I often hear claims that blacks are criminals, wife beaters, drug addicts etc. Many Americans and non-Americans globally have internalized these views without thinking beyond what they are being fed by the “mainstream” media. This topic is important to me because, growing up in Nigeria, I attended a high school that was run by conservative white Christian missionaries, mainly from America. The missionaries often gave us mixed messages about race in America. On the one hand, according to the missionaries, there was no racism in America and that they love black people. After all, they are in Africa to save black Africans from their savage ways. Praise the Lord. On the other hand they often would equate crime in America with African Americans (blacks).
Upon my arrival to the United States, I had these stereotypes in my head but I began soul-searching and doing research alongside my academic work only to discover that what I had actually learned was racist views of African Americans. Below are a few statistics and references on this issue. This is the America that claims to be leader of democracy and human rights. Lets get educated, small, small ( as Yotti/ Bali people of Nigeria would say, “fem,fem “)…..
1. Blacks are 14 % of drug users but 74 % in prison compared to
2. 74% white drug users but only 10% are in prison,
3. 60% of violent crimes in America are committed by whites but only 23% are in prison.
These are stunning examples of institutional racism explained by Tim Wise. Wise’s audience is mainly white Americans because black scholars and activists have been saying this for centuries. To be fair, Tim Wise usually gives homage to black scholars, intellectuals, activists, etc. who inspired him to think more critically about the “facts” of crime and race.
Also check these scholars below. They have made massive contributions to a better understanding of race and crime in America.
1. Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”
Here is a video on the book, Alexander’s interview on “Democracy Now” with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez:
2 Harriet A. Washington,
Here Washington’s interview on her research and book…
link to an article:White Doctors, Black Subjects: Abuse Disguised as Research
3. Douglas A. Blackmon’s ” Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America From The Civil War to World War II”
Here is a documentary based on Blackmon’s work.
4. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
here is a link to those interested in purchasing it…ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
and interview by Bill Moyers
I hope the examples I provided above answer your questions, to list a few:
a. Do black (and brown) people commit more crimes than white people?
b. Does the American justice system work for all of its citizens?
c. Why are American prisons flooded with black and brown people?
d. What is the way forward?
For additional information
1. Top 15 Crime Bosses and Drug Lords in 2012, U.S.A ….read it here top-15-crime-bosses-and-drug-lords-in-2012
The “current leaders” include, “Sicilian Mafia, American Cosa Nostra, Neopolitan Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta, Russian Mafia, Albanian Mafia, Chinese Triads, Japanese Yakuza, Montreal Mob, Solntsevskaya Bratva, Clerkenwell crime syndicate, Los Rastrojos, Sinaloa Cartel, and the Juárez Cartel.”
2. “Balkan gangs, the Albanian crime groups” one of the most sophisticated crime groups in the U.S they are based in New York city…03albanian.html
3. Scholarly piece on the growth of Albanian crime groups, title “MEN OF PURPOSE: THE GROWTH OF ALBANIAN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY” …gus.html
4.Quoting Toni Morrison, “Black boys became criminalized. I was in constant dread for their lives, because they were targets everywhere. They still are”.
5. Read always…..don’t allow stereotypes control you..
6. Read the story of Lance Armstrong and how he cheated through out his career by doing drugs with the help of high profile drug company and sport officials. “Lance Armstrong Doping: International Cycling Union Strips Champion Of 7 Tour De France Titles, Bans Him For Life”….lance-armstrong-stripped-of-medals-banned-from-cycling_n_1999965.html
7.Matthew Fogg, a former U.S. Marshal/ DEA Agent Says He Was Told to Only Lock Up Blacks/African Americans for Drugs….former-dea-agent-says-he-was-told-to-only-lock-up-black-people-for-drugs-video
8. Annie Dookhan a “chemist” intentionally gave false drug test results as a result criminalized innocent people, mostly brown and black people.( p.s it was later realized that she lied about her education…) …annie-dookhan-chemist-lie_n_1917182.html
9.”NYPD Narcotics Detective Admits Cops Regularly Plant Drugs On Perps”..http://http://gothamist.com/2011/10/13/nypd_narcotics_detective_testifies.php
10.White Man murdered African-American youth because his music was too Loud….http://http://www.politicususa.com/man-killed-florida-teen-loud-music-alters-story-fit-stand-ground.html
12. African-American/black boy was attacked by over 7 white youth, sentenced to 12 years in prison for fighting back in self defensed…http://http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2012/12/brandon-jackson-defends-himself-after-being-jumped-by-white-mob-sentenced-to-12-years-in-prison/
13 Melissa Harris Perry speaks on the killing of Jordan Davis and how America is not a country for young black men. She also highlights it similarity with the killing of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till.
14. White man shot 60 people, killed 12 in Aurora, Colorado at a movie Theater.http://http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57477243/the-aurora-shooting-victims/
15. Anders Behring Breivik a white Norwegian killed 77 people in a mass murder, sentenced to 21 years in prison…http://http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/world/europe/anders-behring-breivik-murder-trial.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
16.Griselda Blanco aka “Cocaine Godmother” is from Columbia and a “devout” Christian.Blanco had so many connection in New York and Miami government this helped her become one of the most powerful drug dealer in U.S History, making $1 million dollars a week and was regarded very dangerous. Read recent news about her here…http://http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/09/09/griselda-blanco-cocaine-godmother-meets-a-sudden-grisly-end.html
17. Fred Brito, the master con artist. He lied his way through some of the highest leadership positions, from a priest to head of red cross etc… http://thatliarfredbrito.blogspot.com/p/timeline.html
19.”Connecticut shooting, white males, and mass murder”…www.examiner.com/article/connecticut-shooting-white-males-and-mass-murder
21. Watch the story of medical doctor Harold Shipman aka Doctor Death ( he killed more than 150 people ) in the UK