
I almost never agree with USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham. But his op-ed in today’s paper is excellent and worth reading.
He compares the outrage about the killing of Sean Bell by New York cops versus the lack of outrage over another category of killings, that includes victim Kevin West. West’s murderer was Black.
An excerpt from “Where’s the Outrage Over Black-on-Black Killings?”:

As troubling as it is that Bell’s life might have been cut short by the unlawful actions of some rogue cops, it bothers me more that most of this nation’s black murder victims are killed by other blacks. And despite this chilling fact, nowhere have tens of thousands of people taken to the streets recently to protest this carnage. Not in New York, or Baltimore, or Atlanta, or Detroit, or Chicago. Nowhere.

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USA Today Columnist DeWayne Wickham

Of the country’s 14,860 homicide victims in 2005, 7,125 were black, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. And of the 3,289 cases that year in which a single black was killed by a single assailant, the FBI says, 91% of the killers were black.
Let me put this another way: The number of blacks killed in 2005 in this one homicide category alone approaches the total of all the blacks lynched in this country from 1882 to 1968, according to records maintained by Tuskegee University.
So why aren’t black leaders taking up this fight? Why do so many turn out to decry the death of one black man at the hands of some cops, but no mass rallies take on the deaths of thousands of blacks who are slaughtered by other blacks?
“I think it’s because we know it’s our fault, and we’re constantly looking for someone else to blame,” says Baltimore City Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm, who, like me, grew up in Cherry Hill, a poor black neighborhood on the city’s south side.
Hamm says most black leaders are afraid to address this issue, afraid to confront the apathy, fear and indifference that allow many poor black neighborhoods to become killing fields.
He could be right.
But whatever the reason, it’s time for black leaders – activists, preachers, educators, politicians, business and community leaders – to say enough is enough.
It’s time for them to be as aggressive, and as demanding, in combating the black murder rate as they are in fighting for an increase in minimum wage or an expansion in health care.
The ripple effects of black-on-black killings have turned many inner city neighborhoods into urban wastelands, chased businesses from those communities, fueled a growth in other crimes and sapped the resources of local governments.
As mad as black folks have a right to be over the killing of Sean Bell, we ought to be angry over the failure of black leaders to be equally outraged over the murder of Kevin West – and the thousands of blacks who are killed each year by other blacks.

Writing that took guts.

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6 Responses

That did take guts, and I’m glad it finally came from a black “authority.” Every time I mention it, I get looks saying “what does this crazy white boy think he’s talking about?”

ComicTragedy on January 2, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Unfortunately there are very few who do stand up to dare speak the truth about the state of the black community. Those that do are quickly blamed as Uncle Tom’s or for “being too white”. In my opinion blacks seems to want to self destruct.

Chuck W on January 2, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Taking bets on how long it takes EminemsRevenge to write something incoherent with lots of cursing and racial slurs.

Dan on January 2, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Yeah, and let’s see if he attacks me as well….calling me “too white” to be taken seroiusly as a black person.
The only reason black leaders and such don’t speak out on black-on-black crime is because they’re phonies. I mean you’d think they’d show some outrange on blacks that commit these crimes. But ohhh no. I’m one of those people that try to stand up and speak the truth about the state of the black community….and I’m only 24 and I’ve been trying to do this since I was in high school!!

Squirrel3D on January 2, 2007 at 9:37 pm

THAT, and a lack of education, has always been the double-barrel confronting our community, neither of which is exclusive to the other!
It’s only when Marva Collins is on equal footing as Tupac and Biggie that there will be a future for Black American children, a chance to “overcome,” and i guess Dan better give it up as a bookie…LOL.
With the emergence of the “gangsta-mentality” the KKK is a joke because WE are destroying each other far more effictively than *they* could ever hope to…and if “helter skelter” ever happens, and there’s a good possibily it could if coloured folk weren’t so goddamn content with their Nikes and PlayStations, Charles Manson will look like a prophet.

EminemsRevenge on January 3, 2007 at 11:29 am

“With the emergence of the “gangsta-mentality” the KKK is a joke because WE are destroying each other far more effictively than *they* could ever hope to…and if “helter skelter” ever happens, and there’s a good possibily it could if coloured folk weren’t so goddamn content with their Nikes and PlayStations, Charles Manson will look like a prophet.”
What?

Dan on January 4, 2007 at 8:30 pm

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