Black Leaders Ignore Black-on-Black Crime

On Thursday, September 24th, after an apparently productive day at Fengler High School in Chicago, Derrion Albert, a black 16 year old honor student was knocked to the ground by a blow to the head with a railroad tie. He was then punched, kicked and stomped. Those who responded to rescue him were too late. 

Derrion had walked into the middle of a fight between two rival black gangs. He attempted to help one of the victims in the melee and was killed for his trouble. This took place in Barack Obama's Chicago. All his work for "social justice" did a great deal for Obama, but it did nothing for Derrion Albert. Of course the President is not responsible for this tragedy, but it does expose the fatuous claim that such occurrences are the result of social injustice rather than the personal choice to engage in lawless behavior. The ghettos, drugs, gangs and violence are on display for all to see in spite of Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Acorn and all the community organizing.

Treating poor black people as victims to be "organized" has been an abject failure. They are human beings to be educated, inspired and required to take responsibility for their own lives. The tragedy here is that Derrion was doing just that and it was working, but the malignant pathology of the ghetto spread to him on that unfortunate day and ended his promising life.

There is another tragedy. The so called black civil rights leaders have been mute. Had this been a white gang attacking a black gang member, they would have jumped in front of every camera and microphone available to decry racism and injustice in America. If it had been a black criminal with a long rap sheet, killed in a confrontation with a white police officer, there would be protests and perhaps riots against systemic racism in the police department.

Yet in this case and others like it, there is a deafening silence from some of the biggest mouths in America. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Louis Farrakhan and the Congressional Black Caucus see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. When Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was arrested by a white police officer, President Barack Obama -- without any facts -- found it necessary to put in his two cents. Here in Chicago, the salient facts are abundantly clear and a heinous murder has been committed in his home town, but the president is silent. Malicious, homicidal maniacs brutally killed a decent young man on the streets Obama "organized," but he has nothing to say. The self-appointed, media supported "black leaders" have not seen fit to hold a press conference or a rally supporting Derrion Albert and his family and condemning the perpetrators of this vicious crime. They have not called for witnesses to come forward.

There's a reason for their uncharacteristic silence. Derrion's murder does not fit the black liberation narrative. As one civil rights leader said to me, "If we focus on black on black crime, we let white folks off the hook." Never mind that the leading cause of death among black males ages 18 to 24 is homicide by other black males. In one interview before Obama was elected, Michelle Obama commented on threats to Barack Obama's safety saying, "As a black man, Barack can get shot going to the gas station." What she did not say is that his likely killer would be another black man. Blacks are only 13% of the population, but over 40% of the murder victims.  Ninety Three percent of those black victims are killed by other black people. As a black man, I am far more wary of the real black criminal than the imagined white racist.

Absentee fathers, abortion, drug use, gangs and black on black crime have a much greater impact on people's lives than theoretical systemic racism, but these issues do not fit the liberal paradigm to which civil rights leaders are hostage. The problems of the black community must be understood solely as a social justice problem inflicted on blacks by whites. No other explanation is worthy of discussion, and woe to those dare suggest otherwise. In truth the civil rights spokesmen have another agenda which supersedes the well-being of black folks -- their personal financial and political well being.

Liberal benefactors and foundations are not interested in addressing social pathologies which can only be eliminated by change of values, stable families and the willingness of fathers to parent their children. The government's coffers are closed to moral judgments and spirituality. Faith in God, parental love and discipline to instill values of decency and responsibility are the antidotes to gangs, crime and drugs. However, allegations of racism, discrimination and social injustice are far more marketable for the Rainbow Coalition and the NAACP.

The people who killed Derrion are monsters. Monsters come in all colors, but these happen to be black. They are not victims. They are cold-blooded criminals with no regard for human life. Maybe when the so called black leaders start speaking out against gangs and criminals as parasites instead of victims of society, there will be fewer real victims like Derrion Albert.

E.W. Jackson is a national radio commentator and President of STAND, Staying True to America's National Destiny. email:
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