Black on Black crime is a myth

Columnist Amari Jarrell photo courtesy Jarrell

Earlier this week I read an opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat by Donna Brown, a retired police sergeant. In this piece, she wrote: “People are demanding the ‘good cops’ stand up and speak out against ‘bad cops.’ I support that, but why are they not demanding that members of the community stand up and speak out against those who take the lives of innocent children?”

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, here is why I disagree.

Black on Black crime is a myth. Every race commits acts of violence against members within their own communities. It is not exclusive to the Black community. You will never hear anyone say,  “White on White crime.” If you are not in this community, why are you speaking on my community’s business?

In this article, Brown, who is white, also writes: “Does a life matter less if they die from the actions of a community member versus a law enforcement officer?” 

Why is it assumed that the Black community does not mourn for the loss of a member within its own community? While any death of a member of your own community should be something sad, this point is purposely used to negate the reason for Black Lives Matter.

I believe that killing within the Black community is rooted within the conditions some of us may happen to be in such as poverty, oppression, etc. Not to mention that we are still seeing the effects of the “War on drugs.” If we were in better conditions and had access to more resources, these deaths would surely go down.

I strongly believe that the violence at the hands the people sworn to “serve and protect us” is deeply rooted in racism and abuse of power. 

You may see many non-POC speaking on what happens during the interactions between an unarmed man and a police officer. Many will try to justify it by saying they resisted the arrest and were “reaching for something” when that is just not true. Too many videos circulate around social media and these news outlets for people to still act blind to what is going on within our country.

I’m tired of people spinning protesting around to make it look as if members of my community are the aggressors. I’m tired of yelling, “Say his name” or, “Say her name,” because these “trained” officers don’t know how to deescalate a situation without murdering my people. I’m tired of the unjust and senseless killings of my people just because of the color of our skin. I’m tired of it all.

If you don’t see a problem, you’re part of the problem.