Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Before we dive down this rabbit hole, the term “Black on Black crime” is antiquated, subversive lingo that was invented in the 1980s by the media to further segregate, agitate, and isolate Black America from its abusive, neglectful, adoptive guardian. Though all races and cultures have violent traits, this label was seemingly applied to highlight the volatile nature of a few, and superimpose it on an entire people. That, my friends, is some ol’ bullshit.
It seems America has reached this awesome apex in its existence where we are beginning to understand that we are all one nation. (Well, not really because the hate still out numbers the love but I’m sure you smell my cologne.) Since we’re all happy-go-lucky now — and by that I mean legalizing gay marriage, lowering the Confederate flag, and all sorts of other leaps and bounds in acceptance — I’d like to pose a theoretical question to everyone reading this. The question is this; if “black-on-black crime” is an actual thing that we can attribute to characteristics, idiosyncrasies, nuances, and occasions, then can we start to refer to it as a hate crime?
By definition, according to dictionary.com, hate crime is:
A crime, usually violent, motivated by prejudice or intolerance toward an individual’s national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
That said, a lot of the senseless, nameless, shameless acts of violence I’ve encountered among my people should technically be categorized as hate crimes, in my opinion.
I know people who’ve been murdered by their own and people who have murdered their own, and the constant variable between the two was…is hate.
I know gang members who’ve possed up to hunt for the enemy, and of course that enemy looked just like them, which insinuates a certain degree of self-hatred being transposed on whatever son of a bitch that happened to be unlucky enough to cross paths with them that day. The dread is continuous and continual, it seems.
To a degree, I know this will never become actuality. See, certain crimes committed in certain back alleys and side streets in America don’t get the necessary attention because of their nature. For instance, a bunch of niggas do a drive-by on another bunch of niggas and, in the eyes of the police, as well as the general public at large, it’s just that. “Black-on-Black crime.” Not only does that afford the police the luxury of lumping it in with the hundreds of other “random acts of violence” that occur so often in the city, state, country, but without calling it what it is, it makes the scenario less important.
A couple of years ago, I saw what I thought was a fight. I quickly, and morbidly realized that this was not a fight per se, although the victim was indeed fighting for his life against the two attackers. After a few moments (enough moments for me to call 911 and tell them to “hurry the fuck up”), the victim caught a punch to the back of his head, with a deafening thump, and he was down. What followed was the two savages pounding, punching, kicking, and stomping the already limp body on the asphalt, as it jostled to and from like a rag doll. A profusely bleeding rag doll. Imagine if Raggedy Andy’s red hair were red because of the life juices flowing freely from it.
By now, people began to gather outside, yelling and screaming — still no cops — but that did not deter these young, Black men from annihilating their perceived foe. And just like that, they were gone. The ambulance arrived before the police did, because there is no other way, and I watched an EMT leisurely hop out of the van, look over at the victim, and begin moving vigorously, as if he realized that time was of the essence. As quickly as the two assailants disappeared into the early morning darkness, so did the lifeless victim, whisked away by the siren-less ambulance. Some of his family stood around talking to police while others said they knew who did it and vowed revenge. This type of shit can’t be life. I shed a few tears, prayed for a while, and stayed up the rest of the night in utter awe of what occurred. Easily one of the worst memories embedded in my matrix. I have no idea if the victim lived or died, and there was no mention of the attack on the local news. This proves my point. What was obviously a crime of hate, for a bevy of reasons, was seemingly swept under the rug, probably because it happens so much that the city’s overseers and care takers don’t give a fuck anymore. Kinda makes me wonder if we’re wasting our time caring, too.
Black Lives matter. And it shouldn’t take an officer of the law to shoot an unarmed civilian to prompt that slogan. This should be an inner-city mantra that binds us together and motivates us to hold hands and keep each other afloat. Anyone willing to purposely disrupt that contrived harmony clearly hates us, as well as themselves, and that’s some shit we can no longer tolerate. If they won’t call them “hate crimes,” I will. And hopefully others will follow suit. Maybe at that point the bigger picture will begin to emerge and unfold.
I won’t count on it, however.
Spread love, fuck hate.
Words by Tony Grands
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