Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What about the other victims?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Juan Williams challenges the hype over the Trayvon Martin killing. Yes, Williams says the Martin case merits more investigation. But Williams, writing with passion, also wonders why communities don't get worked up when it comes to victims of black on black crime. And Williams questions why communities turn a blind eye to a culture that leads youth down the wrong path:
How about marching against the cable television shows constantly offering minstrel-show images of black youth as rappers and comedians who don't value education, dismiss the importance of marriage, and celebrate killing people, drug money and jailhouse fashion—the pants falling down because the jail guard has taken away the belt, the shoes untied because the warden removed the shoe laces, and accessories such as the drug dealer's pit bull.
If you look around, young people seem to get shot everyday in America. But few take much notice when the shooting is the result of a gang spat or drug deal or domestic violence. And many of those shot are innocent bystanders who weren't even part of the illicit exchange.

Last year, TV station WCPO took a look at black on black crime in Cincinnati. There's part of that story that stuck with me:
"The vast majority of people being murdered are African American in the City of Cincinnati," said Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters. "The vast majority. Well outside the 40 percent of the population it should be. In 2009, the City of Cincinnati did not have a single white victim of a homicide. (That) tells me that we have a subset in the underclass of Cincinnati which is committing a lot of violent crime and they tend to be black. And the reality is, you almost always commit murder within your racial classifications. So when we've got a young black man up in the coroners office, it's almost always a result of another young black man shooting him."
With so much violence, it's easy to understand how people can be channeled to react with rage and protest. But donning a hoodie and marching for Trayvon won't stop the problem that's sown the pain that fuels most the rage we're now seeing. The Trayvon crusade is a scapegoat. Real solutions to widespread violence, and the culture that feeds it, must start much closer to home. With the kind of stuff Juan Williams points out in today's Journal.

No comments:

Post a Comment