How common is crime committed by blacks?
Steve QJ, writing below, is a black writer who is generally well-informed. He makes a point below that most conservatives would applaud: That people should be judged as individuals, not as members of some identity group. What he fails to note, however is where the identity group obsession mostly comes from: The political Left. It is the Left who lump people into groups and fail to allow for individual differences.
Sadly, to rebut Leftist generalizations, conservatives often have to talk in the same terms. Leftist thinking is dominant so Leftist generalizations are often accepted and used, if only to rebut them.
Steve himself has to talk in such terms to make his basic point: That blacks make up a large PERCENTAGE of serious crimes but the NUMBER of blacks who commit serious crimes is relatively low. Most blacks do not commit serious crimes.
Incessant media coverage of violent crime creates the impression that it is common. It is in face relatively rare. And that includes crimes committed by blacks
It’s hard to imagine a more polarising cultural moment than the OJ Simpson murder trial.
A beloved black celebrity stands accused of murdering his blonde-haired, blue-eyed wife and her “friend.” A hotshot black lawyer steps up to defend him. A racist detective stands as a key witness in front of a majority black jury. And the whole thing unfolds less than 3 years after the acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King half to death.
OJ’s trial sat right at the intersection of lingering questions about race, justice, class and fame. By the time the verdict was announced, most of the public seemed to forget that two people had been murdered.
Instead, it became a proxy war between black and white America.
A Los Angeles county poll (which closely reflected sentiments nationwide) found that, despite the evidence, 77% of African American residents agreed with OJ’s not-guilty verdict. Only 28% of white residents felt the same way.
Writing for the New Yorker, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. quotes Wynton Marsalis, who compared the divide to sports fans arguing about their favourite teams:
You want your side to win, whatever the side is going to be. And the thing is, we’re still at a point in our national history where we look at each other as ‘sides.’
But Dave Chappelle, as he often does, summed it up best in this skit from Chappelle’s Show:
Lawyer: Mr Chappelle, are you suggesting that because one of the detectives is a possible racist, and because there may have been some minor oversights in the investigation, it completely lets OJ off the hook?
Chappelle: EXACTAMUNDO! The defence rests sir.
Lawyer: Mr Chappelle…will you at least admit that OJ more than likely killed his wife?
Chappelle: …sir, my blackness will not permit me to make a statement like that.
Black people are used to being seen as a monolith. At times, it was even useful to see ourselves this way.
Black-owned banks offered loans to black people when no others would do so. Black communities pooled their resources to help each other survive during segregation. Black residents banded together to fight discriminatory practices in their cities.
Black solidarity has served as a refuge from the sense of being an outsider. A support in times of strife and hardship. A defence, as John Dilulio Jr put it, against the fear generated by every young black male not wearing a tie or handcuffs.
So it’s uncomfortable when somebody challenges the instinct to cover for each other, as Barrington Martin II does in this Twitter thread:
I’m gonna go ahead and say it…there is a certain sect of American blacks in our country that do most of the crime and cause most of the crime we see everywhere […] There are types of these people within EVERY race but this specific group is the most problematic (based on statistics).
However, [because] our society is so obsessed with race, especially race relations of the past, this group is cloaked by the entire American black race when they shouldn’t be & they are lumped in with the rest of the American blacks, when they shouldn’t be.
This is a bold statement to make publicly in 2022, but it isn’t a new one.
Chris Rock famously made the same point 26 years ago in his Bring the Pain comedy special:
There’s like a civil war going on with black people. And there’s two sides; there are black people, and there’s ni**as. And ni**as have got to go. […] I love black people, but I hate ni**as.
Tupac made it 28 years ago in this interview for BET:
The main thing for us to remember is that the same crime element that white people are scared of, black people are scared of […] Just ‘cos we black, we get along with the killers or something? We get along with the rapists ‘cos we black and we from the same hood?
The comments beneath Martin’s tweet too, are littered with people who recognise the problem. But if you’ve spent any time following mainstream racial discourse, you’ll notice that hardly anybody dares talk about it. Some claim that even acknowledging the existence of “black crime” is “loaded and controversial”.
But let’s think about this.
If you have spent any time following racial discourse, you’ll have heard that black people, who make up roughly 14% of the U.S. population, commit around 51% of the homicides. In 2019, that equalled a total of 4078 homicides by black people. But even if each of those murders was committed by a different black person (i.e. if there were no repeat offenders), that’s only 0.008% of the 46.8 million African Americans.
As Barrington points out, this tiny minority is being cloaked by all the black people in America. And worse, thanks to decades of stereotypes and TV shows about black criminality, this minority is treated as if it represents black people as a whole. And so, most progressives simply pretend it‘s not happening.
But do you know who can’t pretend it’s not happening? The black people who live in those communities. The parents of the children who are being killed by that 0.008%. The people for whom black lives matter regardless of who pulls the trigger.
But the tragedy is that their voices get lost in the noise. Because we’re still at a point where we look at each other as “sides.”
There’s nothing wrong with community. There’s nothing wrong with “reppin’ for your team.” There’s nothing wrong with solidarity.
But there are no gangsters in my community. There are no murderers on my team. I feel no solidarity with people who kill innocent black men, women and children, regardless of the colour of their skin.
Because there’s no such thing as “black” crime. There’s just crime. And the belief that it’s racist to talk about it only makes sense of you think crime is a “black” problem.
Yes, some black people, through no fault of their own, are practically born into a life of crime. Yes, poverty and disenfranchisement lead people of all “races” toward crime. Yes, some people will use any mention of a black person committing a crime to claim that black people are criminals by nature.
But does that mean we should say that the 99.99% of black people who made better choices, despite facing similar obstacles, just got lucky? Should we say that the actions of a tiny percentage of criminals are a reflection on the millions of decent, law-abiding black people? Should we say that it’s more important to give cover to criminals than to give a voice to the victims of their crimes?
Sorry, my blackness will not permit me to make a statement like that.