The occurrence of crime may be an ongoing crisis in the United States but in the Black community, crime and violence go hand in hand and has been a long standing struggle not only because of continued conflicts and racial barrier that used to exist way back before the time of the founding fathers but it is also due to the fact that Black has always been associated with violence, some would even go far as to say that a violent behavior is as much part of what it means to be African American. African Americans are a racial minority in the United States and as such they have been unequally represented among both the victims and the perpetrators.
In 1993, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a record that showed the African Americans occupy less than fifteen percent of America’s population but in that same year more than fifty percent were arrested for murder, more than forty percent for assault and rape (Oliver and Majors, p. 62). The problem connected to the Black community has been present for several decades. As a matter of fact, statistics show that one out of one hundred and forty six black males is exposed to the risk of having a violent demise while the ratio for white men is one out of one hundred eighty nine.
Another clear and present danger in the black community is the Black crime. It is an act wherein a Black individual causes brutal harm on another fellow Black person. The Bureau of Statistics reported violent crimes that happened from 1993-1998 and found that more than seventy percent of the time, the bloodshed was intra- racial. The occurrence of these events does not produce a good outcome in the community (Bell). The root causes of this problem can be traced back during the times of slavery.
This event reverberated so much in history that even until today, the African Americans can still feel its aftermath. These people have been at the receiving end of violence in America and even after the slavery ended in the 19th century, the laws of the country have frequently been amended in order to leave out the Black people from monetary achievement and involvement in the society. Reverend Harriet who works on the Black violence in Washington made a comment that the violence and aggression among Black people cannot be discussed without tackling the issue on white superiority and racism.
Issues like racial profiling have become legitimate obstacles for the African Americans to provide for their families. Due to the fact that they feel left out and unable to be apart of the economy, there are some who made their living behind the law and more often than not, these are the root causes of most violence. Even though it has been said many times that all men are equal in America, the Blacks do not often feel that way and it is not because of their own fault but because some people made them feel that way (Bell).
Racial profiling refers to the practices of police officers who discriminate against an individual because of his race, religion or nationality based on a hunch because they believe that because of the person’s race they are more likely to be involved in some illegal acts. Criminal profiling is the practice of some law enforcement officers in relying on some characteristics which they believe to be intimately connected with a crime. Some instances of racial profiling are the use of race in order to determine which people to flag down for slight traffic violations (Ethnic Majority).
An unarmed twenty-year old immigrant from Africa was shot and killed by four New York Street Crime Unit police officers in his own apartment building in Bronx New York. One of the police officers fired his gun more than forty times hitting the victim nineteen times in the chest. The District Attorney found out that the African Americans were frequently flagged down at a rate of more than ten times as compared to the incidents of flagging white people. Out of those incidents, more than thirty percent lacked rational and logical suspicion to detain the persons (American Civil Liberties Union).
Tragedies like this can be avoided if people are careful to judge. Be that as it may, people can help avoid situations like this if they know that they are well within their rights. If there is no probable cause or reasonable ground for the police officer to stop the vehicle, the person can politely deny the request without engaging into a heated argument. It is common for police officers to do some intimidating tactics to get the person a little bit scared and when intimidation happens people tend to be provoked; this scenario should be avoided at all cost.
There are many unfortunate police confrontations that ended poorly because people lost their cool. If something like this indeed happened the victim should get the names of the officer and if they feel violated or harassed they should file a proper complaint. Some officials get away with racial profiling because the victim themselves do not bother to correct it. It is a common misconception that African Americans are violent and hostile in nature. The dilemma is multivariate, and, as time passes by, each aspect strengthens others.
Other causes of crime and violence in the Black community are lack of education which often leads to lesser opportunities of getting a decent job thereby further leading an individual down poverty reinforcement. Due to these factors a person gets low self esteem and low expectations in life forcing him to look for other outlets and alternatives (Goode). The percentage of gun violence in Toronto among the Blacks reached an alarming rate in 2005. Majority of African Americans have been the victims of homicides and murders.
For several years, associations like the Black Action Defense Committee have been asking the administration to deal with the causes of gun violence but they did not do anything until something happened that caught their attention; a fifteen year-old white woman was shot while walking on Yonge Street. Words of condolences from government officials came rushing and all of a sudden the issue about gun violence achieved serious attention from the media and the politicians causing them to have a meeting. The Black leaders were not given notice to attend such meeting.
They were told that since it has been ruled out as a Black crisis then it is theirs for the taking but when it comes down to discussing solutions, the leaders of the Black community were ultimately shunned. Another sentiment of the African-Canadians was that they were trying to get the government to act and if it were not for the unfortunate incident involving a white girl, they would not have directed their attention in solving this problem (Roach). The Black on Black crisis is also another is also another incidence of violence which needs to be stopped.
The crime rate of black on black violence has increased throughout the country and the media has chosen to put it on the spotlight which resulted in victimizing black people who committed the crimes. These violence rates seemed to be soaring up and the government needs to address these issues fast. This is the right time to treat all crimes equal regardless of the victim and the perpetrator and the media can play its role by minimizing the hype about black on black violence because there is no need for that.
Census shows that as of 2005, the blacks only occupy only thirteen percent of the population in America but they are responsible for almost one half of the victims and more than ninety percent of those murder victims were killed by fellow blacks. Black people are also highly affected by crimes like rape and assault which is very alarming considering their population, it puts them at a great disadvantage and at uneven levels. It cannot be ignored that the black on black violence poses a great threat not only in the black community but in the whole of America.
The depressing thing is that the black people are exposed to a greater risk of being the victim of fellow black individuals than a white person (Goode). The government should give some serious thought in solving this crisis because people’s lives are at stake and it is such a waste to see their future drift away because of violence and crimes. Those children and teenagers dying at a young age could potentially be good doctors and lawyers of the country but cutting their lives short will deny them of that chance.
Human rights are being desecrated and it is no joke but the sad thing is that others treat it as that. Some of the reason why black people clamor so much about this problem is because of one simple thing: the right to be heard and they do not feel that they get a lot of those these days. Political figures running for office never address policies focusing on the Black community. These situations always happen and as a result the Black people lost trust in the government and the sadder part would be that they lost trust in themselves.
There is no easy way to fix the hostility that exists and it is not easier to mend and appease the hearts of the people who are continuously being affected by these dramatic circumstances but it is always a good thing to start trying (Bell). African Americans feel that they are under represented in the government and that they are airing their grievances on deaf ears. This is precisely the reason why Barack Obama’s winning the election is a defining moment for America. This is indeed a time for change and as the first black man who won the presidential election; he certainly gave hope to all the African Americans.
It cannot be denied that the issue of racism cannot be completely eliminated in the country and it like a steering wheel it has been pushing and leading the Black people’s lives directly in the path of violence. One of the nasty effects of racism is that it makes the African Americans feel inferior and of no value. Some psychiatrist believed that after quite sometime, the tormented will adopt the doings of the tormenter and by way of application it can mean that the act of violence committed by the Black people are a reflection of the notion that have been inculcated in their minds.
The Criminal Justice System took some action to investigate the crimes in the Black community they just ruled it out as a Black problem which is not the case most of the time. There is an extreme lack of long term goals and efforts to address the problem and take care of the victims. A child who has been exposed to violence at an early age is more likely to result to violence in the latter part of his life (Bell). Every single community is a reflection of the much bigger society that people live in and every violence or crime that occurred in it is just a counterpart of a bigger violence and crime problem in the country.
Factors such as financial stability and a reliable social network contribute to a lesser percentage of violence in a community regardless of the race. In the end, it is all about a matter of surviving. People whose needs are met commit less or no violence at all (Bell). As a sign of protest, Black men gather and march around St. Louis in order to express their sentiments regarding the violence in the community. They said they grew weary just watching and listening in the news about black on black violence. They believe that working together would be an improvement.
They organized a unity call in order to reduce the crime rate and to reconnect to the struggling community. It is an awe-inspiring thing to see Black people unite for a peaceful reason. They sensed the urgency of making a call to stop the killings. The most basic solution is to express love for the children and to be more involved in community activities (Wittenauer). All individuals regardless of sex, race or creed have no legitimate reason to commit crime and violence. The era of slavery and racism experienced by the African Americans cannot certainly be used as excuses on order to justify the acts of violence.
Martin Luther King believed that even the victims of the grave abuse and violence can still adopt a highly moral position (Bell). The crime and violence in the Black community and the actions as well as the reactions of the African Americans cannot always be pinned down to slavery, lack of education, racial profiling or any other series of unfortunate events. Slavery was only given a little bit of emphasis because in more ways than one, the occurrence of slavery had effectively rendered African-American males powerless and one of the ways in which they emphasize their masculinity is by committing some act of violence.
Racial profiling is no excuse either to endangering human lives but African Americans like everybody just wants to feel that they are at par with the rest of the world. Among anything else, they want to be accepted and treated equally. Even though the modern America claims that the era of racial discrimination has passed by, still, it cannot be denied that there is still racism left in America.
Discriminating eyes views African Americans as commonly associated with deviant behavior and violence but looking through the other side of the mirror, one can see the increasing crime rates in the black community and the black on black violence makes them more of a victim. Just like a saying goes, people cannot make much sense of the present if they do not know anything about the past and in the same way, discovering and discussing the African American heritage is necessary in order to fully understand their background, their struggles and their way of life. In March 2009, the jury convicted a teenager for the death of a young clack man.
Omar Willock was convicted by the Brooklyn jury of second degree murder for stabbing Roberto Duncanson to death. In his defense, he strongly reiterated that he believed that Roberto was trying to make a pass at him. Witnesses say that they first got into a heated discussion then the suspect began to call the deceased a faggot (Rod 2. 0 beta). John White, a black man was convicted of second- degree manslaughter for killing Daniel Ciciaro who threatened his son and called them niggers. Daniel and some of his friends were at a party and they stopped by the White’s house to dare his son to a fight.
He said that Aaron woke him up and said that some kids were trying to kill him. It was his testimony that Daniel threatened his son using some racist language. He then woke up and grabbed his gun. Mr. White’s lawyer said that this case involves a pretty serious race issue. He further commented that convicting Mr. White would inculcate a mind set that the incident was a normal happening in the black community. The jury also failed to take into consideration that his family was so scared and that the accused just acted in their defense (Kilgannon). Regardless of the conviction, he is looked upon by the community as a hero.
One of the problems existing in the black community is the dysfunctional family. In John White’s case, that never was a problem. He was a loyal husband and a loving father to his son and based on what happened he just proved that he would do anything to protect his family’s safety and integrity (Brooklyn Ron). Among the many tragic incidents that happened in the Black community is the killing of Carol Simon who was just a random person caught in a crossfire. Carol’s son Kieron had been attending swimming lessons and she just returned to the building because she forgot something.
She was a loving wife and mother and was a big loss in the community. She works at Brookdale Hospital as an ER worker and by doing so she was able to help save many gunshot victims (Daily News). The only good thing that sprung from this tragic incident was the awareness that hostility and crimes continue to burst in the community with deadly consequences and it seems to be increasing to a disturbing rate. The media is also somewhat responsible for spreading the word because it is only when they report on something that the police find it obligatory to put together their efforts and make an arrest.
One of the remarks made in connection to this incident was made by Sen. Eric Adams. He commented that a bullet not only pierces the human being but it also wounded the community in which that person lives in (Brooklyn Ron). A law abiding citizen and a family oriented man was shot and killed in a black neighborhood. The victim was a former Postal Service employee Amuel Murph. According to the police, he was shot at a very close range by a group of robbers trying to break in and steal. When his wife took a look to see what happened the killer also took a shot at her but luckily he missed.
It is a very sad to hear some news about the loss of another black man who made a beautiful mark in the community (Maxwell). The occurrence of violence in the community has been something that people grew tired of talking about. Avoiding the issues will not stop the killings of any it would just suppress it. Research shows that the homicides involving black teenagers as suspects increased by more than forty percent nationwide from 2002 until 2007 and the number of black teenage males as crime victims increased at an alarming rate of more than fifty percent.
The funds for the police have been cut down and every time there is a monetary opportunity those go to non critical line up such as the police training. Police training are important but there are some things that should be top priority (Walker). Hatred is a very strong and hostile word. Hate crimes are criminal offenses that take place when the person responsible for the crime chooses a victim because of his gender, religion, racial heritage or nationality. It can take on many forms such as verbal offenses and threats and the most common in the black community are the physical attacks (Home Office).
Violence and crimes among the Black community hurts them as a whole and its impact is felt not only by the victims but also the black person responsible for it and their families. People believed that due to the seemingly endless occurrence of crimes, the black community has become numbed to it. Families have been struggling and the biggest struggle probably for most individuals are perception that their lives are not as priceless as the lives of other individuals. Crimes and Violence is the top killer of teenagers in the Black community.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics provides that more than twenty thousand people were killed as homicide victims. The statistics speaks for itself which means that crime rates spread like epidemics seething through every corners of the community and it is more prevalent in African Americans. This crisis cannot be solved by one strategy only. The circumstances and factors that trigger violent behavior to African Americans may not be similar to those that provoke the whites. Scientists provide that an agenda to assail violence must have a tough yet sensitive multi-disciplinary strategy.
This strategy needs the participation of everybody from the community. There must be financial support emanating from the government but also from concerned citizens. Almost half a decade ago, Martin Luther King gave his life and devotion to educating and lecturing for African Americans to attain knowledge and education to enable them to get a decent job and live life peacefully. One of the most significant values that he taught was the non hostile way of living but it is sad to say that the vision that the great man imparted is now everything but a blur.
Crimes in Brooklyn or any Black community has an undesirable consequence of terrorism. The elements of the crime spread throughout the community thereby keeping the citizens from living and upholding the value of life without sustaining any harm (Johnson). King fought so hard for Black people to be treated equally with other citizens and not just mere second-class citizens. However, that right has been quickly dwindling away. People are afraid to go out of their house for safety reasons. In the Black community, people live in fear that they might be the next victim.
They walk in the streets filled with terror that there is a possibility that they may be harmed because they have the wrong skin color. The Community Empowerment Association commented that violence was everything that King fought against. As time passes by, what seemed to bring people together then does not play that big of a role today. During the lifetime of Martin Luther King, faith and community brought families closer together and nurtured the people. Today, even though these institutions are present, their influence today is not as great as before and they have no personal relationship with individuals anymore.
Identifying violence as the issue is not enough so solve it; the root cause must be traced and addressed. Members of the community said that the main issues in the Black community are lack of decent job opportunities, low quality education and lack of sufficient housing. Other causes are low morals and values (Johnson). Among the many things, King said that there is an extreme danger in creating a society full of people who believes that they have no chance in it. People who feel that they have a chance in the society they live in will do anything to protect it because they know they have everything to lose.
The country as a whole has a responsibility to the society and the community to offer a reasonable and equivalent opportunity for everybody to succeed (Jones). The issue of violence should be dealt with not only in the locality but it should be examined at a national perspective. There is a massive decline in the morality of people so much as to say that nowadays, nothing shocks anybody anymore. Everybody, including the Black community needs to take on responsibility. Yes, it is indeed acknowledged that most victims are Blacks but it does not stop there.
Thinking and feeling like a victim makes a person weak and it therefore makes the community weak. Small things put together become something big. Whether in the Black community or any other community, little gestures make big impact. Asking a child everyday about what happened in school lets the child know that the parent wants to be involved in his life and statistics confirms that children frequently asked by the parents about school on a frequent basis will improve his grade average by . 5 percent. Surrounding children with positive influences will provide for outlets for self expression.
Another important thing to do is to bring children to church. Studies show that children who grew up going to church have less than . 2 percent probability of going to jail. Regardless of the religion, prayer can do wonderful things to people. Eating meals as a family and raising children with love and respect is develop close family ties and when there is an open relationship with parents and children the kids will develop a good sense of family belongingness thereby minimizing his chance of being arrested (Jones). Domestic violence is an ongoing crisis in America most specially in the Black community.
Coalitions against domestic violence provides that violence committed by a spouse or a boyfriend is kills many women from ages fourteen to forty five. Black Enterprise magazine showed statistics that African American women form more than five percent of the whole American population and one out of every four of those women may experience violence in their lifetime (Causey). Domestic violence is the occurrence of abusive pattern in an individual using force, coercion or other methods in order to control and intimidate another person. The percentage of intra-family violence in African American community is higher than others.
One of the factors why the number of violence is so high is because of the antagonistic behavior between the Black community and the Criminal Justice System. The history of how the Black community has been treated by the system has been a principal crisis when it comes to making steps to deal with domestic violence in the Black community. Racism has a significant role when it comes to the lack of adequate access to the resources needed in the rehabilitation of the African American women who became victims of domestic violence. Race also played a part in how Black women are looked at not as a victim but as an accomplice.
The devastating part is that a Black women who became a victim of domestic violence is viewed as a typical women who probably is not worthy of help. There are also dangers that suspects of color may not be given his day in court (Jordan). Another cause of domestic violence in the community would be the shortage of efficient reentry programs for prisoners is an added factor because of a great tendency that the imprisonment of African Americans have skyrocketed the risk for violence, hot temper and anger issues once out of the prison.
In the Black community, the church is viewed as an ancient but very important infrastructure. History tells that people used to come to church and air their grievances. Victims and perpetrators alike attend church and from that it can be established that this institution has a responsibility to deal with the issues and predicaments that the community is going through (Jordan, p. 17-18). As ministers and preachers, it is the responsibility of the church to relay to the people the word of God and the word of God provides that his children should practice self-control and communication.
The bible provides that domestic violence is wrong. However, it is one thing to convey it to people but to apply and practice it in daily living is another thing. The church indeed has a role to play in providing moral, spiritual guidance and assistance in the accomplishment of anti-violent programs in the community but it stops at a certain limit and it can only do so much (Johnson, p. 19). It is heartbreaking to find out that a study about African American youth perception provides that teenagers feel less positive about their heritage.
Many African American children found themselves to be victims of discrimination and this sensitivity is connected to how they feel about themselves and of how the world sees African Americans. These research findings have connotations for the people who spend most of their time with the growing children of the Black community. Many suggested that there is a need to boost the confidence of these children in them and in their heritage (Hutcheon). Bridging the gap between people of different races need extra effort. No matter what the race or nationality is, we have to assume responsibility and accept the consequences of our actions.
It is a common knowledge that even though people know the root causes of a particular problem it does not meet that they know the solution to it. For African Americans who often become victims of crimes and violence in the community, the solution cannot just be found in the hands of one source. One of the many ways to hear them out and to lessen the violence is for the government to enact economic and social legislations. Proving more jobs than prisons is a good place to start. People not only desire for a safe and peaceful neighborhood but also for a safe work and school environment for their families.
The second great step would be to practice anti-racism which is a significant interest in America (Tyner). Black means the absence of a color. Further research shows that this word can have different meanings and implications. The word black combined to a sentence or another word can generate a negative meaning that maybe is one of the reasons why African Americans took it as a negative thing when they hear the word black; it is not even a politically correct term to use. African Americans have endured a lot of struggles since the dawn of time yet they still lived to see another day.
Crimes and violence indeed shakes them but they too will live through it with the help of each other, the government and people of different color. If there maybe one good thing to look forward to that may have arisen due to these unfortunate events that would be the possibility of breaking the racial barriers not only African Americans but Latinos and Asians as well. Being called as black always meant something bad or negative but that connotation does not carry that meaning like it used to due to the changes of the times.
Being Black is a God- given gift and an extremely beautiful thing and keeping in mind that African Americans are just as part of this world as any other race can help a lot. Works Cited Bell, D. 2004. “Black on Violence”. Partnership for Safety and Justice. 5 May 2009, http://www. westernprisonproject. org/info/region/story/260 “Bklyn-Bred John White Convicted of Manslaughter, but is Forever a Hero”. 2007. Brooklyn Ron. 5 May 2009, http://www. brooklynron. com/crime/page/2/ Causey, J. 2009. “Black women and domestic violence”. Journal Sentinel Online. 7 May 2009, http://www. jsonline. com/blogs/news/44186542. html
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