A tragedy is occurring in countless cities across the U.S. with a sizable urban African-American demographic. Black men are dying at the hands of other black men at a high rate in America.
The country saw around-the-clock news coverage when an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a Hispanic neighborhood watchman on Feb. 26. Sadly, Martin wasn’t the only black life lost this year to a senseless tragedy.
African Americans represent only 12.6% of the country’s population, but account for nearly half of the citizens murdered in the U.S. each year.
A 2007 study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that nine out of 10 black murder victims were killed by other blacks from 2001 to 2005.
What is even more chilling is the amount of African Americans killed in this nation in 2009 nearly mirrors the troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.
More than 6,572 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom, according to statistics compiled by the Washington Post.
6,556 African Americans were murdered in 2009 alone, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Justice and FBI.
“Black victimization is a real problem, and it’s often black on black,” said David A. Harris, a law professor at the University of Toledo who studies crime trends, according to the Washington Post. “That aspect has to be brought into any attempt to address the crime problem, and the community itself must be called into the process.”
A recent murder that has garnered national attention in the Hip-Hop arena was the death of 18-year-old Chicago rapper Lil’ JoJo. Englewood resident Lil’ JoJo, born Joseph Coleman, was murdered in a hail of gunfire in a drive-by shooting as he was riding on the back pegs of a friend’s bike.
The slain Chicago emcee predicted he would die shortly before he was gunned down telling his love interest he wanted to see her before his demise.
“I am 4 real im losing my ni**as everyday so idgaf nomo,” he wrote in a Facebook message.
Coleman’s murder is tragic not only due to the national black homicide rate, but because the homicide rate in the city of Chicago exceeds all other cities in the nation. Chicago has surpassed 300 homicides thus far in the year, according the statistics compiled by Red Eye Chicago.
Given these demoralizing statistics, where is the concern from the nation and the black community? No longer can America’s problems in the urban black community be swept underneath the rug.
Rap songs are heavily embedded with destructive lyrics and help perpetuate the violence in the nation’s inner cities. With many popular rap songs mentioning murder and crime, it is hard to defend the art form that once told stories of the ghetto plight rather than glorify it.
Hip-Hop artists are not combating this issue, but rather promoting the destruction of the African American community.
Lil’ Wayne has recently received backlash for remixing the song “Get Smoked” by 13-year-old Chicago artist Lil’ Mouse.
Lil’ Mouse, who represents the Wild Wild Hundreds on the city’s gritty South Side, made the front page of the Chicago Sun Times after an uproar erupted over the young emcee’s presence in his controversial music video. In the music video, the Chicago youth bounces with fellow comrades as he raps about sex, drugs and murder.
Lil’ Wayne, 29, didn’t make matters any better by co-signing the young artist.
South Side Chicago resident P. Noble, who produced the video, told NewsOne in an exclusive interview he finds nothing wrong with Lil’ Mouse’s lyrical content.
“Lil Mouse is writing his own lyrics about what he sees in his community every day,” Noble said, according to NewsOne. “This is an eye opener for people about what’s really going on in urban communities. His message doesn’t disturb me. It’s what young people call, ‘Keepin’ it real.’ And this is the way the music industry is headed.”
The “keeping it real” mentality has led to countless deaths in the black community. The murder rate that is plaguing the black community is nothing short of “genocide” and should have the attention and concern of the nation.
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