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Old 01-16-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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I think it is time to ask some questions that somehow, I haven't heard asked in public. I feel that a discussion of race relations, prejudice, racism, stereotypes, etc., should be fostered and I have some questions to go with this.

1) I am very aware of the statistics regarding crime in the African-American community. What I also notice is that the majority of persons victimized by African-American criminals are themselves African-American. A few questions to come out of this:

a) Why is the victimization rate of African-Americans paid less attention than the offending rate of African-Americans?
b) Why are African-Americans more likely to be victimized by members of their own ethnicity than other ethnicities?
c) Why do most African-American criminals commit crimes in African-Americans neighborhoods and not in White neighborhoods?(this is not to say I advocate crime being committed anywhere, it is mainly about curiosity, but a curiosity, I may add, should be thought about).
d) Why is it that gangbangers and murderers get more attention in the media(mainly the news), than persons such as Bill Cosby, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West, Neil Degrasse Tyson,etc? Furthermore, why is it that African-American intellectuals are not promoted as much as rappers like Li'l Wayne? I ask those two questions because I see alot of images in the media of African-Americans that I don't find very nice, or that are good role models. The good role models are people like Bill Cosby, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West, etc.

These are just a few questions. I would like to pose more of them as this thread progresses. This is sort of to get things started. This is meant to be a honest, civilized dialogue. I feel things can and should be better. This is why I ask such questions.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:10 PM
 
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I am not surprised that there hasn't been much in the way of discussion.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:32 PM
 
Location: SWUS
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a) Why is the victimization rate of African-Americans paid less attention than the offending rate of African-Americans?

I honestly have no idea. Is it perhaps because the attitude of our current mainstream media seems to be "if it's sensational, it sells!"? I've heard that a great deal, or a majority of crimes perpetrated by African-Americans are against others of their own ethnicity..this leads me into part B.

b) Why are African-Americans more likely to be victimized by members of their own ethnicity than other ethnicities?

I believe this is probably because the majority of African-Americans spend the most time around and socialize most with other African-Americans.. I would expect the same results if someone said "White people victimize their own more than others"...well, DUH. If you spend a lot of time around someone the chances of a falling-out at some point are very good. Sometimes, falling-outs lead to violence.. this seems to be "human nature".


c) Why do most African-American criminals commit crimes in African-Americans neighborhoods and not in White neighborhoods?(this is not to say I advocate crime being committed anywhere, it is mainly about curiosity, but a curiosity, I may add, should be thought about).

Probably because they spend more time in African-American neighborhoods than anywhere else? It's probably where home is, where family is, where friends are, and quite possibly where there are people they don't get along with. Most of my instances of bad behavior have been in white neighborhoods, because I'm white.


d) Why is it that gangbangers and murderers get more attention in the media(mainly the news), than persons such as Bill Cosby, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West, Neil Degrasse Tyson,etc?

Gangbangers and murderers get more attention in the media because people see gangs and murders as a real problem.. Violent gangs are a scary thing and I wouldn't want to cross one, and as for being murdered? Not on my to-do list. But there is a fascination with bad things happening to other people, I think the word is "schadenfreude."

Furthermore, why is it that African-American intellectuals are not promoted as much as rappers like Li'l Wayne?

Because Li'l Wayne makes himself much more available? I rarely see intellectuals of any sort or skin color trying to promote themselves in mainstream places like TV or the news or the radio.
Answers are in red.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JordanJP View Post
Answers are in red.



a)Sensationalism does sell, and I find it rather sad. I would argue this is part of why fear is often engendered. Few people are ever told the flip side of the coin. The truth about African-Americans being victimized more than anyone else doesn't sell.


b) That could be one answer. It makes some sense. It could also be argue that many criminals who victimize African-Americans find it easier to victimize them for many reasons. Kind of a cowardice move. Then again, alot of criminals, of any race, are cowards anyway.




c) Being concentrated in a certain space does have alot to do with it. I have also seen this in a predominantly White area. I remember some White kids from my old neighborhood who would go around making trouble in the subdivision, and one kid robbed a house. One of those kids shot me with a paintball gun.
I have also heard it argued that many African-American criminals commit crimes in predominantly African-American neighborhoods because if they were to "try" to commit these crimes in White neighborhoods, the police would be called much faster. Another addition to this answer is this: There is also an argument that in a White neighborhood, there is a higher chance of a Black man getting the police called on him for "suspicious activity, whether or not he is committing a crime, than a White person in that same neighborhood. This has actually happened to me before.




d)Violent gangs and murders are a problem. I can understand that. On the other hand, I would also argue that I see this way too much on television. As an African-American, I feel like when those images are being posted to the television, it is ME who has to live with that. I might not be getting shot or killed, but it has a damage factor. I consider myself an intellectual, nerdy type, and I like it that way. However, it doesn't mean I won't get judge for the actions of the gangbangers and murderers seen on TV. This also goes into why I asked about why there isn't MORE promotion and representation of African-American intellectuals such as Cornell West and why the rappers who sing about stupid stuff(such as Li'l Wayne) are seen more on TV. I don't know, maybe Li'l Wayne makes himself more available, but that the same time, his music is stuff that SELLS. I would argue that he gets promoted MORE because his stuff sells. It is about the money. In my eyes, it can't be about the money all of the time. Sometimes it is good to see a good role model on television, such as Cornell West.

I have also been told by someone that "intellect" isn't valued in pop culture. Part of why I don't like the current pop culture. It does NOTHING for me and in some ways,can be kind of damaging when one considers the arguments. I see some of the young college students listening to rappers who rap about violence, "glamorous lifestyles" and other stuff I don't like. One person said on TV it was her was of experiencing another culture. I think about this: In real life, real people get killed by gangs and other people, and there is nothing glamorous or glorious about it. It is just sad.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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It is argue that stereotypes are based on things that are seen. Still, it begs this question: Why generalize? What good does this do for any individual who is of a certain ethnicity?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:05 AM
 
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For part B of your question, I think that when it is seen as black on black crime it is less likely to be prosecuted. Not saying it is right in the least, but maybe on a subconscious level it could be seen that other black people are a safer target because they are less likely to be caught and prosecuted. Also, I have seen and heard that the "no snitching" mantra is adhered to more commonly in some black communities than elsewhere, leading the crime to be less likely to be reported.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pvjd View Post
For part B of your question, I think that when it is seen as black on black crime it is less likely to be prosecuted. Not saying it is right in the least, but maybe on a subconscious level it could be seen that other black people are a safer target because they are less likely to be caught and prosecuted. Also, I have seen and heard that the "no snitching" mantra is adhered to more commonly in some black communities than elsewhere, leading the crime to be less likely to be reported.
Another interesting point you bring up. The "no snitch" thing is part of why Black and Black violence is less likely to be prosecuted, and hence, why African-American criminals are more likely to murder African-Americans than anyone else. I would argue that there is a deep mistrust of the police in many African-American communities, much of it coming from abuses from the police towards African-Americans. There is still a lingering distrust of the police, which means some people are unwilling to call the police. One of my friends commented "if someone yells 'snitch' at you, you might get killed", and not necessarily in those words, but you know what I mean.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JordanJP View Post
Answers are in red.
Almost all of these are the answers I would have given.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
It is argue that stereotypes are based on things that are seen. Still, it begs this question: Why generalize? What good does this do for any individual who is of a certain ethnicity?
Because people are intellectually lazy and it's easier to generalize, believe media stories or other info given to them by others, and not do their own research. It's easier to just make one size fits all answers and generalizations to make things easier for their minds to process.

People of all races do this when generalizing other races. Many even make generalization about their own race/culture, including Blacks, whites and others who talk about things "Black people do" or things "White people do" and the poor rural white group that refers to themselves as rednecks. People eat up those generalizations, just look at crowds' reactions to comedians racial stereotypes.


It's the same reason why people accept certain ideologies or political parties because the people they know or their family always voted for that party or ideology.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Freedom123 View Post
Because people are intellectually lazy and it's easier to generalize, believe media stories or other info given to them by others, and not do their own research. It's easier to just make one size fits all answers and generalizations to make things easier for their minds to process.

It's the same reason why people accept certain ideologies or political parties because the people they know or their family always voted for that party or ideology.
It is indeed very easy for people to generalize because it doesn't take alot of thinking. One size fits all doesn't fit everyone. I would argue that it is easier for some people to generalize and stereotype for this reason: To dig deep and get to know the persons on an individual level, as well, as to understand the individuals take work, work I may add, not many people like to do. Therefore, it is indeed very easy to generalize. It takes the work out of it.
I have heard people justify their generalizations via statistics and other things. Yes, I understand there are statistics, but what about the individual? More often that not, almost no one wants to answer this question: How does generalization and stereotyping help the individuals who DON'T live up to the stereotype, especially if the stereotype is going to target them? Oddly enough, no one seems to have any answers to that. Doesn't surprise me much anymore.
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