The Truth About Black Lives Matter and Black on Black Crime

What about black on black crime”

“BLM needs to stop worrying about the police and start worrying about the violence in their own communities”

Everybody wants to talk about black on black crime so let’s talk about it.

First of all the idea that Black Lives Matter doesn’t care about “black on black crime” is false. It’s actually a significant political conversation among black people! We are well aware that Chicago for example had its deadliest year in almost twenty years in 2016. According to Chicago PD, 762 people were killed which is an increase of about 58% since 2015. 

What other people don’t seem to be aware of is that there are groups in Chicago and other cities dedicated to preventing violence and homicides. Mothers Against Senseless Killings was established in 2015 as a way to put eyes on the streets, interrupt violence and crime, and teach children to grow up as friends rather than enemies. In Chicago which is known for its high rates of interracial murder, members of the community created the Violence Interrupters to interrupt violent altercations before they escalate.

What people who want to talk about black on black crime also choose to ignore is that most crime is intraracial. The vast majority of homicide victims are killed by people of their own race. 89.3% of black people are killed by other black people. 81.3% of white people are killed by other white people because people tend to kill who they know and people like them. 

Black on black crime is an irrelevant argument. We are not more violent or more prone to crime than other minority groups. The Federal Housing Administration was created in 1934 because of the great depression. So many banks failed which caused a huge decrease in home ownership. The banking crisis of the 1930’s forced all lenders to retrieve due mortgages; refinancing was not available and many borrowers who were now unemployed were unable to make mortgage payments.  As a consequence many homes were foreclosed. The FHA was pretty much created to make buying a home easier for United States citizens. Unfortunately it did not help all citizens. The FHA created something called “redlining” which went as follows. They made  homeownership accessible to white people by guaranteeing their loans. At the same time they REFUSED to give loans to black people or other people who lived near black people. “Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived.” The FHA did not want to sell property to black people because they figured if they did white people would not want to live in the same area. To prevent this and stop white families from leaving the neighborhood, mortgages were raised to keep black families from moving in because they couldn’t afford them.  Now everybody has heard of the “ghettoes” before. But does everybody know why they were created? Because blacks could afford to live there. They were cheap. And you know what they were separated from? You guessed it! White neighborhoods. Ghettoes were the area for minorities to live and were okay until they became overpopulated and overused. Do you know what you get when you have generations of segregated minorities in the same area with no opportunities to thrive economically? That’s right- poverty! Poverty gives people limited options to survive. It’s almost impossible to survive in the ghettoes without resorting to some sort of crime whether it be robbery, gang life, drug dealing etc. You know what inevitably comes with crime? You got it! Black on black crime. People kill within their own place of residence.

The all lives matter crowd trying to focus on black-on-black crime is a diversionary tactic. They’re trying to suggest that black people don’t get to be outraged by police violence in vulnerable black communities because those communities have a crime problem. The Black Lives Matter movement acknowledges the crime problem, we do! But we will not locate that crime issue as a problem of black pathology. All of those social indicators put one at a greater risk for being either a victim or a perpetrator of violent crime. To reduce violent crime rates we need to fight to change systems- not demonize a group of people.

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Alexis Whittaker
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Hi everyone! My name is Alexis, I'm 20 years old and I live on the east coast. I'm currently doubling majoring in political science and economics, with a minor in history. I'm hoping to go into a career in journalism and I'm super passionate about issues centering around social justice, feminism and civil rights.

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