“Black on Black Crime”? Come on Spectrum!


Elijah Robinson, Secretary

A story was published on Spectrum News, “WNY Activists Look to Put a Stop to Black on Black Crime”.

It covered a group of activists marching after the death of a 23 year old Black woman through gun violence.

This seems like another one of those tragic news stories you hear routinely, but Spectrum News decided to employ the term “Black on Black Crime”.

“Black on Black Crime” is seeded in the notion that Black people are exceptionally violent. This term completely ignores the external circumstances that affect various Black communities in a disproportionate way.

The title infers, Black people hurting Black people delegitimizes issues they have within society. Such as when dealing with police, getting jobs, generational wealth, and decrepit school systems.

This makes Black people more vulnerable to police misconduct as this trope gives the police permission to treat them with more aggression.

The fact is, those who commit violent offenses mainly commit them against people the same race as them. It happened in immigrant ghettos during the immigration wave of the late 19th century.

The only difference between said immigrant groups was that they received government assistance in the form of the G.I. Bill, FHA housing, V.A. Loans—assistance Black people were excluded from. This enabled crime in those communities to go down.

That may be a reason crime is a staple of Black communities. However, the narrative that Black people are violent for no reason, or that they’re exceptionally violent remains strong.