• Kyia Young

Debunking the myth that is "black-on-black crime"

April 14, 2017

Black-on-Black Crime is one of the most talked about stereotypes in America, especially in the South. This crime is associated with African Americans being murdered or inflicting other maltreatments towards other African Americans. However, the media and society confines blacks to a certain category or area of crime that makes it harder to desegregate black culture and still allows internalized and societal racism to thrive vicariously. This myth also gives misguided black and white individuals alike the right to “publicly chastise the black community for the legalized killings” of our black brothers and sisters.

What is Black-On-Black Crime?

Debunking this stereotype has been a long time coming. My first instance talking about this myth publicly was in my History 380 class with D’Weston Haywood, Ph.D. Hearing my fellow classmates’ opinions on the subject matter inspired me to write on it so I could give my own thoughts and opinions about this black-on-black crime manifestation. According to Huffington Post’s article, “‘What About Black-on-Black Crime?’ What About Pink Polka-Dotted Unicorns?” by Torri Stuckey, she said negatively grouping blacks together for multiple incidences of crime is not only disrespectful, but it gives being black in America a bad connotation.

“(Black-on-black crime) functions as a way to silence our voice and shift the narrative,” she wrote. “This tactic has often been deployed in the face of black brutality.”

In addition, the black-on-black crime myth gave many whites an excuse for killing blacks, considering all they could say is, “They kill themselves, so why can’t we?” This myth plays a huge societal role today, especially during the #blacklivesmatter movement.

The history of black-on-black crime stems from the 1950s, when “the majority of violent crimes in the black community were hate crimes perpetrated by white men — sometimes arriving by police escort,” Stuckey said. The term “black-on-black crime” was “popularized by mainstream media to divert attention from the root problem and place blacks under a microscope” to become scrutinized.

Stereotype OFFICIALLY Debunked

Being said, this stereotype/myth is officially debunked! Black-on-Black crime does not exist. In my past articles, I reiterated how mainstream media thrives off the oppression of black people. It’s always a reminder that the U.S. wasn’t built for an African American’s success. White Americans, especially Trump, are trying to gentrify predominantly black areas to eliminate as much crime as possible (like white people don’t kill).

Chill with the labeling

As blacks, one thing that we could do is limit or ban the amount of internalized racism we provoke on other blacks daily. Labeling our culture makes it less likely that we’d be able to move forward as not only a community, but as a country. Stereotypes like black-on-black crime enforces a modernized segregation.

To everyone else: Ever heard mass media use the term, “white-on-white crime?” No? That’s because it doesn’t exist. Crime is crime. Racial labels tend to exclude whites from harsh punishments for crimes that both white and minority individuals commit. However, minorities tend to always receive the harsher judgment.

Hint, Hint: usually when people of the same ethnicity live around each other, crime is bound to happen. Labels don’t exist — only judgmental people do.


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