I saw this the other day from the Detroit News, Detroit grapples with ‘devastating’ impact of black male homicides, and it is so typical of the conversation about the murder rate among blacks: it is all about who is getting shot and not about who is doing the shooting. Here is a perfect example (emphasis mine):
And for younger African-American males, the numbers are even more startling. As of Aug. 1, 64 African-American men between the ages of 18-35 had lost their lives to gunfire in Detroit, out of 175 homicides in the first seven months of this year, according to figures from the Detroit Police Department.
During all of last year, 107 African-American males in the same age group were killed by gunfire in Detroit, out of 267 total homicides, and in the first seven months of 2016, 133 young black men were shot to death.
Killed by gunfire. Lost their lives to gunfire. It sounds like guns are running around the streets of Detroit and randomly shooting innocent black men. Young black men in Detroit are not being killed by “gunfire”, they are being killed by other young black men. That is true in Detroit and Baltimore and St. Louis and Chicago, everywhere that there is a high level of black homicide. Whites are not killing young black men. Cops are rarely killing young black men and in almost every case when they do it is justified. Simply put, the problem of black homicide and the ongoing killing in huge numbers of young black men is almost entirely an interracial issue. But the response is always the same. From the same article:
“The daily toll of gun violence in communities of color is a major failing by our elected officials and society,” said Nick Wilson of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “No one law is going to end gun violence in America, but this report demonstrates the urgency to research and address why black men are needlessly dying at such elevated rates.
“In addition to closing loopholes in our current gun laws, we must invest in community-based prevention and collaborative policing programs,” he said.
Detroit’s police chief points to historic socioeconomic problems plaguing black communities such as poverty, joblessness, lack of opportunity and lack of stable male role models for the high homicide rate among African-American males.
The same tired rhetoric. We need more gun laws, even though Michigan is a state with a high rate of gun ownership but a murder problem only in the black community. We need more programs, which translates to government funding for community organizers that reap the rewards and show no results. We need more jobs even though the unemployment rate and especially among blacks is plummeting and there are tons of good paying jobs sitting vacant right now.
What never seems to be mentioned is that there is a cultural problem among blacks. There are lots of poor whites in this country but they don’t kill each other at even a fraction of the rate black men do. There are poor Asians and they have a negligible homicide rate. Even Hispanics have a much lower homicide rate than blacks, although it is still much higher than the rate for whites and Asians. The problem of young black men “dying to gunfire” in Detroit is entirely a problem of young black men pulling triggers whether in the commission of a crime, in gang related violence or just someone mad at someone else and settling a beef with a gun.
This is another example of the media willfully twisting language and shifting focus to avoid reporting on the actual problem and instead pushing a particular and partisan agenda. Yet they get irate when they are called fake news.
Focusing on just the victim side of the equation and not the perpetrator side is a certain recipe for seeing this plague of murder among young black men continuing indefinitely.