By Jeff Thomas
Black men kill each other at alarming rates all across America every day. Most often occurring in urban areas, daily news casts lead with, “Today in our city three (or thirty depending on the size of your city) men were shot and killed in three (or thirty) separate shootings. Police have no suspects in any of the cases.” And immediately and innately you know that the people killed were black and the killers were black. This has been going on for the last 30-40 years and no end is in sight. New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates nationally. Why is this a thing here and across the country?
First Let’s Dispel a Racist Myth
First thing you have to know is that 99.999% of black men do not commit murder ever in their lives. That is a fact! This is not a black man issue. There is nothing genetically or intrinsically wrong with black men. But the fact remains that daily hundreds of black men across this country are murdered everyday by another black man. Why does this happen with this subset of black men?
Common factors to Black men murdering other black men
The first thing about murder is that people usually kill people who are similar to them in many ways, particularly race. White men normally murder other white men and black men normally murder other black men.
In the black community, these killings are normally city events. Rarely do you hear of a drive by in the country. Most of these daily killings occur on the city streets. Is the toxic concrete a real issue? No. People murder people physically close to them.
Most of the men dying on our streets are between the ages of 17-35.
Nearly 95% have not graduated from college and 65% have not completed high school.
100% were not upper class in America.
But these are well known and unsurprising factors. What goes into the psyche of a guy who can look into the eyes of another man and pull the trigger at close range or jab a knife with the intent to murder another man? In America today, many black men will not go to college and our failing educational system will still produce too many black high school dropouts. So a whole bunch of black men will not achieve upper class status. And though still 99.9% will never murder anybody thousands still die annually in this country. What are the other factors that contribute to becoming a murderer?
Habitually Hostile Men
The guy who ain’t never scared and always looking to escalate a situation. Down for whatever. Nothing to live for and anticipating the day he will either kill or be killed. This mindset is cultivated in a limited option, few chances, success deprived life. This guy has had a number of arguments and fist fights throughout his life. He hates authority and frequently feels angry or resentful towards people. He often seeks to overcome a feeling of powerlessness. This guy is a walking heap of rage.
The Disrespected Man
A man who does not own his own home has no say over his environment. A man with little educational outcomes and has never been a manager on his job and is always told what to do is sensitive to how he is spoken to by his coworkers and manager. A guy who has children but no custody and is harshly criticized by an unconcerned judge when short on child support feels regularly slighted and develops deep seated grudges against all people. For this guy, respect is everything and options to express anger or refutation are often limited. He often seeks to overcome a feeling of impotence. If another who seems unworthy of disseminating criticism or scorn or generally crosses the line of imagined respect, then a high level of response will be meted out.
Often immature, lacking self-identity and little life happiness this thrill seeker often brags and talks about his toughness and ‘hood status. Trying to make a real name for himself or recklessly escalating a situation or challenged by a non-believing skeptic, this man often acts in unnecessarily violent ways in unnecessarily violent situations. Often seeks to overcome a feeling of powerlessness.
Too often black men suffer an inferiority complex. Society vilifies and criminalizes black men on a daily basis. American culture is based upon the notion that black people and specifically black men are less intelligent, completely unpredictable, beast like, lazy etc., etc. (Google the word thugs and click on images to see what I mean) Black men internalize this notion and are conditioned to see little value when they look in the mirror. But their true essence fights against this lie and creates internal angst and torment. This unresolved pain combined with poverty, ignorance, oppression, violent police, violent neighborhoods, etc. etc. The symptoms of an inferiority complex include a high sensitivity to criticism, perceiving others as a threat, jealousy, a lack of dreams.
The daily feeling of isolation, powerlessness and impotence is like being a prisoner of war. One reason black men grab their genitals is to stress their vitality. Men who have been literally stripped of the ability to display their manhood – great jobs, big houses, educational attainment and all the other accoutrements of modern society- are literally killing to express their power in life. Is this logic twisted? What do you expect from men who kill at close range over relatively insignificant issues?