There’s a powerful video going viral right now that features Ray Lewis pointing out the utter horror and bloodshed taking place in Chicago when it comes to black-on-black crime and the fact that #BlackLivesMatter and other groups seem more interested in going after cops than demanding a change from the black community. As he says, “My heart is hurting – we must do better.”
It’s a must watch.
(Also, please note that the title of the video below was created by someone who disagrees with Lewis’ points, but the embed feature and quality worked best for our site.)
At Intellectual Takeout, we’ve made this point as well. The reality is that in Chicago, it’s not cops killing black men, it’s black men killing black men. In fact, the latest data available on the race of victims and offenders reveals that 75% of those murdered in Chicago are Black and 71% of those who commit murder are Black.
If you’re wondering about some of the numbers Ray Lewis pointed out about escalating violence in Chicago, here’s the latest shooting-victims comparison for the years 2015 and 2016 from the Chicago Tribune:
As you can see based on the blue bars, shootings are up incredibly high this year compared to last year. As of April 7, there have already been 814 shooting victims in 2016.
CNN reported on April 1, 2016:
The 141 deaths in the first three months of the year mark a 71.9% jump from the same period in 2015, when 82 people were killed. It's the worst start to a year since 1999, when 136 people died in the first three months the year, according to the Chicago Tribune.
At that pace -- an average of three killings every two days -- Chicago would have 564 homicides by the end of the year. That would eclipse the 468 killings recorded in 2015 and 416 in 2014.
Overall, shootings have also skyrocketed.
According to data provided by Chicago police, the number of shootings in the first three months of the year jumped from 359 in 2015 to 677 in 2016 -- an 88.5% increase.
What’s driving the violence? That’s up for discussion.
Some, such as #BlackLivesMatter, will argue that the root cause of the violence is systemic, white racism keeping blacks down. Those holding that opinion generally believe that not enough is invested in education or getting young blacks on a good 'college and career' trajectory. Ultimately, the argument comes down to the idea that Blacks in America are still suffering from oppression, which has caused inequality of material well-being. That inequality of material well-being is nearly insurmountable without systemic changes and a drive for greater equity.
Others, though, would argue that family breakdown and culture play a bigger role. Billions of dollars are invested into Chicago Public Schools on an annual basis and many, many job programs and various welfare programs exist to help young blacks escape poverty and the violence, yet after decades and decades of investments things haven’t changed or they’ve gotten worse. Ultimately, the argument here comes down to the spiritual well-being of the individual, with the belief that if the spirit is strong, material challenges can be overcome.
There’s probably some truth to both sides. Whatever the case, Ray Lewis is quite right that more attention needs to be focused on black-on-black crime and what the black community can do to help protect its young ones from the predators that openly prowl the streets. Hopefully, we can all agree that there is far too much death and violence.