Everywhere you turn this summer is talk about black crime. More than mere talk, pushing propaganda to support laws like Stop and Frisk and Stand Your Ground mean that real rights are at stake for millions of Americans. With so much chatter about black crime and urban crime, you might be surprised to find out that the vast majority of crimes in the US are committed by whites--nearly 70 %— which makes sense when you think that the majority of the US population is White. We all want to be safe, so who’s to blame: is crime a white problem, a black problem or something else entirely?
This week a federal court struck down NYC’s Stop and Frisk policy, citing racially discriminatory enforcement. The policy’s defenders are crying foul, and are warning an explosion of crime will happen when the people’s fourth amendment rights are respected. It’s true crime in New York is at historic lows. Before you stop and rest on your laurels, crime is down to historic lows not just New York City, but around the country, including many cities that do not have a stop and frisk policy in place, so attributing the drop to Stop and Frisk is misplacing whatever “credit” there is. For decades scientists, sociologists, psychologists and politicians have tried to nail down that combination of factors that result in peaceful communities with no crime. But the causes of crime are many, a complicated mash up of environment and systems, politics and people. There is one thing the scientists do agree on: what does not cause crime is a secret gene carried only by black and brown people.
Between Stop and Frisk and the Zimmerman travesty trial earlier this summer, there’s lots of focus in the news on the connection between blacks and crime. While no mention of race was allowed into the Zimmerman trial, defense attorneys argued that Trayvon Martin was perceived as a threat by their client. The unspoken reason he was viewed as a threat was that he was young, black and hooded. Because he fought his stalker and did not live to tell the tale he is painted as a brute who got what he deserved. Back in New York, 88% of those people stopped and frisked were found to be unarmed, and innocent of any crime. Between the two cases we literally have hundreds of thousands of African Americans who have been deprived of their constitutional rights, including their right to life in the case of Trayvon Martin. That their rights have been trampled not by feet but by laws is the very definition of racism.