“Black on Black crime” is a racist statement. It is an attempt to excuse the illegal killing of Black citizens by certain police officers because Black citizens have illegally killed Black citizens. Law enforcement officials serve the cause of justice in our name. Nothing non-state criminals do, regardless of their race, can excuse any illegal conduct by police officers.
NYC had a policy to stop and frisk Black Americans without any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. The same percentage of White citizens use and sell illegal drugs as Black citizens but Whites are not stopped and frisked without reasonable suspicion. White collar crime abounds in Wall Street but business men are not stopped on the streets to have their brief cases searched.
Oppression in America extends beyond what occurs in the Black communities. Certainly you remember the wider oppression? Remember a few examples:
Remember the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s and 90s? 1,043 savings and loan associations in the United States failed due to white collar crime. Thousands of innocent customers suffered great financial harm.
Remember the Enron scandal? Enron customers were cheated through fraudulent overcharging. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of Enron employees lost their jobs, pensions, savings, health insurance and more by reason of its CEO’s criminal conduct. Innocent investors also lost millions of dollars.
Remember downsizing? Greedy corporations moved their production facilities to so-called third world nations to take advantage of wage slave labor, child labor, lack of employee safety laws and environmental regulations, all to garner excess profits. Think of current Detroit as an example of the economic horrors visited upon American workers and their communities by these greedy laissez faire capitalists without consciences. In my opinion, these corporate actions were crimes against the American people.
Before Globalization, in Homestead, Pennsylvania, before the world had an infrastructure that facilitated the shipment of American jobs overseas, remember the way Carnegie and Frick pacified their America iron workers by locking them out and bringing in Pinkerton thugs? Today large corporations continue to engage in activities calculated to pacify their workers to maximize profits. They just use different tactics.
Remember the 2008 financial crises? The days of toxic mortgages, mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps? The entire world suffered and still suffers from the crimes of banksters and financial elites. People lost their homes, pensions, jobs, cars, health insurance and more. Their children had to drop out of college. Spousal and child abuse and suicides abounded. The corporate crooks who orchestrated the crash got bailed out with trillions of public dollars and took huge bonuses.
Remember, today the top 1 percent of Americans control 43 percent of the financial wealth while the bottom 80 percent control only 7 percent of the wealth. How much of that 80% is the result of the horrors documented above? This inequality is also the direct result of federal laws that were passed in return for campaign donations – legal bribery.
None of the above examples can be labeled Black on Black crime. What kind of crime is it then if we can’t blame it on the victims of racism? Well, let’s think. Its perpetrators are overwhelming rich, White, powerful men and their victims are White, Black, Brown, Yellow and every color and shade in between, members of both sexes and all the different sexual preferences, different religions, different jobs and, well, really, everybody but the perpetrators. These criminal perpetrators are referred to as the 1%. They and their lackeys, our elected non-representatives, excel in dividing us, the victims, the 99%, who then blame one another for our common plight instead of focusing on the actions of the 1% who control the economy.
The 1% is afraid of we the people. Homeland Security, NSA spying and providing military weapons to the police are three signs of this fear. The 1% fear that the 99% might learn from the rebellion in Ferguson.
Some complain angrily that what happened in Ferguson was a riot in which private property was destroyed and innocent people were adversely impacted. Funny how this works though. On December 16, 1773, oppressed Americans, in disguise, committed what many labeled serious criminal acts. They forced their way aboard merchant ships in Boston Harbor, used axes to break into the cargo hold where tea was stored and threw the tea into the water. These so-called hooligans also trashed and burned the houses of the colony’s 1% and even beat and tarred and feathered them.
These crimes and riots, ooops forgive me, today they are not considered crimes or riots are they? No, they are celebrated as justified patriotic acts of rebellion that were necessary because the citizen’s efforts to petition their government for redress were ignored so they had no other choice. Maybe the so-called riot in Ferguson is likewise an understandable rebellious response to ignored efforts seeking redress? The Boston Tea Party helped inspire colonial members belonging to the 99% to unite and rebel against their common oppressor. Maybe the outrage of the citizens of Ferguson will inspire and unite the people to rebel against their common oppressors, too.
Sanford Kelson is a lawyer in Pennsylvania.