You may have seen this piece about missing Black men…

… in the NY Times.  My daughter sent it to me and it immediately brought back to mind the endless exchanges that have taken place about crime, police violence, etc., and the efforts by some to blame African Americans for their/our own oppression.

In looking at the article one has to ask one’s self about how the laws and law enforcement is used against Black America.  But one also has to ask about the economic system in which we live where entire segments of multiple populations, i.e., not just African Americans, have been rendered redundant.  When such a situation emerges, the increase in incarceration can be better understood, that is, numbers of peoples of color, and specifically African Americans, are no longer necessary for the economy and must be ‘contained.’

It is, therefore, important that we understand the ‘racialization’ of crime.  That is, crime is not restricted to African Americans, Latinos or Native Americans.  But when members of those groups commit crimes, there is a racial generalization that takes place that does not happen to any significant degree, among whites.  Further, even when there are caricaturizations of certain whites as being associated with crime, e.g., Italians, Russians, this does not lead to police lynchings in these communities or the wholesale arrests of their youthful populations.

Articles such as this one remind us of the larger context within which #BlackLivesMatter has emerged.

One thought on “You may have seen this piece about missing Black men…

  1. Points by Bill Fletcher Jr are at the essence of the question about how white police respond
    to situations. Simply put when the situation involves a black person they behave differently
    from how they would behave if their attention was directed at a white person. Sadly most in the
    white segment of society are in denial about this.

Leave a Reply to Philip Reiss Cancel reply