Skip to comments.Why Whites Commit Crimes, But Blacks Are Criminals (Even worse than you might think)
Posted on 07/31/2013 12:43:07 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
During a 17-minute speech in the briefing room of the White House, President Barack Obama sought to explain the reason why a large number of African-Americans have had a visceral reaction regarding the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman case. In his remarks, the president tried to contextualize that reaction by highlighting the fraught experiences of African-Americans with the justice system.
The justice system has been a perennial concern for African-Americans. This worry stems from the blatant disparities that have plagued the system. In any society, the justice system is a critical institution because of the role that it plays in keeping order. In this country, a number of white Americans and those who are tasked to maintain order tend to perceive African Americans, particularly black males, as potential lawbreakers. This perception has been used as a justification to implement many policies widespread use of racial profiling by law enforcement and disparity in sentencing for drug offenses that greatly harm African Americans. Despite many white Americans' fear of black violence, African-Americans have never been in a position to actually take action that would create havoc in white communities. For the African-American community, the reverse has always been true. Because of the way that they are viewed and targeted, African-Americans, especially black males, should be concerned for their safety or their well-being, not their white counterparts.
The link between blackness and criminality has deep historical roots in the country. As pointed out by Khalid Muhammad in his book The Condemnation of Blackness, the notion that blacks have a propensity for criminality was established in the 19th century. The connection, therefore, between blackness and criminality has been embedded into the consciousness of white Americans for over a century.
There has never been a shortage of violence committed against African Americans ever since the first slave ship arrived on American shores. This violence resulted in the deaths and subjugation of millions of people. In some parts of the country, many black males were lynched. Even worse, those lynchings were a social event. None of these terrifying acts of violence was perpetrated by people of color. So it's logical to ask, why are African Americans the only group that is carrying the burden of criminality in America, despite being the victims and not the perpetrators of the most atrocious acts of violence that took place in the country's history?
As Jamelle Bouie noted, most crimes tend to occur within racial groups. For instance, 94% of crimes committed against African-Americans are committed by other African-Americans the so-called "black-on-black crimes" that have been bandied about over and over in some conservative circles. However, 86% of crimes committed against whites are perpetrated by other whites. In spite of their grave worry of being victimized by some black males, a white American has a much greater chance of being killed by another Caucasian. But most whites would not be disabused of their paralyzing fear by this fact about white-on-white crimes. The reason is simple. As David Levering, a historian who won the Pulitzer Prize, once pointed out, in America whites committed crimes but blacks are criminals. In order words, no matter the viciousness of the crime or violence perpetrated by a white person or by some whites, such a crime would never sully whites as a group because their crimes are regarded by many whites as individual acts. Thus, in judging these criminal acts, the judgment would fall only on the individual or individuals, not the entire racial group.
For African-Americans, on the other hand, the implication of being viewed as criminals are manifold. When a crime is committed by an African American, this act of violence reflects badly not only on the perpetrator but on the entire group. Consequently, for a large segment of white Americans, any African-American whom they cannot instantly identify tends to be regarded as a potential criminal until proven otherwise. In endorsing the way that Zimmerman racially profiled Trayvon Martin on the night that he shot the unarmed teenager, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen spoke for many whites as he candidly shared his fear of black males. One of the major consequences of that fear of African-Americans is the way that the justice system treats them. A case in point is the disparity in drug sentencing, which helps swell the number of incarcerated African-Americans. In 1980, for instance, the number of African-Americans in jail was 143,000. In the past 30 years, however, this number has skyrocketed. Today, there are more than 2 million African-Americans in prison.
The association of black males with criminality is as old as the country itself. Despite the crime statistics showing that whites are more likely to be victimized by other whites, the oft-repeated narrative that conflates blackness with criminality creates a fear among many whites that is as real as it is irrational. As Andrew Sullivan indicated, Cohen has a 0.00015% chance of being attacked by a black assailant. But his fear of black violence still remains pronounced, which helps explain why black males receive much harsher sentences than their white counterpart for similar offenses. This irrational fear helps explain why racial profiling is so prevalent. Finally, this irrational fear helps explain why most white Americans identify with Zimmerman instead of Trayvon, the unarmed teenager whom Zimmerman fatally shot while he was headed home. The prevalence of racial profiling and the stiffer sentences meted out to black males show that the justice system tend to devalue their humanity. Equally important, those policies, which severely impact African-American communities, indicate that white Americans have always been and continue to be in a position to inflict much greater harm on African Americans despite their unreasonable fear that they could fall victims to black violence.
He ain't feelin' the love in the comments from his fellow PolicyMic pundits, I'm afraid.
It is hard to have any confidence in anything averred to by someone with a name like that.
Without reading it, I project he says that whitey gets away with the same crimes that send his bro to jail. To which I reply...naaah. The reply would get me suspended or banned.
hmmm. For me, at least, it was established by any one of the myriad of articles on crime that are here on FR over the course of any given week.
Or, by my own experiences. I didn't move out of the city and into a more rural area just for the fresh air.
But, who am I to judge? The author is obviously more worldly and diverse than I. /s
Trayvon Martin (A closer look)
Trayvon Martins friend D J says he was not really surprised when he heard that Trayvon had been killed. [4:00 mark]
Who was it who raided the weaker African tribes to capture them to sell them to the Arab slave traders? Sure wasn’t no white man!
Who is it in Africa that still engages in wholesale slaughter of members of “other” tribes? Sure ain’t no white man!
Who is it who blames the white man for all they troubles? Sure is the black man!
This article is a good example
When the stats show that in an interracial violent crime, the perp is 10 times more likely to be black than white,
this author says that black men have more to fear from white men than the other way around.
I don't understand why white guys aren't trying to rob black guys?
If in 1980 there were 150k black men incarcerated, and today that number is 1,500% higher, then how is my fear IRRATIONAL..?
If black men MOSTLY kill other black men, then my fear should go away, maybe...?
But one thing I will say about this author —he’s WAY more honest about the problem, and writes in a reasonable tone.
He’s maybe one of twenty black male authors in the country who can do that.
Oh, I don’t know. The History Channel recently ran an interesting documentary on the history of the mafia. The criminals portrayed looked very White to me. Some of those “alleged” wise guys lived in my old neighborhood in daBronx.
If I felt the way these guys do,I’d emigrate to someplace more welcoming.
Maybe I’m over simplyfing things but it seems to be the only sensible thing to do.
According to the U.S. National Weather Service, the odds of being struck by lightning -- in your lifetime -- are 1 in 5,000. Is the fear of being struck by lightning also irrational just because it is small?
People are rational to fear things that may have a negative effect on life, property, and pursuit of happiness, because emotions, like fear, are a consequence of value judgments, and certain things like the frequency of blacks committing a crime are judged to be a negative value.
Dat’s right, yo’ damn right!!
I don’t ever notice the kids of East Indians ever going off to jail. I wonder what the stats are on East Indian-Americans doing time.
Yup,just look at organized crime in NYC.You've got the (white) Italians...the (white) Irish (The Westies of Hell's Kitchen)...the (white) Eastern Euopeans (Russians.Albanians,etc).And you've got scumbag punks of *other* races too.
” When the stats show that in an interracial violent crime, the perp is 10 times more likely to be black than white”
I am so sick of this “racism” crap, that I am going out of my way to quote crime statistics to black people who start up this conversation.
Two takes right off the bat.
1) Blacks have earned the reputation they have. You can try and paint it a different color, but you will be living a lie. If you don’t look deep into why that is so it will never change.
2) Zimmerman did not Racially Profile Trayvon. That is another lie the left is living. You have no proof other than a doctored NBC tape to support your statement.
Quote the stats, say “fix it and get back to me”.