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A historically black college in Memphis recently held a “black-on-black crime forum”

By: Darwin Campbell
Author of column series “The Black Whisperer”

exploring causes and solutions, but it was the term “black-on-black crime” use that dominated the discussion.

The goal was to defer the term as old and archaic and blame the media for coining and using the phrase “black-on-black crime” in the first place.

It concerns me when the purpose of a gathering of “eggheads” seems to raise more questions and make more excuses than providing solid useful substantive answers for issues affecting the Black community.

My Juneteenth Wish is That Black People Get Off The “Jetson Treadmill” & Stop Making Excuses

Who Needs “Dum-Dums”

The Illinois college professor and author of the 2005 book “Inventing Black-On-Black Violence” traces and blames the earliest uses of the term to the media — a magazine long-serving African Americans and a major Chicago newspaper.

David Wilson, a geography professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said an article in Jet magazine in the 1970s about the emerging trend of “black-on-black violence” in American cities was the first source he found to use the phrase.

The second, in 1980-81, was a five-part series in the Chicago Tribune called “Winter Wave of Violence” that was widely read, Wilson said.

“What fed into the process I think was the 1980s. The rise of Reagan and neoconservatism and that political persuasion was especially strong at asserting the reality of this thing called black-on-black violence,” Wilson said.

He thinks the term helped drive the neoconservative political agenda in the 1980s and helped fuel filling prisons with what critics call “mass incarceration” policies.

Black Community in Real Crisis

One man said “It’s so easy to get a gun or an AR-15 or an AK-47 in your community, but it’s difficult to get a driver’s license or a voter’s registration card or a quality education, those are the crime challenges that we face.”

Nationwide, a black perpetrator was responsible in 90 percent of murders of black victims, and a white perpetrator was responsible in 82 percent of murders of white victims, FBI statistics for 2014 show.

There are real visible problems affecting our communities nationwide. We are robbing each other; We are killing each other; We are hurting one another; We have absent fathers; We have unemployment, gang influences and violence and breakdowns in family structures that have impacted who we are and in the process of defining who we are becoming as a race.

Hopelessness is at an all time high while the presence of character and values in youth are at all time low.

Take Responsibility/Blame is a Losing Game

By our own hands, we have caused our people to take a brutal beating in the community and as a result of allowing those slip ups, the Black community has sown the wind and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

It is pitiful to make excuses for our bad behavior over just taking full responsibility for the parts we have played in creating a generation that has little respect for God, Church, Black History or the old grandmothers and grandfathers, great aunts and uncles living amongst us.

The elderly are here to teach us about life…if we are willing to hear them, listen and learn.

Unfortunately, these living libraries are being burned daily and losses mount as more and more of these great and wise ones are lost to the ages, leaving the unlearned, unwise, untested younger generation to fend for itself and live parasitic lives at the expense of hard working people still living in the community.

It is time to get off the “Blame Game” wagon and stand alongside and support those true social justice warriors working in the streets to make a difference.

For far too long, Black Pastors, Black elected officials and community leaders have talked and talked and walked and walked and walked and accomplished little… The Result – Same old problems, even few solutions.

Don’t Be A George Jetson

The Black community it trapped on the “Jetson’s Walking Treadmill and like George Jetson, we are trapped going nowhere fast and all we are doing in yelling to God, Government and Churches to save us yelling,“Help! Stop this crazy thing! Help!!!” But it keeps going, going and going without relief in sight.

Want to stop police shootings, blighted neighborhoods, drug and gang violence and Black-on-Black crime?

One suggested things could get better if: “It would better if there is a massive job creation program, where everybody who wanted to work in the black community… if we were able to get decent employment, many of the problems like ‘black-on-black’ violence would disappear.”
That is a noble idea…but before all that.

The Black community needs to stop living life on the “Jetson Treadmill” now and chart a new course for success and a new direction filled with positive thinking, action, optimism, hope, faith in its own, Black history education and a hands on approach to parenting, education and community action.

This Juneteenth season with the focus on Uhuru freedom, we can start fresh and make that difference.

Step off “The Jetson Treadmill”.

That’s when change starts taking place.