Monday, September 7, 2015


Previously, I responded to Houston Chief of Police McClelland regarding his remarks to KTRK: 

“Then you went on to cosign the worst misconception of all, BLACK ON BLACK CRIME! You inquired “Why is there not a tremendous outcry of young minority men killing young minority men?” And asserted that “If young black men were dying from some other epidemic, health reason, there would be an outcry. But they’re killing each other with firearms and no one seems to matter. It doesn’t seem to matter and no one seems to care.”…Black on Black crime used as a reference to counter the argument of the movement for Black lives to matter is apples to oranges at best. This vitriol is weak at best, Black on Black crime has NOTHING to do with rampant police brutality and abuse of power when it specifically comes to Blacks…”


1 . A visible disembodied spirit: Ghost

2 . Something that haunts or perturbs the mind: Phantasm

The movement for Black lives is about deconstructing and dismantling a system of racism and White supremacy. We start with the police violence on Blackness, and work into other areas that have been very problematic in terms of criminalizing Blackness, perpetuating misogyny, limiting access to quality education, financial stability, access to proper healthcare and a host of others. The spectre of Black on Black crime is used as a tool in an attempt to say “Black people fix your problems at home before you hold us accountable.” That statement is dangerous in many ways, would there be Black on Black crime IF we had an equal playing field and there was no White privilege to be concerned with? Sociologically, Black on Black crime is actually less than that of White on White crime, we the Black people get a bad rap because society is socialized to see Black as impure, bad, putrid. This leads to internalized racism, the need for a White savior, doing everything possible to be the opposite of what ethnically comes along with being Black.

Here are some real crime statistics:

Whites are 6 times as likely to be murdered by another white person as by a black person; and overall, the percentage of white Americans who will be murdered by a black offender in a given year is only 2/10,000ths of 1 percent (0.0002). This means that only 1 in every 500,000 white people will be murdered by a black person in a given year. Although the numbers of black-on-white homicides are higher than the reverse (447 to 218 in 2010), the 218 black victims of white murderers is actually a higher percentage of the black population interracially killed than the 447 white victims of black murderers as a percentage of the white population.

In fact, any given black person is 2.75 times as likely to be murdered by a white person as any given white person is to be murdered by an African American. - Shaun King


No matter how one tries to use the spectre of Black on Black crime, it will NEVER overshadow police brutality or catch up to the White on White crime that is conveniently absent from mainstream news cycles. So lets call a ghost a ghost and focus on the institutional and structural racism that is so imbedded in the foundation of our nation, which permeates much more than the law enforcement agencies. White supremacy is insidious that no one will admit that White on White crime is just as high as Black on Black crime and how does one explain that? There are mountains of data that show why crime in the Black community is the way it is. With all of the opportunity, nepotism, and privilege that Whites get, I find this fact confusing. Lets talk about how the deck is stacked against the Black community...


- Access to preschool. About 40% of public school districts do not offer preschool, and where it is available, it is mostly part-day only. Of the school districts that operate public preschool programs, barely half are available to all students within the district.

- Suspension of preschool children. Black students represent 18% of preschool enrollment but 42% of students suspended once, and 48% of the students suspended more than once.

Access to advanced courses. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Asian-American high school students and 71% of white high school students attend high schools where the full range of math and science courses are offered (Algebra I, geometry, Algebra II, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics). However, less than half of American Indian and Native-Alaskan high school students have access to the full range of math and science courses in their high school. Black students (57%), Latino students (67%), students with disabilities (63%), and English language learner students (65%) also have less access to the full range of courses.

Socioeconomic Status: American Psychological Association

Ethnic and Racial Minorities & Socioeconomic Status
Socioeconomic status (SES) is often measured as a combination of education, income, and occupation. It is commonly conceptualized as the social standing or class of an individual or group. When viewed through a social class lens, privilege, power, and control are emphasized. Furthermore, an examination of SES as a gradient or continuous variable reveals inequities in access to and distribution of resources. SES is relevant to all realms of behavioral and social science, including research, practice, education, and advocacy.

SES Affects our Society

Low SES and its correlates, such as lower education, poverty, and poor health, ultimately affect our society as a whole. Inequities in wealth and quality of life are increasing in the United States and globally. Despite these challenges, behavioral and other social science professionals possess the tools necessary to study and identify strategies that could alleviate these disparities at both individual and societal levels. Variance in socioeconomic status, including disparities in the distribution of wealth, income, and access to resources, affects everyone.
SES and race and ethnicity are intimately intertwined. Research has shown that race and ethnicity in terms of stratification often determine a person’s socioeconomic status (House & Williams, 2000). Furthermore, communities are often segregated by SES, race, and ethnicity. These communities commonly share characteristics of developing nations: low economic development, poor health conditions, and low levels of educational attainment. Low SES has consistently been implicated as a risk factor for many of the problems that plague communities. Seeking protective factors to minimize these risks, researchers have reviewed literature that highlights the resilience of persons overcoming social challenges associated with skewed distribution of resources (Corcoran & Nichols-Casebolt, 2004). It is important to understand that continually skewed distributions breed conditions that ultimately affect our entire society. Thus, society benefits from an increased focus on the foundations of socioeconomic inequities and its correlates, such as racial and ethnic discrimination and efforts to reduce the deep gaps in socioeconomic status in the United States and abroad.

SES Impacts the Lives of Many Ethnic and Racial Minorities

Discrimination and marginalization are sometimes barriers for ethnic and racial minorities seeking to escape poverty (Corcoran & Nichols-Casebolt, 2004).
  • African American children are three times more likely to live in poverty than Caucasian children. American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian families are more likely than Caucasian and Asian families to live in poverty (Costello, Keeler, & Angold, 2001; National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).
  • Although the income of Asian American families is often markedly above other minorities, these families also often have four to five family members working (Le, 2008).
  • Minorities are more likely to receive high-cost mortgages: African Americans (53 percent) and Latinos (43 percent), in comparison to Caucasians (18 percent) (Logan,2008).
  • Unemployment rates for African Americans are typically double those of Caucasian Americans. African American men working full time earn 72 percent of the average earnings of comparable Caucasian men and 85 percent of the earnings of Caucasian women (Rodgers, 2008).
Despite dramatic changes, large gaps remain when minority education attainment is compared to that of Caucasian Americans (American Council on Education, 2006).
  • African Americans and Latinos are more likely to attend high-poverty schools than Asian Americans and Caucasians (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).
  • In 2005, the high school dropout rate of Latinos was highest, followed by those of African Americans and American Indians/Alaska Natives (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).
  • In addition to socioeconomic realities that may deprive students of valuable resources, high-achieving African American students may be exposed to less rigorous curriculums, attend schools with fewer resources, and have teachers who expect less of them academically than they expect of similarly situated Caucasian students (Azzam, 2008).
Physical Health
Systemic prejudices against ethnic minorities in the United States create additional barriers in health care that exist regardless of class.
  • In one study, one-fourth of American women of South Asian descent from affluent backgrounds did not have a Pap smear in over 3 years. Those from low socioeconomic status are even more at risk for not having this early detection test yearly (Chaudhry, Fink, Gelberg, & Brook, 2003).
  • Socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity have been associated with avoidable procedures, avoidable hospitalizations, and untreated disease (Fiscella, Franks, Gold, & Clancy, 2008).
  • Low birth weight, which is related to a number of negative child health outcomes, has been associated with lower SES and ethnic/minority status (Fiscella et al., 2008).
Psychological Health
Socioeconomic deprivation and racial discrimination have been implicated higher psychological distress.
  • Minority children in high-poverty areas are more likely to be exposed to alcohol and tobacco advertisements (Wallace, 1999) and drug distribution (Wallace, 1999); they are also more likely to use drugs and exhibit antisocial behaviors (Dubow, Edwards, & Ippolito, 1997).
  • The odds of being diagnosed with schizophrenia were significantly higher for African Americans than Caucasians in lower poverty areas (Chow et al., 2003).
  • African Americans are at higher risk for involuntary psychiatric commitment than any other racial group. African Americans and Latinos in low-poverty areas were more likely to be referred for commitment by a law enforcement official than any other racial group (Chow et al., 2003).