Our Black-On-Black Crime Fixation

by Dish Staff

Steven Chapman admits that “rates of violent crime are far higher among blacks than among whites” but he wants more attention to that fact that “these rates have dropped sharply over the past two decades”:

There’s another, bigger problem with the preoccupation with “black-on-black crime.” The term suggests race is the only important factor. Most crimes are committed by males, but we don’t refer to “male-on-male crime.” Whites in the South are substantially more prone to homicide than those in New England, but no one laments “Southerner-on-Southerner crime.” Why does crime involving people of African descent deserve its own special category?

The phrase stems from a desire to excuse whites from any role in changing the conditions that breed disorder and delinquency in poor black areas. It carries the message that blacks are to blame for the crime that afflicts them—and that only they can eliminate it. Whites are spared any responsibility in the cause or the cure.

Yglesias applies the language usually reserved for black-on-black violence to white-on-white violence:

[T]he disturbing truth, according to the FBI’s most recent homicide statistics, is that the United States is in the wake of an epidemic of white-on-white crime. Back in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, a staggering 83 percent of white murder victims were killed by fellow Caucasians.