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  • Writer's pictureletstalkracenow

De-Myth to Truth

FACT "The biggest problem in the Black community is Black on Black crime" "There are more Black youth in prison than in college." NOT FACT

Demystifying and De-mything taken for granted statements about Black ADOS is sometimes shocking because systemic racism machines fired by media and casual conversation marks these statements as FACT. No need to check further because I've heard it all my life. One reason to not check is the underbelly motives for continuing to believe what we are told, that renders us blameless for the beliefs until we are outraged by resulting behaviors, like police firing fast on Blacks and slow on whites.

What does this mean? Between 1980 - 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice found that 84% of white victims were killed by white offenders and 93% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders, just a 9% difference. In 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that 81% of white victims were killed by white offenders and 89% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders. In 2017, the FBI reported almost identical figures — 80% of white victims were killed by white offenders and 88% of Black victims were killed by Black offenders. In the United States homicides are largely intra-racial. Not based on racial or ethnic dysfunction as reported.

But, another TRUTH is revealed in the police killing statistics. Killings of Blacks by police are disproportionate to killings of whites. That is the alarming FACT that has finally reached the heads and hearts of Americans who have not stopped protesting since the death of George Floyd.

This article reports that in 2016, the American Journal of Preventative Medicine examined all 812 fatalities that resulted from use of lethal force by on-duty law enforcement from 2009-2012 in 17 states. The majority of victims were white, 52%, but Black victims were over-represented (32.4%) relative to the U.S. population. The fatality rate was 2.8 times higher among Black victims than whites. More whites were killed but at a lower percentage of population representation.

I was taken back by their next finding. We read so much about Blacks being fired upon because officers feared for his life thinking they saw a gun. They claimed that 83% of victims were armed, but Black victims were more likely to be unarmed. This should not surprise as numerous studies confirm that Black men and women are killed by police at higher rates than whites. In fact, Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police over the course of their lifetime than white men. Black women are 1.4 times more likely to be killed by police than white women.

What else is myth over truth? As we individually journey into the new territory of self-exploration of race and ethnic beliefs, we must stop at every door marked FACT. What myths do we hold about "all" white people and foreigners and immigrants that impede equitable relationships? Yes, this journey includes all of us regardless of race and social status. It is necessary if we are hoping to live together under one flag and in one land.

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