The Black Community: “We only react when the killer is White”

Kiradavis.net contributor Talitha McEachin

I’ve been in a number of public and private discussions of the Trayvon Martin case and my mind has been busy with the following thoughts. Let me say that I abhor violence of any kind no matter who is doing it and no parent should have to bury their child. It bothers me that Liberal race-baiting opportunists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson never show their face on a crime such as this, unless the perpetrator is a White man or woman.Then you have public figures like Geraldo Rivera & Glenn Beck (well, one article from his website content) who jump in to justify and defend George Zimmerman or demonize Trayvon Martin without knowing all of the facts either. None of these four men I named have all of the facts. They deliberately step in to fan the flames, which only serves to exacerbate racial tensions in this country. We take two steps forward, then two steps back, that’s the way this social cycle goes in this country. I am reminded today of another big case in my home city of Atlanta where three black men were caught on video beating the crap out of another black man, Brandon White. In that case, the video went viral and was largely covered in the media but not because a black man was attacked, but because a gay  black man was attacked (not to lessen the beating of the gay man – what those young men did was VERY wrong and they should be punished). Being a homosexual victim of violence even trumps being Black and a victim of violence. Why is there such an apathetic acceptance in the Black community of violence perpetrated by a Black person on another Black person? Why does it matter so much more if the killer is a White person? Why are these attitudes so ubiquitous? In reality, for those of you that live in the Black community, you are more likely to be killed by another Black person than a racist (or non-racist) white person. The same thing can be said for white people, who if killed by violence in their community, are more likely to die at the hands of one of their own. According to the Department of Justice, 86% of white victims were killed by another white person and 94% of black victims were killed by another black person from 1976 to 2005 . No one group is significantly more violent than another and all people commit violent acts. If you look at many of the mass school shootings like Columbine that have taken place over the years, most (but not all) were committed by white teens. I would be nervous for my child in a way, at some predominantly white suburban schools because it seems as though if some white students gets angry or is bullied and wants to shoot in retaliation,he or she sentences every student! Black folks just don’t do that. We go after the person with whom we have the conflict – plain and simple, wrong or right. Listen folks, we have got to find a way to change the way we think about a Black life, which is no more or less valuable than any other and start raising hell about the violence in our own communities when both the perpetrator AND the victim are Black. Trayvon Martin’s case should not only start a dialogue on racist white people, whom I believe are the minority of white people, but also bring attention to violence between black people in our own communities. If we fail to bring attention to THAT problem, which is a far greater one, then we do not respect Trayvon Martin’s life as much as we claim to.

34 Comments

  1. Jere Hodges says:

    Talitha,

    It’s great to see that someone else has read through the same set of statistics I went through in the wake of the Martin incident. One question I’m still looking for the answer to – which you probably just didn’t get to, or you’d have mentioned it:

    Why is it that the raw numbers of white-on-white murder and black-on-black murder are so similar, when the percentages of whites and blacks in the population are so dissimilar? How is it that 74% of the population (white) and 12% of the population (black)(http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html) would each be responsible for homicide counts that are within a few hundred of each other? W-o-W 2005: 4775, B-o-B 2005: 4497.

    I don’t have an answer – but shouldn’t we begin asking the question?

    • Jere that is a question that I have been asking myself. Although the percentages of intraracial killings are high in both groups, the murder rate in the Black community is far higher given the fact that we only account for a small portion of the American population. Some blame the “system”, white people/racism or slavery/historical precedents, but I think that all of this can be traced back to the breakdown of the black family to start. I am so tired of so-called black leaders looking at external factors for blame. We have to change the dialogue to take an internal look and start there.

    • Scott says:

      I totally agree T that it is about the FAMILY but also education!! With my work in education and first starting out with father involvement, I soon realized that when I went to Kansas City, Tulsa, Memphis, etc., the schools were attended by mostly black students. As we attempted to start programs, I saw the statistics come to life. 73% of all black children born today are born out-of-wedlock. Within in some of the elementary schools, 85% of the students were living with a single parent or with grandparents. Within Memphis, there was ONE elementary school that was NOT a Title 1 school and had a dominate black population. The reason it was NOT Title 1 is due to the fact that the parents had education degrees beyond high school AND a mother and father were raising their children with higher levels of expectation.

      I conduct a presentation called “Family and Education is the CURE” Government funding is NOT what will solve issues within any community.

  2. Daniel Taylor says:

    What no one wants to address is the fact that you can beat and kill white people to the exclusion of all else, and yet it never seems to register as racially motivated or a hate crime. A young black male killed an older white male in his store just recently and not a peep from the racist, separatist., and opportunistic vultures, aka sharpton, jackson, waters and the rest of the make whitey pay crowd. Completely mute and ignorant, after all there is no money in it. Face it, as Whites, we are as expendable as we are responsible.

    • That is true Daniel but one thing we cannot expect is for Sharpton or Jackson to step up when a white person is the victim. One thing that I hate about the idea of a “hate”crime is the discriminatory way we apply it. If a white person kills a black person, it’s a “hate-crime” but if a black person kills a white person, there’s no mention of it. The law presumes that racial hatred is only a white person phenomenon and I think that is ridiculous.

  3. Daniel Taylor says:

    As an addendum: If I have offended anyone’s liberal, social, racial, and/or progressive, socialist sensibilities, let me just say….TOO FUCKING BAD>

  4. smoke says:

    George Zimmerman is NOT white and I for one am tired of black folk making him out to be a white man. He is a mixed Peruvian.

  5. J Droubay says:

    I really appreciated the article, Talitha. I think you are 100% correct that most of our societal ills (not just in the black community but in ALL communities, white, black, hispanic, etc.) stem from the break down of the family. Here’s hoping that all races get back to basics and strengthen the family unit to give our children the stability and direction they deserve to become successful. Kudos for a well thought out and well written piece.

  6. Daniel Taylor says:

    Talitha,
    Thank you for your measured response. I appreciate it all the more from someone I believe I could have a straight dialogue with. The anger I feel has been a long time in the making and there is only so much any pot can hold before boiling over.I am personally at my high water mark, and I believe that there is a lot of quiet (for now anyway) rage out there and if this issue in Florida is not resolved it will be bad for all people,all across the spectrum.

  7. Daniel Taylor says:

    Talitha..

    Read the artcle, and it is everything that I am trying to say.

    • That is why I am not quick to rush to judgment and why I don’t like the idea of a hate crime, because there is a disparity & a bias in deciding when to apply it.

  8. Jenn Hines says:

    Talitha, thank you so very much for your sane, rational and well written opinion piece. There are those of us who cannot speak out about the blatant racism that has increased so dramatically in our country over the past few years especially within the MSM narrative, without being labeled “racist” ourselves. Not to mention feeling ourselves prohibited from commenting on the increasing dissolution of the fundamental American family, the dwindling standards of education and the lauding of “thug” culture. The 4th estate has much to answer for in this particular tragedy. And it truly is a tragedy with one life gone and others ruined beyond repair. I hope and pray that civil dialogue can be restored so that the killings will stop. Thank you thank you thank you for being such a strong voice.

    • Thanks so much Jenn! I have used this analogy many times in the collective dialogue over this case and the notion that white on black crime is a real danger that black people need to be concerned with. The statistics show that it is a rare, isolated incident for a white person to kill a black person with racist motives (a true hate crime) Race-baitors like Sharpton & Jackson, by only showing up on White on Black crime, indirectly and directly portray it as more prevalent when it is not. It’s like living in an area that has frequent tornadoes and buying/preparing for a hurricane. Now of course, sure a hurricane COULD come, but what is more likely? What should you prepare for?

  9. MoniceSharde says:

    I completely agree with this post and have tweeted it to my followers on Twitter. It’s unfortunate that Blacks often base decisions on race ( for example: voting for Obama because He is Black, without knowing His politics – Believing & defending O.J. Simpson was innocent despite the overwhelming evidence that proved otherwise). It’s foolish and sad. Then Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get in front of the cameras (for attention), and exploit the pain of so many families to appear they want justice but really they want publicity. I just hope the family of Trayvon can find peace in so much confusion and vulture-like people looking for thei fame from a tragedy.

    • Thanks MoniceSharde! I agree with your points but I’ll say that some white people I know base decisions on race also but certainly the vote for Obama in 2008 was due to his race – even many white liberals voted for him for his race, for example. Great post, thanks!

  10. Ron says:

    Well, as it was said above – lack of education. But I do not think that high school or even university education is enough to make decisions not based on race. Only intellectual people with analytical mind like Talitha or Kira Davis are able to do so. A lot of people including whites do not have developed analytical thinking. This is a general problem that affects all kind of decisions in all communities, nations, countries.

    Toronto, Canada

  11. Jack Peters says:

    Talitha great post.

    The same weekend Trayvon Martin was killed; ten black people were murdered in Chicago.
    One was a six year old girl. Where is the outrage over their deaths?

    The Black Community needs to channel some of their rage over the Trayvon Martin shooting to pressure MTV and Hollywood which glorify gun violence in Rap Videos and Movies. Also change the negative message that education is selling out.

  12. karen freh says:

    I grew up in Lynwood, ca in the 60′s and moved in 76. I was just a kid but I remember being very aware of racism. Most of it came from our parents . I would ask a black friend to play at their home…..aahhh no, how about we go to my house…aahh no. Frankly I grew up color blind. You are so right when both sides of the color Quotent, jump to stir it up. So often I feel on the defenseive being white to prove I am not racist. So refreshing to hear a black voice so articulate and honest. racism is real and on both sides of the aisle. We could be great friends. Speak the truth in Love.

  13. Kathy Moses says:

    Wow!! I was flooded by these statistics 74% white and 12% black in America. From watching TV and TV commercials. I would have thought it was more like 45% black

    and 50% white. Black culture has so much influence on American society. Wheather this is good or bad I think history will by the judge.

    • Hi Kathy & thanks! yes Black people are only 12% of the population. You’d think differently from tv but that is accurate., which is why the statistics on crime are so very disproportionate.

  14. JohnC says:

    Sharpton and Jackson need to be silenced! They have no business speaking out. They are un-American!

  15. JohnC says:

    We need more blacks like you who will expose the hypocrisy of black people!

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