Roots, Questions and it’s Sociological Effects

The term black on black crime seems to have began in the 1980’s.  In the 1970’s there was this Nixon-era effort to shift the American residual image of the poor from the rural white to the urban black.  With this, it was easy to focus negative attention to the targeted group of people; unlike the Italian and Irish of the WWI era, black people were far from ever being annexed into the white conglomerate which means that any stigmatization is made to stick, perhaps for centuries.  And it’s easy to maintain… if a black person “complains” about this inequality all you have to do as a white person is NOT worry about it, ignore it and keep upholding racist doctrine, unwittingly or with intent.  It was too easy; news stations consistently aired black faces getting caught by police, newspapers made the distinction of race in reporting crime too… when it was a black person, that is.  After the 80’s “black on black” crime had solidified in American lexicon.  Unfortunately, the term shouldn’t exist, because crime is intraracial in nature.

Interestingly, there’s no parallel term in American lexicon when it comes to “white on white” crime.

To my anti-racism types, I like to entertain you with a field exercise.  The next time you are speaking to a racism-denial “I am colorblind” type, please ask them that if everyone is on equal terms, and racism doesn’t exist, then why there isn’t a designation for “white on white” crime?  Or Asian on Asian?  Let me know how that goes, we can talk about our experiences in the comments section.

Are people, not a number
We aren’t a number

White on white crime doesn’t exist in American lexicon because the objective of this game is to demonize, anathematize blacks.  The intent of the “black on black” crime term is to characterize crime as a black thing.  Once you characterize the act with an ethnic group, you can then characterize that ethnic group with the act.  People also try to side-step slightly and say “it’s not the people, it’s the culture”… Same deal, attacking the people regardless.  People like to think on simple terms: Asians are subservient, blondes are dumb, and blacks are criminal.  Now, I highly doubt you can find even the most crazy conservative (sorry, but liberals tend to not deny racism exists) that would suggest that whites don’t do crime.  But… whites are not characterized by any crime a white person does.  Whites are not judged as a collective, while blacks are.  Therefore, no one has the residual image of a white person when it comes to crime.  Not even whites, who are six times more likely to be victimized by a white thug.

Speaking of thugs, it does seem to be the modern term for the word nigger in context, despite the fact that there’s numerous white thugs out there.  Who is Whitey Bulger, for example?  I’m sure no one ever thinks of this guy as a thug, in fact I’ll go out on a limb and suggest the reason why he got away with so much crime is because he is a white criminal… I’m sure his side of town is under-policed, in comparison to uptown where blacks live.  No one is looking to bust his head on a plate glass window… because he is white.  This is the problem: white people, if obvious villains, will be given an angelic grant of some sort.  They get more second changes.  This lack of characterization of “white on white” crime grants the illusion that crime simply isn’t a white problem; it’s a black one.  

This demonization of blacks and angelic grant to whites goes even further when you compare the modern day news headlines concerning black victims (yes, victims) and white suspects (they victimized people).  The explicit difference in word selection and intent is damning.  Even when a white person is clearly in the wrong they are given a second chance in character.

The term black on black crime shouldn’t exist because crime is intraracial in nature; people commit crime on the same ethnic group they are due to the proximity at which they live.  Even further is the point that blacks care deeply about the issue of crime.  There is numerous town hall meetings, talks and discussions on the issue at hand.  The catch is this: white conservatives aren’t invited to those meetings, and black conservatives aren’t either because they are simply a tool for white conservatives, demonizing black people you don’t live around.  No one is going to air out their problems to outside forces.  Interesting enough, all conservative mention is ONLY stated when a black kid gets killed off of someone’s afrophobia.  Thus, the red herring of black on black crime serves as a trash can-top shield to deflect talk about the issue at hand. Even further with crime, same ethnic groups have been inflicting upon themselves throughout time.  With that said, would anyone support the lynching of blacks circa Jim Crow era by stating blacks kill more blacks?  Does that fact make lynchings less racist?

Hold up — did you just unwittingly compare this wrongful cop to criminals?

Is it a moot point that these conservatives are, by virtue of bringing up the flawed notion of unrelated, irrelevant crime data, that they are in essence likening police officers to criminal gang members?  Think about it: they are trying to justify the actions of police officers by comparing police officers to criminals.  The whole talking point registers like this:

“Well if these criminal guys kill black people, why not cops too?”

The notion of even bringing it up when an authority figure wrongfully murders an unarmed American totally dismantles their argument by default.

Now if someone wants to compare a wrongful murdering cop to a criminal… if that’s your defense for the wrong police officer… you are not doing him a favor.

Runaway Train Logic

On an episode of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani engaged in a time-honored conservative American tradition:  using the “black on black crime” deflection.  Sigh….

Johnny pics, protest (3)
Smiling now, but they train to murder me, thanks to white people’s sentiment towards black people.

As far as we made it as human beings in this vast universe, traveling on this blue planet, I’m very surprised people STILL fall prey to runaway train logic.  Runaway train logic occurs when someone uses an argument that would support MORE of something else, or logic that can be applied elsewhere against something that person may actually care about.  This usually asks the question, why stop there? 

The easiest way to illustrate this is an argument of setting a speeding limit.  If the speeding limit is set to 80mph (miles per hour) and the sole reason that that speeding limit exists is “safety”, why stop there?  If your argument is only “safety”, then why not make the speeding limit 70mph?  70 is certainly more safe than 80, correct?  Why stop there?  60 is safer than 70.  Why even stop there?  If the argument is safety alone, then technically your safety argument can support a ten mile an hour speeding limit, for 10mph is without question safer than 50, 60, 70, or 80.  So “safety” cannot be the sole and only point of why a speeding limit exist; one must add more to the argument to STOP the logic where it needs to be stopped.

Rudy Giuliani boarded the runaway train when he injected “let’s talk about black on black crime”.

Technically, if that low of a standard logic can be considered valid, then why not apply that logic elsewhere?

The Black Rapist Scenario

What if there was a man, a scary black man who was an explicit racist who figures it’s his way to “stick it to the man” by being a being a rapist who only rapes white women.  This serial rapist makes national headlines.  In fact, his actions have gripped the entire nation.  What if when he’s caught and he’s being interviewed about his raping of numerous women, he states with Rudy Giuliani-like insistence:

“Why aren’t we talking about white on white rape?  White men rape white women the most, and that’s a statistically proven fact!” ~Black Serial Rapist

Or what if he killed a white person and then used white suicide rates up for his defense?  Should white suicide rates support a black cop shooting an unarmed white person?

The Islamic Terrorist

What if terrorists — Muslim terrorists — once again attacked the United States?  In this event, a Muslim terrorist blew up a football stadium during the Superbowl, killing and injuring numerous football personnel and spectators.  Anger, fear, and panic grips the nation.  In the midst of all of this confusion and response, the current Al Qaeda leader or media correspondent stated, with Giuliani-style audacity, this:

“Why aren’t we talking about American on American violence?  It’s statistically proven that Americans kill Americans more.  Why not talk about that?” ~ Al Qaeda/ISIL Leader or Correspondent

These are the reasons why Rudy Giuliani is riding on a runaway train.  Eventually, people will get smart on this white privilege deflection and denial system and begin using the same debate tactics.  Maybe then, perhaps, white people will realize how ridiculous this deflection is.

Photo Credit: Johnny Silvercloud

Written by Johnny Silvercloud

The Soul Brother #1 of a Kind. Consequentialist street photographer abolitionist writer/speaker who stands for any oppressed peoples. I do it because every man and woman deserves freedom of thought -- especially black folks.


  1. It boils down to who is a Real American (TM), and we all know what that trade mark means (Devos, T., & Banaji, M. (2005). American = White?. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 88(3), 447-466. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.883.447.).

    Chenjerai Kumanyika: It’s like, the experience of living as white is a lot about being an individual. And to even be lumped into the group, that’s, I think that’s part of why when you call someone white, part of the injury is not just that whiteness is understood to be evil, exploitative, whatever, but also just like, Are you putting me in a group? I’m not part of a group! I’m me, I’m an individual, you know.

    36:08 – 36:31


  2. What I find most galling about the current state of “ black on black crime” ideology, is the pairing of it with the lie that black people commit the most crimes against white people. Apparently, white people arent even committing crimes against each other, according to these people. This is yet another way to solidify the concept that ALL the crime in America is due to only one group of people – the black ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article. I agree completely with what you are saying. I am not sure I completely understand your Runaway Train argument here for the interjection of black on black crime. For me, this argument is more like what John Oliver popularized on his show as a “Whataboutism”, but which is more formally a variant of a Tu Quoque argument in logic. It is extremely common “We need to help Syrian refugees?” “But how can we help them when have so many homeless?”. “What Trump is doing is unconstitutional?” “Obama did the same thing.” “We should have better gun control.” “Why are we talking about gun control when so many people die in car crashes?” This type of reasoning is infuriating. As you’ve pointed out, black on black crime is a false flag, but even if it wasn’t it doesn’t change the fact that violent crime, motivated by racial differences is a wrong in of itself and it’s not wrong to care about it. I can be for gun control and making cars safer. I can be for policies that reduce poverty and crime in general, and also recognize that racially motivated crime also exists and may have different causal factors.

    Given that poverty is an underlying cause a lot of crime, and thus the proximity factors in for both white on white, and black on black crime, do you think that the political left is spending too much time on racial issues. Not to say that it’s not important, but we saw many severely impoverished countries with predominantly white people vote for Trump. Many of them voted for Obama in the previous elections. Do you think that politicians should be spending more time talking about poverty and income inequality given how much poverty is growing for a lot of people in this country? I remember when Bernie Sanders was running in the primary last election, he was often criticized by the left for not addressing race issues enough, and yet it seemed that his goal of going after greed and addressing income inequality would have improved the lives of a lot of poor people, black people included. Dr. Cornel West seemed to agree with Sanders (not sure what you think of Sanders or West). By the way I also don’t mean to imply that institutional racism hasn’t been used to keep black people in poverty, but that aspect might be better addressed by justice reform and an end to the disastrous war on drugs. Either way deflecting racial violence with black on black crime is a ridiculous argument.

    Liked by 1 person

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