As more exposure is being given to the unjustified killings of black men by white police officers, the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining momentum. Consequently, many contend that the movement isn’t warranted because police officers murdering black people isn’t the real issue, but instead crime committed by blacks. As a matter fact, the notion that blacks are perpetrating the most crime in this country is said to be the real reason that police are obligated to scrutinize, even target them.
However, according to FBI crime statistics by race, it isn’t blacks who are driving criminal activity. Actually in 2014, blacks committed only 28.3% of all crimes. And it shouldn’t be bewildering that whites dominated commission of crimes by perpetrating 68.9% of them, considering they denote 77% of U.S. citizenry.
Still whites argue, “Blacks make up 13.2% of the population, but commit 37% of crime. Clearly black people are uncivilized, dangerous, and more violent than whites.” But it is irresponsible to point out black Americans’ crime facts without considering attributions to the crime rates.
Despite popular belief, crime in black communities is directly attributed to structural oppression. I know it’s easier to take a “colorblind” position, believing that all blacks have the same opportunities and resources as whites. Commonly, whites and other minorities have argued that black people are oppressed in society because they refuse to take advantage of their “post-slavery freedoms.”
However, the reality is in America, the majority of black citizens do not share the same wealth or opportunities to establish prosperity as their white counterparts. In fact, black men and women in this country are paid average salaries of only 67% and 64%, respectively, of a white man working in the same position. The racial wage gap is one of many reasons for an equally large gap in the quality of black communities, including its impact to high crime. Consequently, black communities have little opportunity to grow within themselves due to a lack of funds and resources.
Also, it is a major disservice to all Americans to ignore the lack of efficient education, employment, housing, and overall wealth that’s accumulated by the average black family as compared to white families, while focusing on statistics of black crime.
The black men and women that struggle to find efficient paying jobs, while lacking appropriate skills and education, and possess no direction to help them become productive and prosperous citizens tend to turn to crime to boost their own economic vitality.
And I know what you’re thinking: “every race struggles, so get over it.”
Although this is true, unlike black people, every race does not have a pipeline leading directly from schools to prisons. Every race is also not the primary targets of the prison industrial complex, destroying black families for financial gain. Every race doesn’t have the court system ruling that public school systems are not responsible for providing quality education to students. Every race doesn’t have foreigners saturating their communities with businesses, while failing to hire the residents that make up that community.
This is what happens when an entire community is oppressed. So when I read that black people commit 37% of crime, I remind myself that most of those people are living in poverty, lacking opportunity, business strength, and fortitude in their communities.
But more often than not, whites will compare the plight of black Americans to the success of immigrants, sarcastically spouting things like, “Blacks can’t get ahead like all the other non-whites who immigrate here, & start their own business & thrive all over the place.”
Well, foreigners have many more advantages of U.S. capitalism compared to that of their homeland than black Americans. And, in addition to the federal and state tax incentives for business investment available to foreigners, political stability and minimal government regulations also provides them with an advantage. Moreover, the U.S. encourages foreign business development by offering green cards to those who invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 into the U.S. marketplace, creating at least 10 jobs. Not to mention, many foreigners obtain a substantial credit line from their homeland bank, which they use to start American based businesses.
Most of these services are simply denied to black people so how could one compare black people’s lack of success to the success of immigrants?
In addition to suggesting that blacks commit the most crimes in general, it has become standard for the media to promote the misconception that blacks are overwhelmingly committing the most “violent” crimes in the country. This is very misleading because it’s simple to refer to statistics without, once again, considering the cause. The data must be interpreted in order to get a clear picture of what’s going on.
Research shows that crime has more to do with economics than the race of people. For instance, a study of Columbus neighborhoods found that violent crime rates in extremely disadvantaged white neighborhoods were very similar to rates in comparable Black neighborhoods.The violent crime rate in highly disadvantaged Black areas was 22 per 1,000 residents, not much different from the 20 per 1,000 rate in similar white communities.
However, according to the FBI, the most violent crimes are murders, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, all of which whites excessively perpetrate. In 2014, 390,233 violent acts were committed and blacks were responsible for only 37% of them. Contrary to what the media suggests, statistics prove that whites execute 59% of violent crimes in the U.S.
And let’s not forget about the multitude of wealthy whites that have a different level of privilege than all other middle class and poor people. Whites such as Ethan Couch can kill and injure with impunity, and not cause their entire race to be criminalize because of their actions, unlike black people.
“Oh, but wait! Black people are more violent per capita,” you’re thinking. “The most violent cities are populated by black people.” Well, I think it is bias of one to point out this fact without also examining the extremity of white mass murders. Whites are quick to reflect on black people’s violence per capita, while ignoring or forgetting:
- Columbine High School massacre–13 Dead
- Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting–26 Dead
- Bath School Disaster–45 Dead
- Unibomber–3 Dead, 18 Injured
- Tulsa Oklahoma Bombing, Timothy Mc Veigh–168 Dead
- The Happy Land–87 Dead
- Middle East, Africa, Japan, Native Americans, Black Americans, etc,–too many to mention
- And several others historical and contemporary.
Still, the blacks that commit crime against black victims are typically poor with very minimal education. Just like the poor white residents, for example, in the Appalachians.
Beattyville, KY is considered the poorest white town in the country (98% of its 1,700 residents are white). This city is among the four lowest income towns in the country and it’s also riddled with drugs and economic despair. Consequently, crime rates soar in that area just as they do in poor black areas.
It is also important to remember that poverty and lack of opportunities are synonymous to crime. Areas where blacks are thriving have much lower crime rates per capita. For instance, Olympia Fields, IL maintains a population of 69.6% black. This community scored an 88.8 for violent crimes, compared to the national average of 202.6. However, across town, Chicago Heights scored 434.7. The major difference between Olympia Fields and Chicago Heights is the median household income and education level. Residents of Olympia Fields have a household median of $79,762 and possess college degrees, whereas the citizens of Chicago Heights mostly have only high school diplomas and a household median of $18,000.
The bottom line is that the media has used all communicative platforms to define black culture as violent, and therefore, are an imminent threat to white people. They use statistics of criminality against blacks to reinforce the idea that blacks are lawless, and therefore, deserve every form of violence perpetrated against them.
The media completely circumvent actual facts that are publicly displayed on FBI.gov, in order to promote their racist agenda. Mediums such as Fox News, CNN, etc., commit a major disservice when they refuse to acknowledge and divulge the entire truth about blacks and crime. Falsely convincing society that black people are the most criminal only proves that this country has contempt for blacks, and consequently, view them all as threatening and inferior. The media’s one-sided, superficial, and exaggerated depiction of black people reduces the real variety, depth, and complexity of the entire race.
Furthermore, when the issue of white police officers murdering black people is addressed, mainstream society conspicuously attempts to deflect from the matter by challenging “why isn’t black on white crime discussed?” Well, let’s discuss it now.
FBI data shows that of all white victims of murders (3,005), only 13% (409) are actually committed by blacks. 84% (2,509) of the killings of white people are committed by white people. This fact is overlooked because by acknowledging it requires accepting that white on white crime is just as prevalent as their favorite topic, “Black on black crime.”
FBI statistics also prove that the highest offense charge is “Drug abuse violations.” The data reveals that approximately 69% of those violations were committed by whites and only 29% by blacks. However, there are more blacks in prison for drug related offenses than whites. Furthermore, how is it even possible for blacks to represent only 13.4% of America’s population, but maintain over 60% of the prison populace? This fact is designed to give the impression that blacks are more susceptible and prone to drug crimes than any other race, especially whites.
But it is a fact that marijuana use is roughly equal among blacks and whites, yet blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. It is also a truth that blacks are more likely to get caught with crack, unlike whites who tend to possess powder cocaine. Consequently, people convicted in federal court of possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine will receive a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in federal prison. On the other hand, possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same sentence.
The media will use the disproportion of mass incarceration of blacks to support their false claims that blacks commit the most drug related offenses. Meanwhile, they circumvent revealing the other side of the coin, which is that the prison industrial complex–a system of racist drug laws, and bias policing and court system used for economical and social advancement–is the primary reason that blacks receive stiffer sentences than whites.
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