The rancor surrounding the George Zimmerman acquittal failed to address the ignored problem of black-on-black crime.
The death of a minor is always tragic. The media devoted wall-to-wall coverage of Trayvon Martin’s death, even as the nation’s black-on-black killing fields — our inner cities — filled more body bags with black victims slain by black killers.
According to FBI data, 4,906 blacks killed other blacks in 2010 and 2011. To put that number in context, that is more than the total number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq over the last decade. To put it another way, more black Americans killed other blacks in two years than were lynched from 1882 to 1968, according to the Tuskegee Institute.
I am no sideline commentator. This black male was robbed at gunpoint by a black thug — a former classmate — in December 2001.
Sadly, my story is not unique. But unlike countless other black youths, my life was spared.
I am also different in that my father, an Army drill instructor, and my mother, who was a manager, supported and nurtured my moral and educational upbringing.
Today, with nearly 7 in 10 black fathers abandoning their young, is it any wonder that poverty, prison and gang lifestyles stalk so many black youths? The solution to black income inequality is painfully obvious: Bring home two full-time paychecks from a mom and a dad instead of one.
Two committed parents also means there are another pair of eyes and hands to read to that child at night, to inculcate a sense of self-worth. Two parents mean twice the chance that a black child won’t fall victim to the panoply of social pathologies that plague so many American inner cities.
It is time America broadens the parameters of our discussion about black-on-black crime. It’s’s past time for black America to be brutally honest with itself.
No, black people are not unique to intra-racial murder. But a subculture of wanton disregard for human life has cropped up in some communities. Not every black child who dons a hoody is a hoodlum. That does not make Trayvon Martin the new Emmett Till.
Blacks often avoid turning the spotlight on ourselves. Meanwhile, caskets are being filled with the bodies of America’s future. The culture of death thrives in America’s inner cities.
So let’s keep it real: Many of black America’s wounds are self-inflicted. Until we bolster the core pillars of personal responsibility and self-reliance that create human flourishment, all the punditry, political grandstanding and civil rights posturing will remain impotent and useless in fixing social problems that vex black Americans.
It’s past time for healing in the communities that hurt the most. This culture of murder must be confronted. Leaders must lead. And until this happens, things aren’t going to get any better.
Savannah native Jerome Hudson is a member of Project 21, a black conservative leadership network.