Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Black Men Are Dying In B'More Than Baghdad.... Yawn.

[I don't usually do the whole "forward this post to everybody you know" thing, but this is serious biz. Please take a break from fwd people more Microsoft free money, and Tommy Hilfiger on Oprah email hoaxes, and shoot this one to your mailing list instead. You'll thank me later, and they'll thanl you.]

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Sometimes though, the numbers simply tell the truth, and this truth hurts like a mutha'. Read it and weep.

Black Americans accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005 but were the victims of about 15 percent of all of the nonfatal violent crime and about 49 percent of all homicides, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. Blacks were victims of an estimated 805,000 nonfatal violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) and of about 8,000 homicides during 2005.
I know I'm usually on joke time, but ain't a damn thang funny here, folks. We're just over 10% of the population, yet nearly half of all murder victims.

This ain't the KKK, this is black men killing other black men. It's an everyday occurrence as common as the sun rising that only really makes the news when it's something particularly heinous. Still, murder is murder. Children, fathers, sons, mothers, aunties, uncles, grandpas, and nephews are killed erryday, and all day. The killings go on, and on, and on, yet there's no moral outrage. No special government program. No march. No boycott. No special episode of 20/20. No commemorative concert. No benefit track on iTunes.

No nothing.

Black people erase each other's lives on the daily, and nobody gives a shit. We just keep leanin', rockin', and pop lock' & droppin'. Oh, and killing more and more of each other.

Somebody please make some sense of this for me.

8,000 black Americans were killed in 2005. Just to put that in perspective, we currently in year 4 of an expensive and seemingly never-ending war in Iraq. 846 American soldiers were killed there in 2005.

800 killed in a war. 8,000 killed at home. A black man is safer in Baghdad than he is in Baltimore.

Chew on that one for a second.

It's very easy to point fingers here at all of the underlying issues that cause black people, especially men, to kill one another at such a prolific clip. If I put one of those Soundbite Olympics panels of black talking heads together, I'm sure the usual explanations like lack of economic opportunities, Willie Lynch, the legacies of slavery, lack of policing, too few recreational opportunities, easy access to guns, poverty, the war on drugs, George Bush, and probably Young Jeezy would all be tossed out there. And that's all well and good.

But at some point, the epidemic has to resonate with people and cause them to rise to action, rather than continue to wallow in excuses and finger pointing.

The gubb'ment sure as hell ain't gon' fix this. So how about doing your part instead of bitchin' and complaining?

Here's how:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

100 Black Men of America

America's Promise Alliance


MIMAUE Mentoring Program (for my DC Folks)

Work with a kid. Any kid. If you don't have one, find one. If you've got one, get off the Internet and go work with/talk to/raise/help/pray for him or her.

Whatever you do, don't do nothing. The problem doesn't need to hit home for you to be part of the solution. At least, I pray it doesn't need to.

We really got to do better.

Martin, Malcolm, Sojourner, and every ancestor is crying inside.

Full DoJ Report [US Department of Justice]

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