We Choose Scapegoating
On Monday, criminal-justice professors at Boston’s Northeastern University released a study that showed homicides in which blacks ages 14 to 17 years old were the victims rose to 927 over the two-year period of 2006-07.
The rise in homicides overall for those years was just over seven percent. For the black community the increase was 39%.
The Wall Street Journal writes:
An overwhelming proportion of the killings involve black-on-black crime. The reasons for high rates of violence in African-American communities have been the subject of debate among criminologists. Some attribute it to the migration of prison culture, with large numbers of incarcerated young men returning to their communities.
In Boston a group called the Ten Point Coalition is trying to put a stop to black on black male violence by targeting young black females.
The Boston Globe reports that the campaign is trying to appeal to girls through “poetry, a short play featuring actresses in Ugg boots and puffy jackets, and the distribution of purple rubber bracelets that bear the slogan “I Choose Me” in bubble and block letters”. The Coalition believes that the young black women hold more sway over black teen males than parents or teachers. They also want young girls to take responsibility for their part in the behavior of young African American men.
During school assemblies, the girls are told to realize that fights among themselves, spats with their boyfriends, even idle gossip or a dirty look can spark a chain reaction that leads to bloodshed. The campaign asks young women to acknowledge the part they play in a culture of violence. It is a marked shift from the traditional calls for peace that usually ask young men to put down their guns…
“Big conflagrations sometimes start with old-fashioned gossip and innuendo,” said Ronald S. Sullivan, director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute and a former public defender. “To the extent that students and young people can be equipped with the resources to deal with the interpersonal relationships in more productive ways, we can see some more reduced violence in the back end.”
I’m not exactly sure how much sway black teen girls have over black teen boys. Afterall, it’s not as if courtesy and respect are leeching into them from today’s urban music. Some young black males think hoes and bitches are suitable synonyms for black women.
My main worry is how black women are encouraged to be amenable for the behavior of young black men. Getting through adolescence is hard enough without trying to save other folks out there.
But I guess if I knock an idea down I should replace it with something else. Getting black fathers to take responsibility for their black sons sounds like a better one to me. Men, being there from the beginning to teach their sons how to solve conflicts with words instead of violence or encouraging their sons to just walk away. That’s just my idea.
In the article one young lady thought it was a good idea. She conceded that drama from females often initiate conflict among males. She said they were called set-up chicks.
Sounds like she’s ready to help carry that burden. But then black women have been groomed to be set-up chicks for the black community for the last hundred years.