This is a favorite “go to” of conservative pundits. For example, after former New York Mayor Rudy Guiliani, called Black Lives Matter “inherently racist.” He moved quickly to what he identified as the “bigger issue,” that a Black kid gets killed every 14 hours in Chicago.
“Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as Black-On-Black Crime,” wrote Michael Harriot, host of The Black One podcast. According to the FBI’s 2014 Uniform Crime Reports, close to 90% of African-American homicides were committed by other African Americans. Meanwhile 82% of White American homicide victims were killed by other White people.
Almost all victims of violent crime are victimized by someone they know, with White people hurting White people and Black people committing crimes against Black people. “However when White men shoot up movie theaters or college campuses, it is never categorized as “White-on-white” crime,” wrote Harriot.
The question – what about Black-on-Black crime — seems to indicate Black people don’t care about or aren’t doing anything to address crime in the community. The phrase “Stop the violence” is a much older and until recently was a more often used phrase in African American communities than “Black Lives Matter.” It has endured since the 80’s urging Black people to stop committing violent acts against their brothers.
According to numerous organizations and polling, Black people care just as much about crime within their communities as they do about addressing a discriminatory criminal justice system that targets them.
“Black Lives Matter isn’t just about the loss of life, which is always terrible” says Franchescha Ramsey of MTV’s Decoded. It’s about the lack of consequences when Black lives are taken at the hands of police.”
Besides, Ramsey aptly notes, the myth of “Black-on-Black crime” deflects from the fact that police brutality and crime within Black communities both derive from structural inequalities.
“The reality is that because of a history of institutional racism, Black communities have higher poverty rates, suffer from poorly funded schools, and are more likely to be targeted by police.”