Off the Beat w/ Marc Lacy: What Should Our Response to Black on Black Crime Be Exactly?


The issue of black on black crime has been highlighted for decades and has been a strong catalyst for conference gatherings, symposiums, forums, panel discussions, funerals, revivals, concerts, political agendas, the works. It is a sore spot for many urban areas throughout the entire United States, including cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, etc.

It has been a slap in the face subject to float about as a talking point whenever it is politically expedient for it to be brought up. The subject of black on black crime is often used as a diversionary tactic whenever someone brings up systematic failures, lack of funding and resources, and little to no employment opportunities in the poorer parts of town.

Either way, whether it is weaponized or not, it is still a forever lingering issue that draws great debates; but never any solid solutions are yielded. Thus people are forced to take a reactionary approach rather than a proactive one and the cycle continues happening over and over again. Some feel that the way the system is currently designed, black on black crime will go on forever and ever with no end in sight.

At the mere thought of black on black crime occurring, we should all be outraged right? This issue is very complex. Why? Because there are so many perspectives on it based on catalysts, behavior, and circumstance.

Generally speaking, we should all be equally outraged when there’s white on white, black on white, white on black, white on brown, black on brown, brown on white, brown on black, and brown on brown…correct? Or should each race just stick with defending their own? Hmmm, is that the message anyone is trying to send here?

Is this really what we’re trying to teach the children? Which scenario takes precedence over the other? Well, the elders say, before you help to clean up the next person’s house, make sure your own house is tidy. But this philosophy shouldn’t make you less concerned with the plight of the races in the next scenario right?

I mean, a crime against anyone by anyone is still a crime. Those who commit crimes should be punished to the full extent of the law. But more importantly, victims should receive justice by the book, with no if’s, and’s or but’s right? In a perfect world, everyone would care for the next person’s well-being without hesitation regardless of their race or beliefs.

But guess what? This is not a perfect world and the reality is that black on black crime is not just black folks committing crimes on other black folks…and that’s it. That may be the end result; but the issue is not that cut and dry.

First and foremost, let’s go ahead and convey the fact that one has the option to not commit a crime against another. In essence, there is no excuse for committing a crime period. If you do something against the law, it is against the law, and punishable by the law…full stop. And that’s just how it is.

However, black on black crime is probably the most intense cause and effect scenario out of all of the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph. Why do I say this? When you look at inner-city communities across the country, the things that stand out are eerily similar.

Without even thinking about it (as I slightly touched upon before), you know there’s a lack of funding, dilapidated educational institutions, condemned ball fields, rundown youth centers, little to no job opportunities for all age groups, nuclear families are scarce, and gang activity is prevalent.

And here’s a doozy…when someone serves their time and gets released early on good behavior, has shown promise and a willingness to do better and make the best of themselves as well as assist others, still, who is going to hire them with a record? As a result, circumstances become very dire for families to try and overcome. Despair, anger, and resentment are just a few of the different feelings produced as a result of purported systematic failure.

Black on black crime is an easy talking point when people are aspiring to score verbal political victories. However once the victory is registered, then things get really real. The thorn stuck in the side of the black community is still there and continues to lodge itself deeper and deeper as years continue to pass. And as time flies, the question is always asked, “What exactly should our response be to black on black crime?”

Let’s face it, we can talk about causes all day. Unless a miracle happens, the system itself is not going to undo what has already been done. Nope. The system is going to be on pause and nothing is going to move from its standpoint. It can continuously be blamed, and it’s still not going to move. With that said, there is no perfect blanket solution.

But what people can do is take it upon themselves to orchestrate funding, educational, constructional, and employment opportunities utilizing networks that have been established by citizens of the community. It’s not the perfect solution; but it is “something.” And yes, efforts similar to the aforementioned have been going on for decades by brave citizens who were/are willing to sacrifice their livelihood, time, and peace of mind in order to positively impact the community.

And honestly speaking, ALL OF US need to continue carrying the torch in this manner for the purpose of keeping the youth safe and motivated to make the best out of their lives and in the lives of others. Even if all you do is say a few words of encouragement to the young people as they are trying to find their way. Black on black crime is an effect whose causes are not going to stop and turn themselves in.

Follow Marc on Instagram @Marc_Lacy



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