There’s been a spate of columns on the right since the Trayvon Martin killing asking the question this one asks: why do we ignore the murders of blacks by other blacks? And why do we hear so much about the killing of a black man by a white man (whether it’s self-defense or murder), such as in the Martin case?
Let’s take the last question first. Not only do those sort of cases fit the liberal narrative, but they make a story that more people are likely to read. If black-on-black killing is so ubiquitous and white-on-black killing relatively rare, it stands to reason the latter is a better story in the “man bites dog” sense.
What’s more, the Martin killing featured a victim who was unarmed and shot by a man who was acting as a quasi-official on security patrol. That’s news, as much as a police officer killing an unarmed teenager would be.
As for the first question, violence in the black communities did get quite a bit of press when gang warfare was escalating a couple of decades ago, at least it seemed that way in my recollection. And there were a lot of efforts to stem that violence, both within the black community and from outside of it.
I would imagine these outreach programs still exist. The trouble is that the whole thing is no longer news and it’s no longer new. It should be, but it’s not. And of course, it’s not PC to talk about it, because it dares to say that black people are not only victims at the hands of whites.
Here’s a guy who’s been fighting the good fight for many, many years: Bill Cosby, daring to say all that and more. But even that is old news, although it shouldn’t be. Here’s how Cosby put it in one of his appearances in 2008:
He amused the invitation-only crowd of about 600, which included teenagers identified as “at-risk” by juvenile authorities, with a lament about nonchalant reactions to common problems.
“Well, the mother’s on crack cocaine. Pass the salt.”
“That girl’s baby has no father. Pass the salt.”
“Oh, he shot him in the head? Pass the salt.”
Cosby, dressed casually in sneakers and a Morehouse College T-shirt, said there are examples of success, and there are examples of failure.
“We look at failure and we’re like, pass the salt.”
He dismissed critics of his approach who have said that he is airing dirty laundry in the black community.
“That’s crazy,” he said. “There are black people who have to walk around this dirty laundry.”