South Central, CA–First and foremost, I know there are organizations and community advocates in inner cities across the U.S, who are attempting to address these issues. However, what I see is that these conversations are not happening at the mainstream level to create a huge enough shift in these inner city communities.
Anytime the issue of Black on Black crime is brought up, it is always refuted with “people kill those who are close in proximity to them,” which is true. However, there is a serious epidemic of gun-violence as it relates to the Black community that is aiding in our genocide.
This is something that can not be debated.
The issue of Black on Black is something that has been heavy on my mind after moving back to South Central after college and seeing that the murders and violence continue to erupt on our city streets daily.
There are two recent events however, that told me it was time to write this piece.
A 47-year old man shot into a crowd of people at Gable House Bowling alley this past weekend after a fight broke out. This man killed three people and wounded four others. He was arrested 30-hours later by Torrance police and SWAT. This Black man, who was from a local street-gang killed three other Black men that day.
7-year old Jasmine Barnes was killed in a grocery store parking lot in broad daylight in Texas. The last thing the mother and her other children saw was a red car speeding off with a white male inside.
The Black community was filled with rage at what they thought was an apparent hate crime. A witch hunt of sorts happened on social media to find this white man by any means necessary. Well, Texas police arrested a young, Black male soon after. He admitted to shooting into the car mistaking it for a rival gang members vehicle.
This is the type of reckless actions that are aiding in the genocide of our communities and the disappearance of our men. Black people are left out of the national cry for gun control, although our communities are the ones who suffer the most from it.
We can not continue to focus so much time “holding white people accountable” when we are not holding those within our own community accountable.
In 2015, the New York Times published an article detailing what they describe as, 1.5 Black men missing from daily life who are within the ages of 25-54.
And what is the source of these missing men?
“They are missing, largely because of early deaths or because they are behind bars. Remarkably, black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber black men in that category by 1.5 million.For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity.”
In 2019, let’s not be timid in our approach in addressing the issues which are affecting not only Black communities, but the Black family in general.
If we are going to be hollering “white supremacy,” we need to be talking about the effects of white supremacy and its relation to the inner city.
If Black lives truly do matter, we need to start addressing the root causes of Black on Black crime and linking it with the continued fight against the prison industrial complex.