Sean Taylor and Black on Black Crime

Sean TaylorWhoa! Jason Whitlock has always been provocative but he came especially hard in his article for Fox Sports in responding to the murder of Redskins’ Sean Taylor. And even before Whitlock wrote this, some bloggers responded similarly–saying what many were thinking but afraid to say. On Tuesday, The Field Negro had this to say:

We are all so caught up in the tragic death of a famous football player, that unfortunately the real story will be lost again. We will be talking about all of Taylor’s athletic attributes, what his loss will mean for the Redskins, and possibly the actual details of the shooting. But we won’t be talking about the way society and a race of people have abandoned an entire generation of young black men. Young men who are killing each other in record numbers without remorse. Whether their chosen victim happens to be an NFL star, or just another rival on a North Philly street corner.

Well, Field, it doesn’t look like that story has been completely missed. Check out what Whitlock had to say about those who argue that Taylor is being disrespected by discussing his troubled past. You must read the entire article to get the full flavor. But here is a taste:

No disrespect to Taylor, but he controlled the way he would be remembered by the way he lived. His immature, undisciplined behavior with his employer, his run-ins with law enforcement, which included allegedly threatening a man with a loaded gun, and the fact a vehicle he owned was once sprayed with bullets are all pertinent details when you’ve been murdered.

And more to his point:

Let’s cut through the bull(manure) and deal with reality. Black men are targets of black men. Period. Go check the coroner’s office and talk with a police detective. These bullets aren’t checking W-2s.

Rather than whine about white folks’ insensitivity or reserve a special place of sorrow for rich athletes, we’d be better served mustering the kind of outrage and courage it took in the 1950s and 1960s to stop the white KKK from hanging black men from trees.

But we don’t want to deal with ourselves. We take great joy in prescribing medicine to cure the hate in other people’s hearts. Meanwhile, our self-hatred, on full display for the world to see, remains untreated, undiagnosed and unrepentant. [source: MSN]

This is a particularly touchy subject. No one wants to disrespect a grieving family through blaming Taylor’s death on his own behavior–even if it is true. A loss in this way is always tragic and most people, I am sure, feel sorry for the family’s suffering.

What I suspect voices like Whitlock and Field represent is the black-on-black crime issue coming to a head in the black community. The outrage is growing. The everyday black person is getting so tired of black men dying by the hands of black men that they are throwing aside any concern for PC talk, “airing dirty laundry”, or challenging black leaders. Check out my other posts on Dunbar Village for another example.

Expect to see many more hard-hitting indictments of the black community from the mouths of black people in the near future (Whitlock refers to a “Black KKK” element in the community). These voices are not, and will not be solely from conservatives. Blacks across political lines are concerned about the mass destruction of black men and how it is impacting our families and the larger community. And it’s time. It’s been time.

Let’s just hope the outrage is transformed to effective action.

A side note: As of this post, it has not been confirmed that the killer was black but many are betting he is.


10 Responses to “Sean Taylor and Black on Black Crime”

  1. 1 Neuman November 29, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Did I miss something? Did they catch Taylor’s murderer overnight and ESPN failed to report (for the first time) a salacious angle in a sports story? If they caught Taylor’s murderer overnight and he or she confessed, then everything I’m about to say is not only irrelevant but wrong. However, if the last thing I heard on TV before I dozed off last night remains good information, i.e. the chief investigator stating that they had no suspects and that the facts ascertained to this point do not link Taylor in any way to his own death, then Whitlock and Field Negro are way off in their analysis.

    First, on what basis do Whitlock and Negro (or is it Field?) jump to the conclusion that Taylor’s murderer is black? Because Taylor was black? Based on what we know about the murder, which is virtually nothing, the killer could be white, brown, or magenta. I question the extent to which popular assumptions and images (you know, the subtle but pervasive notion in the media that every black man wakes in the morning with bloodlust to snuff another black man for stepping on his Timberlands) have crept into the consciousness of Whitlock and Negro to assert–on no facts–that the killer is black. Moreover, Whitlock’s theory of suicide by immaturity is just stupid. First, there is no evidence that the Taylor’s murder was related to any of the exemplars of bad choices he made that Whitlock chronicles. Second, I am saddened that Whitlock’s faith in the redemption of humanity is non-existent. People grow up; people change; people mature; people develop. In fact, Jeremy Shockey talks in the Daily News about what a changed man Taylor was after his daughter was born. Thank God we are not governed by Whitlock’s rule that poor choices = death by shotgun. We’d all be dead.

    Finally, I think we need to start thinking about black on black crime in a different way. Isn’t there a real difference between drug boys shooting each other over territory, money, and drugs than, say, a botched burglary where the homeowner and burglar happen to be black? Or a black woman who shoots her husband when she finds him sleeping with the babysitter, or whatever? I posit that the former example is a more significant concern to blacks because of our disproportionate and devastating representation in the drug trade, whereas the latter examples can happen to anyone. If, contrary to the findings of the current investigation, it turns out that Taylor was killed because he was beefing with other blacks and they brought the beef to him in his home (which seems unlikely since the only weapon Taylor had in his home was a machete—I mean, does anyone think he brought a knife to a gun fight?), then this is “true” black on black crime. However, if Taylor surpised a burglar (black or white) and they shot him in fleeing or for some other reason developed on the spot, then this is not “true” black on black crime since the latter likely would have occurred irrespective of the individuals’ races. Either way, it’s incredibly tragic.

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  1. 1 Neuman: Sean Taylor, Whitlock, & Black on Black Crime « The Checkup Trackback on November 30, 2007 at 1:08 pm
  2. 2 Eric Gonchar Trackback on March 3, 2015 at 3:12 pm
  3. 3 Covert Tracking Trackback on March 7, 2015 at 10:06 am
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