When a white cop kills a black person, the media pays attention. There is also widespread attention paid to cases involving a mass shooter. The same cannot be said of black-on-black shootings occurring in impoverished neighborhoods.
As part of a gun violence series, The New York Times covered the lack of outrage in cases involving black victims and suspects.
Profiled in the story was Barry Washington, a black seasonal Amazon.com worker who was fatally shot while stopping at a Cincinnati Elks lodge in route to get cigarettes. Washington was hit by a stray bullet after a fight broke out in the lodge.
The deceased man’s sister told the Times that her brother’s death is no big deal around where she lives because killings are frequent.
“The reality is, this happens quite frequently,” she said. “And it’s kind of, ‘Oh, well, this guy was killed today. Somebody else will be killed tomorrow.’ ”
Black People Are Killing Each Other at “Barbecues, Family Reunions, Music Festivals, Basketball Tournaments” and Nobody CaresClick to tweet
These shooting happen everywhere, including “at neighborhood barbecues, family reunions, music festivals, basketball tournaments, movie theaters, housing project courtyards, Sweet 16 parties, public parks”. And both the victims and suspects are usually black:
The divide is racial as well. Among the cases examined by The Times were 39 domestic violence shootings, and they largely involved white attackers and victims. So did many of the high-profile massacres, including a wild shootout between Texas biker gangs that left nine people dead and 18 wounded.
Over all, though, nearly three-fourths of victims and suspected assailants whose race could be identified were black. Some experts suggest that helps explain why the drumbeat of dead and wounded does not inspire more outrage.
Former neoliberal Philly Mayor Michael Nutter explains the lack of concern.
“The general view is it’s one bad black guy who has shot another bad black guy,” he said. “And so, one less person to worry about.”
Omitted from the conversation is how Mayor Nutter’s own neoliberal policies contributed to the impoverishment of the urban city he led.
In 2013 while Nutter was mayor of Philadelphia, Parks and Recreation saw a budget cut of $8 million dollars, leaving the city’s youth without programs normally provided by the city.