What is The Intent of Raising The Issue Black on Black Violence Now?

Good evening peoples. I have been trying to stop myself from going all the way in on this, but things have reached past the point of ridiculous. As the Trayvon Martin case picks up more attention, there is a strong pushback against the public anger that many rightfully display over the execution of this child. Particularly, it is coming from conservative commentators who have questionable motives in bringing up this issue unless it serves their side of the argument.

I am sure many of you have heard it asked openly “Why don’t Black people get as upset when Black teenagers are killed by other Black teenagers”? In fact, the question is posed so often, that Davey D over at his blog on Hip Hop and Politics has a piece on it. Written by Thandisizwe Chimurenga , it makes some great points about the amount of attention the Black community spends on issues of internal violence. In a sense this is a springboard post, and I would like to add my two cents.

The issue of Black on Black violence is raised at a time when there is so much light, and new things are being discovered about the Martin case. More information is being discovered about Trayvon, and it seems to me that there is an effort to grimy him up in order to justify what occured. In all of this, is lost the issue of how this young life was taken.

To be clear, in no way is this to minimize the violence that happens in the Black community.  We do not have to be told that there is a problem with violence in the Black community. What we should be concerned about the intent of those who raise the issue as a counterpoint, especially if they show no past concern on Black on Black violence.  What is the intent of raising this question at this time? Is it out of genuine concern? Or is it really just to shut us up and “put us back in our place?”  Is it to deflect anger and tell us to fix our own house and “calm down”? In the mouths of people who don’t want us to speak up about this case, Black on Black crime becomes a talking point, not a way of engaging the issue.

Let us ask the same question we asked a couple of weeks ago about the KONY video regarding the children of Africa everyone were so in a rush to help save.  Are all of  the people that are raising this now as a buffer point really, truly concerned about the fate of Black children? Not all of us are buying it. Depending on who it is coming from, this pushback is dishonest, and a way of deflecting mass anger  . The point in this case, is not to make us think of ways to counteract violence in our own community, but to wag the finger, while at the same time defending Zimmerman’s actions. Doesn’t it feel like he is being protected? (Maybe its just me)

Intent does matter, whether we like to think about it or not. It is a valid issue, of course, but raising it now just serves the purpose of muddying the waters.

-Marc W. Polite





  1. Thanks for putting your two cents in Marc. There’s another part to this issue that I didn’t get to address because, quite frankly, that was a rant that I wrote and I hurriedly sent it off! But the other part is that we (Black folks) seem to think that if we just pulled up our pants, stopped smoking Blunts and drinkin’ 40s, white racists and law enforcement would respect and NOT kill us. That’s essentially what people are saying when they come at us with, “we have to respect ourselves before others will.” Of course we should, need to, must respect ourselves as a people. Of course, on general principle, we should put down the Blunts and 40s and pull up the pants; but to think in such a manner kind of-sort says racists have a right to KILL us; does not speak to the Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder that has the pants saggin’ and the self-medicating on 40s and Blunts (in public and private), and ignores the fact that when we did “carry ourselves responsibly and with dignity,” we were still terrorized and attacked and bombed, such as Black Wall Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. I’m all for ending Black on Black violence, and for Black people respecting them/ourselves; my point is, just don’t be naive about it.

  2. You’re welcome Thandi. I agree with your comment. Even if all of a sudden young Black men started to wear nothing but Brooks Brothers suits and apparel from Today’s Man, that doesn’t mean profiling would stop at all. Talk about not dealing with the root cause of a thing! Just because Derrick on the block is now wearing an ascot, it doesn’t mean that he wont get slammed on the hood of a police car. Just saying. Thank you for writing the piece, by the way.

  3. Not to trivialize your comment here Marc but rather to enhance it that Daily Show did a bit on at same issue of clothing where as they dressed up a black man from a hoodie into a suit, adding a book, adding glasses, changing his tie to a bow tie to “nerd” him up he became Malcom X but en showing a white guy in the same outfit looks like Harry Potter. The point being its not what is bei worn but who is wearing it. The next step would be Geraldo pleading minority parents not to let their kids wear bowties. The whole issue here is disgusting—especially as even if Trayvon did throw the first punch as is being speculated, this man was stalking him and backing him into a corner. Nobody seems to mind anymore that Zimmerman was brandying racial slurs like common adjectives ibis 911 call because suddenly this kid armed with James band gadgets hidden in candy attacked a guy. Suddenly because he is puerto ricin and Jewish Zimmerman is a minority attacking a minority and it couldn’t be racism. The fallacy being minorities can’t be racist towards other minorities. It’s all a lot of smoke boiling down to a grown man killed a kid and there are people trying to make that OK. There was no reason to shoot him because police were on the way.

  4. Marc, I enjoyed this piece you wrote and I totally agree with what you said. I think the “other team” enjoys highlighting the fact that great numbers of blacks are killing other blacks — but for “this team,” I do feel it is important to initiate more discussions about black-on-black crime. We have shown so much unity since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. The other team will always throw hurdles, insults, insinuations, etc. our way. History has taught us that. We must make that irrelevant now and continue such talks amongst ourselves. Black-on-Black-Love is what we need and we can enter a healing phase of hundreds of oppression by making the other team silent with our continued unity. They just don’t matter right now! WE do. Peace brother. Keep the articles coming. You’re such a wonderful writer! God bless x

  5. I agree Brandon. It matters who is wearing what. Black skin was the threatening factor. profiling does not need a rationale.

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