Quick Note on Crime and Racial Stereotypes

You see racism rear its ugly head when a crime is committed with people calling the criminals “animals” and suggesting that the police should check Newark. The thought that “those kind of crimes” should only happen in urban areas because “this is a safe area” can be extremely naive because these expressions are predicated on the idea that crime is relegate to only one kind of people and location (Ha!).  Though the person that committed the crime was wrong and should be brought to justice, there is no excuse for the use of dehumanizing stereotypes, but then again racism is so institutionalized people can easily justify their fears and concerns and then argue that people should be able to carry concealed guns. This runs the risk of having another Trayvon Martin tragedy occur because people are filled with their racial biases about black masculinity. One comment I saw suggested that we go back to the old way of dealing with crimes which for me as someone who studies race is scary. Based on these assumptions, and they are assumptions, people are making about the shooters in the Short Hills Mall shooting, black men all around North Jersey would be prime suspects. Who is to say that had this not be the 1950s some black boys would have ended up dead, not for being the criminals but for being victims of the institutionalized racism that plagues our society.  One person’s acts does not make a race as evil can be committed by anyone so please be careful of how you discuss crime and those who commit it. 

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Quick Note on Crime and Racial Stereotypes

  1. I agree with your sentiment that there is no excuse for dehumanizing people. Frankly I think it is an insult to the animals to call the thugs who commit violent crimes animals — these are thinking human beings instead of creature being true to their natures.

    I also agree with you about the people naively assuming ‘crime doesn’t happen here.

    Where we start to differ is the rational basis behind some of the thought processes. And while some isn’t rational or logical; there is a kernel of truth to many accusations.

    From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    * In 2012, residents in urban areas continued to experience the highest rate of violent crime.

    Most criminals aren’t roaming far from home — so the people victimizing the urban dwellers are other residents of the area.

    Also from the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

    Most murders were intraracial. From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.

    Note two key facts — most homicides are ‘intraracial’ — within the same race. Also note the fact that African Americans are disproportionately represented both as victims and offenders.

    Areas where whites – excuse me, Caucasians tend to be disproportionately represented — like property crimes (burglary) tend not to make the news nearly as much.

    And since you brought it up?

    This runs the risk of having another Trayvon Martin tragedy occur because people are filled with their racial biases about black masculinity.

    What tragedy? Other then someone who was apparently a drug user, apparently participated in street fights, was suspected of burglary, had pictures of a firearm on his phone along with a cannabis plant — was shot and killed when he apparently assaulted and didn’t stop — key words there – assaulting someone.
    Regardless of who actually throw the first punch (all evidence suggests that it was Martin ) once Martin had the advantage and control over Zimmerman — he went from any possible definition of defense to attempted murder….repeatedly banging Zimmerman’s head.

    I’m not making this a racial issue but rather an individual issue. I studied the evidence, watched the trial ; because initially I thought Zimmerman screwed up by the numbers and shot an innocent. Turns out that wasn’t the case.

    1. The crimes in urban areas are not merely by chance or the fact that people want to participate in crimes but are a result of multiple factors in society that cannot be adequately explained here. To summarize briefly, this includes racial segregation, police brutality, lack of economic opportunity, and the school to prison pipeline to name a few.

      As for Trayvon Martin, the fact remains he is dead and Zimmerman is alive. Trayvon Martin may have smoked marijuana and got into fights but those do not justify his murder or how he was basically placed on trial. If that was the case many young adolescent males, regardless or race should be shot and killed. Trayvon Martin demonstrates how institutionalized racism makes it legally sound to view a black male as criminal and question him at all time. Furthermore, Zimmerman should have listened to the 911 dispatcher who told him to stay in his car. None of us can speak for Martin since he is dead but he should not have been killed regardless of how people try to paint the story.

      1. “Trayvon Martin may have smoked marijuana and got into fights but those do not justify his murder”

        The beatdown he laid on Zimmerman does. Also, “homicide”. “Murder” implies malicious aforethought. Unless you are claiming that Zimmerman was able to control Trayvon’s actions to be able to maliciously kill Trayvon and come out as “self-defense”, you literally have no case to make.

        “If that was the case many young adolescent males, regardless or race should be shot and killed”

        They usually don’t violently assault people.

      2. You have missed my point completely. Trayvon Martin is the one that is dead. We have only received one side of the story and the witnesses that were called did not see the actual event that transpired which leaves us with the story the prosecution painted for the jury. My post is commenting on how institutionalized racism affects how black males are perceived and I used the killing of Trayvon Martin as an example. Trying to justify the murder of Trayvon Marin due to secondary character traits not only is disrespectful but dehumanizing. No one man should be able to decide who lives and who dies. Though the term was barred from the trial, Trayvon Martin was racially profiled. Finally, the medical examiner used in the trial mentioned that there was no way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired which removes the argument that Trayvon was “assaulting” Zimmerman.

  2. Dreamer,

    We have only received one side of the story

    Absolutely not true. We have Trayvon’s side from what Rachel Jeantel said in court and in dispositions. We have Trayvon’s side from the forensic evidence. We have Trayvon’s side from his own words and photos from his cell phone.

    the actual event that transpired which leaves us with the story the prosecution painted for the jury

    You do realize the PROSECUTION tried to convict Zimmerman, don’t you? The prosecution tried to tell the story of an innocent little boy shot in cold blood by the mean neighborhood watch. The DEFENSE presented evidence — despite much of that evidence being slow rolled and delayed — showing that wasn’t the case.

    My post is commenting on how institutionalized racism affects how black males are perceived and I used the killing of Trayvon Martin as an example.

    And I’m commenting to show how the perception of racism -can influence the perception of events. I truly studied this case thinking Zimmerman messed up. That was the story the media and Martin’s family protrayed. That wasn’t the story the evidence showed.

    Though the term was barred from the trial, Trayvon Martin was racially profiled.

    You have any evidence of that? I’m sure the Federal government would be interested – they are still looking to prosecute Zimmerman. The real fact is that Martin’s behavior, not his skin color, was what was profiled. His actions fit the typical behavior of someone trying to break into houses. A behavior that according to his school records he may have been familiar with. Sorry but racism isn’t the big factor you are making it out to me.

    inally, the medical examiner used in the trial mentioned that there was no way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired which removes the argument that Trayvon was “assaulting” Zimmerman.

    That is absolutely contradictory to what was presented in court. I would love to see a citation showing otherwise. So how do you explain Zimmerman’s injuries? How do you explain the bloody nose, the lacerated scalp, the bruises.

    How do you explain the grass stains on Martin’s pants and shoes?

    How do you explain Martin’s injuries being limited to his hands:
    Bao told jurors about the pictures and said Martin was healthy at the time of the shooting. He said Martin had a small abrasion on his fourth and fifth left finger.

    And by the way, the medical examiner failed to look under the skin for subcutaneous bruising — which would not have been visible on the skin because of the damage to the heart.

    How do you explain the eye witness testimony that place Martin on top of Zimmerman?

    How do you explain the forensic evidence placing Martin on top?
    http://blackamericaweb.com/144326/travyon-martin-george-zimmerman/

    Isn’t just possible that racism is the issue but with your perception and not mine or Zimmermans?

      1. Never did I say it was the sole factor in what happened. It was the majority factor in the events.

        Trayvon Martin was in Sanford because his mom kicked him out of the house due to his behavior.

        Trayvon Martin in all likelihood was purchasing ingredients for the street drug “purple lean” — he certainly made and used it before.

        Trayvon Martin might not have been casing the houses in the area but his behavior fit the pattern of doing so.

        Trayvon Martin probably had experience with burglary – he had possession of burglary tools and jewelry that didn’t belong to him.

        Travyon Martin did fight several times.

        George Zimmerman’s behavior showed consistent pattern of calling the police and waiting for their presence. No witnesses came forward or where presented showing he confronted other possible suspects.

        Add all the facts up along with the prevalence of the thug culture that Martin was emulating if not participating in and yes — you have Martin as the instigating factor.

        So — given all the evidence. Given all the reports – including the F.B.I. investigation in Zimmerman’s past — showing no overt or passive racism on his part — how do you claim that Racism was the issue?

        Sorry it doesn’t make sense. Too many times, too many places you would be right…this time, no.

      2. My opinion stands and if you are looking to change my mind you will not be successful. Your defense of Zimmerman and your view of a criminal and aggressive Trayvon proves my point about how black males are perceived in this country.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s