The majority of homicides that occur are intra-racial, or between members of the same race. However, in the media, there has been heavy focus on just one group committing these crimes.
Black-on-black crime has saturated media coverage in recent years – but who’s talking about the high rate of white-on-white crime?
Ignorance or Denial?
Right in the midst of the highly-publicized black-on-black crime, there is a high rate of white-on-white crime happening in America. Is the media is purposely denying these facts, even though the violence has reached an alarming rate?
It’s possible that there’s a lack of reporting because the theories that some use to explain crimes between blacks – such as poverty – aren’t applicable to much of the white-on-white crime that’s taking place. This is due to the fact that the white population is wealthier than the black population, according to Pew Research, yet the white-on-white crime rate is extremely high. Or maybe it’s just ignorance.
Whatever the reason, a 2011 FBI Uniform crime report showed that 86% of white American victims were killed by other white people, and also revealed that a white person was six more times likely to be killed by another white person than by a black person.
Snake Oil and Crime Truths
Edward Williams of The Root, says, “when it comes to America’s past and present, lies and snake oil are sold in many colors.” Edward’s statement highlights the fact that black-on-black crime has become “accepted” in the journalistic and political arenas. In fact, the media portrayal of black violence leads some white people to worry about getting killed by a black person – when they’re actually significantly more at risk from other white people.
Matthew Yglesias of the Vox noted that the white-on-white crime is a cultural pathology with complicated roots. He stated that European countries with a very high percentage of white people have a lower white-on-white crime rate than America, and that the poverty theory of creating criminal activity does not add up either. For example, the GDP in America is much higher than France, and the white population is much richer on average, and yet the U.S. has more white murderers.
Denying the existence of white-on-white crime will not produce any solutions. Yglesias pointed out that the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, has commented on issues with black-on-black crime – but has appeared oblivious to white-on-white crime.
President Obama isn’t alone, as his predecessors did not acknowledge the problem either.
Where is the Media Obsession?
The media’s obsessed with black-on-black crime, but hardly, if ever, mentions concerns about white-on-white crime… or appears to notice that there is a problem. There is no outrage aired on the News at 5 from white communities, as we see in black groups when they protest, demand change for their community, and attempt to fix the problem.
According to Kush Azrael of the Call and Post, “when the news speaks about gang-related deaths, it is treated almost exclusively as a black problem.” He went on to point out that The Bureau of Justice Statistics “showed that during the period of 1990 to 2008, 53% of gang homicides were committed by white offenders and 56.5% of gang homicide victims were white.”
You constantly hear through the media about Black and the Latino gang-related killings but the statistics show that the majority of offenders were white. There’s still no public discussion about a white gang problem in America.
The Politrix of Things
Why is this the case? There is the possibility that because of the severely high incarceration rate of black men. According to Sophia Kirby of The American Project/Alternet, “black men are six times more likely to go to jail than white men, and make up about 14% of drug users.” This illustrates that blacks are no more likely than whites to sell or use drugs but are given much longer sentences .
According to the Department of Justice between 1980 – 2008 white-on-white homicide was at 84% and black-on-black homicide at 93%.
In 2010 and 2011 FBI reports, white individuals were arrested more times for violent crimes than individuals of any other race – and their victims are overwhelmingly other white people.
The Bureau of Justice statistics data on homicide trends has shown that white-on-white killings are at 88% and the percentage of black-on-black killings is at 91%, yet the perception is that the high level of homicides that occur is just a “black thing.”
Aside from the homicide trend, the Bureau of Justice statistics arrest trends for 2010 showed that whites were arrested more than blacks for violent crimes, property damage and drug possession/use/abuse and manufacturing than blacks, and again, the victims are typically white as well. So what’s covering up the very real issue of white-on-white crime? Society and the media are united in not acknowledging the fact that Blacks are statistically no worse off than their white counterparts in terms of intra-racial criminality.
The Truth of the Matter is…
According to Edward Williams of The Root, “ there is no outrage or debate on the “white on white” violence but the myth and associated fear of “black on black” crime is sold as legitimate, mainstream descriptive and becomes America’s status quo.”
He also noted that, “Whites are the largest racial group in America, and commit the majority of crimes – leading aggravated assault 2-1 when compared to blacks or other racial groups.”
The FBI, DOJ and Census data support the math – which disputes belief that blacks are somehow more prone to violence. Unfortunately the fallacy has been so promoted that all of society, all ethnicities, have come to believe it as truth.
No Single Factor, No Single Race
Whether black or white, there is no single factor that contributes to a person engaging in criminal activity or breaking the law. Realistically, the high homicide rate in America needs to be addressed, setting aside race, because violence affects every community.
Despite the lack of media attention given to white-on-white crime, we should not be ignorant of what is taking place across the nation. Let’s take note that what is happening in the black community is happening in the white community as well.