Undeniably, stereotyping has always been rampant in our society. These stereotyping may either be through gender, age, occupation and the most popular of all, perhaps—race. Part of stereotyping is associating a certain group of people to whether good or bad demeanor. And perhaps, almost known to all is the black-on-black crime. This kind of crime is usually pushed to happen due to the prejudice of the society. As Black Americans are subjected to discrimination and injustice, black-on-black crimes are most likely to occur.
Black-on-black crimes are the kind of crimes which are committed on Blacks with their fellow Blacks as the offenders. At present, the African Americans remain more segregated that any other racial group in the world. Some of them even experience “residential isolation” (Quillian, 1999). Past studies show that “white flight” or the avoidance of white is the main reason of racial discrimination. While there are only 12 percent African American living in the United States, 45 percent of the victims of murder in year 2002 also come from them; 91 percent of them are killed by their fellow Black Americans.
Statistics show that homicide tops the list of the leading causes of death among Black men, while suicide in landed on the second notch on the causes of death among Black women aged 15-24 (Greaves). These figures or statistics, of course, are just a reflection of social reality. Racial discrimination, though not as rampant in the past decades still hounds out society that is a great factor contributing to the crime rate among Black Americans.
Despite the society’s eventual tolerance on racial differences, there are still studies that show that whites do not prefer in places where there are a lot of African Americans thriving in. In a research survey conducted, most of the white Americans who were asked in the survey said they prefer living in a community where the population of African American is less than 30 percent. (Clark) Studies showing the trends of mobility actually show that neighborhoods or communities with relatively high population of Black families have the tendency to have a “collapsed” population of white families (Quillian 1999). This means that white Americans tend to move out the place if it is more dominant of the black Americans. In the long run, these neighborhoods would be dominated fully by black Americans. Perceptions on Crime Empirical studies were never really enough to back up the perception of neighborhoods and communities about crime. There are no really a significant number of studies which focus on the black-on-black crimes. But then there are two main factors that are believed to influence the perception of a neighborhood towards crime.
First is the observable characteristic which is the neighborhood’s racial composition. In the United States, for example, most of the neighborhoods or communities can be categorized into either dominant of blacks or dominant of whites. Factors like economic class where an individual belong is not easy to gauge based on physical characteristic.
The second factor would be the stereotypes that relate a certain group of people with crime. An example of this would be the African-American or the Blacks who are often associated with rampant crimes known by all Americans (Devine and Elliot 1995).
Studies furthered that information that are consistently seen are stereotypes are most likely to be noticed or remembered by people than those information stereotypes that are not usually used (Robert, Evans, and Fulero1979). Stereotypes may also lead to the salience of the stereotypes which are associating certain groups of people on committing crimes. Thus, media reports would most likely to focus on news reports that are guilty of stereotyping. These kinds of media reports reinforce the association of crime and race in the minds of the people, or to be specific, to the mind of the audience. Causes
Divergent to the common notion that racism or discrimination is the main cause of black-on-black crime, there are actually a lot of factors causing the perpetuation of such crimes. Racism or discrimination is not the sole reason for the existence of “evil attitudes. ” Among of them urging “evil attitudes” are: high rates of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and births, abortions, child abuse, and broken families that continually hound the different black communities. Empirical data show that teenagers or the young adults are the ones who are usually involved in troubles, thus increasing their vulnerability to committing crimes.
These data apply to Black Americans. But these figures cannot actually generalize all of the Black Americans.
In the case of Unites States, youngsters (or the Black Americans to be specific) are usually involved in peer groups some even call it “gangtas. ” Majority of these kinds of groups are said to be constantly involved in riots or rumbles mostly with their fellow teenagers and Black Americans. Teenagers are groups of peers who seem to act like a “broken window” which signals crime (Maxfield 1981).
This most likely applies most likely to young black men (Anderson 1990) in neighborhoods with “mixed racial” inhabitants. Combating Black-on-Black Crimes The problem on black-on-black crime cannot be instantly resolved. The way towards the solution of this social problem would really entail a lot of efforts and factors. It may take years, decades or more for us to get over or to lessen the rate of black-on-black crimes. But then, if we are really determined to combat or at least lessen the figures of the occurrence of black-on-black crime, then, we will surely be successful in our aim.
This plight is not just the plight of the Black Americans. Everyone is affected when Black-on-black crimes happen—whether directly or indirectly. As follows are the probable solutions that may address the social plight on black-on-black crimes. Some may be too mundane for some, but it will contribute to the eradication of the problem. One of the main factors, perhaps, pushing the Blacks to commit crime against their fellow Blacks is their low self-esteem. We can avoid the Black on Black Crimes by giving them enough and proper education not only to the African-American children but also to the Caucasian
children. It is because, the usual educational curriculum among schools, especially in the K-12 levels, is teaching that European descendants are the superior race while the Blacks are inferior. Another is “identifying and helping potential offenders. ” We should first identify who are the common groups of people are involved in black-on-black crimes. Researches show that black-on-black crimes usually happen among the youngsters. We should help them in overcoming their unpleasant behavior. Those behaviors are, in reality, brought about also by some social factors.
There are certain problems within our society that need to be immediately addressed before we could completely dwell in our problem on black-on-black crimes. More so, better law enforcement could also help in eradicating the problem on black-on-black crimes. Also this will not really guarantee that crimes will never happen again, this will ensure that there is a strict monitoring of what is happening in the society. But then, there should also be also respect on the Black offenders. They may be criminals, but they should still be treated as human.
If offenders are immediately identified, there will be lesser crimes as the police or the authorities are faster in terms of solving the crime. Part and parcel of this solution is also the strict implementation of available laws. If authorities are not strict in implementing their own policies pertaining to crime, offenders will not be intimidated and ashamed to commit any crimes—whether it is a black-on-black crime or not.
And last but not the least, there should be “community involvement” in fighting this social predicament. It is not just an issue of Blacks against Blacks.
It is an issue concerning everyone. The Blacks should not be treated differently by the society. It is just the complexion that differs, anyway. In a study conducted by the Chicago Crime Factors and Neighborhood Decline in 1978, respondents were asked about their perception on the crimes that are happening in their community. The survey was done through a telephone survey involving 3300 household members in eight chosen community areas in Chicago. The communities were chosen in terms of their racial composition, property values, and crime rates. In each community, there were 400 household members chosen randomly.
Based on the results, there is a significant association of racial composition to the respondents’ perception on the crimes in their neighborhood. As hypothesized, as a neighborhood has a higher percentage of Black American inhabitants, the respondents have higher perceived rates on the crime rates within their community. The association of Black Americans with crime rate is both applicable to Black and White Americans, who are the respondents of the study. The survey conducted in Chicago just shows how the Black Americans are perceived by White Americans and even by their fellow Black Americans.
They are associated with crimes. We have to break this particular stereotype than Black Americans would mean higher crime rate. Instead of being mere observers of this social plight, we do something to break this kind of problem.
Black-on-black crimes usually happen because of the treatment that the Black Americans get from the society. If we open about our racial differences, Black-on-black crimes would be lessened—at least. We would just usually smirk if we hear stories of crimes committed by Blacks on their fellow Blacks. Our mind set is that, we are not affected, anyway.
Some even blame the Blacks alone for doing those “criminal acts. ” We tend to forget that everything is connected to everything else. We tend also to “wash our hands” over the issue of Black-on-black crimes. We are unmindful that we have also our part on the perpetuation of these kinds of crimes. Conclusion The society is a very crucial factor towards the development of an individual. The environment is a vital determinant on what kind of individual one could be. How the society looks on a particular group of people usually reflect the demeanor of an individual within the group.
For example, the case of the Black Americans is a clear manifestation of the society’s prejudice. The salient issue that Black Americans are most likely to commit crimes against their fellow Black Americans affects the psychological being of the Blacks. In a nutshell, it is the society which is the main root of Black-on-black crimes. Ironically, it is also the society which will play the most important and most crucial part towards the resolution of this social plight. A society with open mind is what we need. A society that is void of prejudices, stereotypes, and judgment.
By this, black-on-black crimes will be solved.
II. Overview of Black on Black Crimes
A. Prior Researches
C. Perceptions on Crime
III. Causes of Black on black crimes
IV. Combating Black on Black Crimes