Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(55,445 posts)
Fri Apr 29, 2016, 09:05 AM Apr 2016

Why asking black people about "black-on-black crime" misses the point

From the 2014 Ferguson protests to the 2015 Baltimore uprising, many critics of the Black Lives Matter movement have sought to challenge black activists’ call for criminal justice reform by invoking the problem of crime in black communities.

But a new survey underscores what the people in these communities have long argued — that police brutality and crime are not mutually exclusive concerns for African Americans.

A YouGov survey of 1,000 Americans found that while 64 percent of respondents believe intra-communal violence is a bigger problem for black Americans than racial justice in the criminal justice system, the results diverge when race factors in: 71 percent of white respondents share this belief compared to 42 percent of black respondents.
A new survey finds that views on "black on black crime" diverge along racial lines. YouGovA new survey finds that views on "black-on-black crime" diverge along racial lines.
The results are not surprising: According to a 2013 Pew Research Survey, 37 percent of white people believed police treated black people in their community less fairly than white people, compared to 70 percent of black people. In 2014, two Stanford professors released a study that suggested white American voters were more likely to favor the criminal justice system when racial injustices were discussed.

But the degree to which African Americans diverge is also important: African Americans in the YouGov survey are concerned more with violence within the community, but only slightly more so. Thirty-six percent do not feel intra-communal violence is more important than addressing racial injustice in the criminal justice system. This suggests that African Americans may not prioritize the issues the same way, but it doesn't mean they discount either of them. And maybe a better question to ask is why are black people expected to choose between the two in the first place?

The question that fuels the YouGov poll is based on a fallacy. Choosing between intra-communal violence and racial disparities in the criminal justice system is a false dichotomy based on the myth of "black-on-black crime." Black people aren't uniquely predisposed to commit crimes against each other — crime is often racially segregated, based on a number of factors, including that most people commit crimes against people they either know or live near. According to the FBI's 2014 Uniform Crime Reports, close to 90 percent of African-American homicides were committed by other African Americans, while the majority (82 percent) of white American homicide victims were killed by other white people.

But it's also true that data has shown that there is implicit bias in policing practices, including black people being killed by police at disproportionately higher rates.

From Donald Trump to Spike Lee, "black-on-black crime" has been evoked to charge black people with the personal responsibility to make changes to complex issues rooted in structural inequalities. But there's no reason to assume black people can't and don't care about both.


Ah, yes... I fondly remember that nugget getting thrown in my face daily by certain low-count DUers during the Zimmerman incident... Don't think I've forgotten, either.

2 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Why asking black people about "black-on-black crime" misses the point (Original Post) Blue_Tires Apr 2016 OP
White America holds black America up to an entirely different standard on all fronts, Jackie Wilson Said Apr 2016 #1
Hey ... You just described "institutionalized racism"! 1StrongBlackMan Apr 2016 #2

Jackie Wilson Said

(4,176 posts)
1. White America holds black America up to an entirely different standard on all fronts,
Fri Apr 29, 2016, 11:46 AM
Apr 2016

while simultaneously using the judicial and penal institutions to put them behind the 8 ball before they can even try and hold up to the higher standard they are held to.

Latest Discussions»Alliance Forums»African American»Why asking black people a...