White America, It's Your Turn to Talk About Race, This Black Woman is Tired


When it comes to black-on-black crime, the question no one ever asks is: Don't white people kill each other too? Indeed, they do. But white people don't talk about it, and it's time they start.

Based on statistics from the Justice Department, white men are more likely to commit murder than any other racial group. 

When it comes to how and why people kill, black men outnumber whites in gun homicides, but especially drug-related offenses. Yet white men top the list in most all other categories. 

The Justice Department collected homicidal rates from 1980 – 2008 and found that when comparing white to black crime, whites were more likely to kill children, the elderly, family members, and their significant others. They commit more sex-related crimes, gang-related crimes, are more likely to kill in the workplace, and to kill multiple victims at once. Whites are more likely to burn you to death or poison you.

And that’s just the percentage. The real numbers are even starker if you consider that of the 314 million people living in the United States today, 78% of them are white. That’s almost the entire country. Only 13% are black. That’s not to mention that white-on-white crime is just as prevalent as black-on-black crime. The Justice Department in fact found that homicides are more often intraracial than anything else.

So why does America still perpetuate the lie of black criminality?

Is it because one in 15 black men are in prison? That answer isn’t good enough. The racial biases in the War on Drugs contributes to the high incarceration rates. Blacks are no more likely than whites to use or sell drugs. They actually make up only 14% of regular drug users. Yet blacks are more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and receive sentences 10% longer than whites when indicted. 

Are we going to blame hip-hop music and rappers for toting guns, then? If so, how do we explain why a white man holding a pistol symbolizes an evocation of the second Amendment and why when a black man does so, he is a criminal or a gangster?

President Barack Obama explained the justice system's racial double-standard well in his response to the George Zimmerman verdict. “If Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman who had followed him in a car because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.”

In the wake of that verdict, the mainstream media became obsessed with the black perspective. Thinkers and leaders sat for round table discussions about race: Does it exist? What does it mean? Why does it matter?

To be frank, white America, you need to wake up. Black people didn't start talking about racial injustice once Trayvon Martin died. That's just when you started listening. You cannot keep on shrinking behind your post-racial fantasy, because that world never existed and it's just blown up in your face. 

Whether or not you want to face this truth, you are the ruling class. Blacks do not control the way we are portrayed to the public. No minority does. But you do. You run the broadcast companies and the newspaper rooms. You have convinced yourselves and our world that blacks are most accurately depicted as dope boys with gold teeth and an Escalade.

But give me one black man with sagging pants and I’ll give you five more with PhDs.

Now, do I believe this is all one well-crafted plot to destroy and defame black society? No, I don’t. Yet, your fault is in your inability to challenge racial stereotypes head on. You can call injustices “disgusting” and “disgraceful” all you want, but no one needs more empty condemnation of our society.

We need you at your dinner tables and lunch parties, with your friends and your children, to discuss the impact of white privilege on our country. We need you to first admit that our society is not equal, and then, accept the responsibility to make it so.

Black people are tired of talking. With much privilege comes much responsibility. Have the courage to take it. 

Follow @chechkalu