Why is “White on Black crime” perceived differently among “Blacks”

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Some people in the community have wondered why people in the so-called Black community seem more outraged by the Zimmerman acquittal Wilson non-indictment (or Garner choke-hold non-indictment), when in places like Chicago, young teens are murdered more often. That is not an outrageous question first off. It is natural to wonder why this outrage seems misplaced. Still, let me remind you that many in the community have been equally outraged by senseless violence in the inner-city as well all along. Those conversations however, are mostly internal and would not take the notice of those not concerned with matters about the inner-city. So on one hand, those criticizing the sense of outrage simply may have not paid attention to those types of discussions. I for one, can say that these conversations go on in forums and Facebook pages everyday regardless of the Trayvon Martin murder case Mike Brown homicide case (Eric Garner choke-hold case).

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Darren Wilson killer of Michale Brown Aug 9 2014
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D Pantaleo killer of Eric Garner July 18 2014

What if?

Still, the amount of added attention a case like this gets is due to another phenomenon altogether. I studied this principle in business management courses. It’s called Equity Theory. This is a perception that motivates workers to perform based on the knowledge or perception that they are being treated equally with others. When other people are perceived to gain rewards unfairly or indiscriminately, they feel slighted. This perception of unequal treatment causes more passion and anger than a normal slight because the perception of equality is also at stake.

A few words associated with this theory that are important to note are underreward, overreward, distributive and procedural justice. When someone feels that their reward is not proportionate to the input they contributed, they feel underrewarded. When someone is overcompensated for their input, they feel guilt at some point due to being overrewarded. The author of the book, Effective Management, Chuck Williams notes that

it takes much longer for someone who is overcompensated to feel guilt than someone who feels slighted and underrewarded.

Therefore people on the short-end will naturally feel it before those who benefited from the action.

Distributive and procedural justice deals with the perception of the process by which the outcomes are distributed fairly and the procedures used to make the reward allocation. In other words if a person perceives the system of allocation or the allocations themselves to be unfair they will feel slighted. So while “Black folks” don’t feel as slighted by the unjust system of laws which excessively incarcerate other “Blacks” for crimes against each other, the difference in justice dealt to people of other “races” against “Blacks” will be readily seen. This is normal for the human psyche according to psychologists. There is no perceived injustice when “Black on Black crime” occurs. It is only when “White on Black crime” occurs that a difference in the procedural justice can be seen.

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The feeling which caused some to protest and march against this perceived inequality in the George Zimmerman not guilty verdict, (Michael Brown/Eric Garner/ John Crawford etc.) is the same perception of outrage felt by many “Whites” who observed the O.J. Simpson murder trial. The outrage at O.J.’s acquittal can be seen as misplaced when compared to the amount of response from the “White” community in the Casey Anthony murder acquittal in 2012.

It’s not about why “Blacks” were outraged about Darren Wilson’s acquittal. Why was there no outrage from the “White” community when a mother was acquitted of killing her own child and lying to police and the court to cover her tracks?

It is for the same reason. There is no perceived inequity in the outcome which would inflame anger. There may also be some guilt which is being expressed by those who choose not to understand this feeling in the “Black” community. And as stated earlier it takes longer for those who feel guilty to respond to it. The expressed confusion and claims that “This case is not about race!’ when it clearly is, is almost childish in its naivete. The intellectual dishonesty in those statements by some show boldfaced guilt akin to the kids Al Sharpton referred to, who claimed they didn’t eat any pie with blueberries all over their face.

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Lastly, it is noteworthy to mention that the mainstream “White” community’s quick-found deep embrace of the extreme acts of weak-wristed cowardice, was astonishing. Words almost can’t describe how perfect the match between coward and racist was blended with the ‘no indictments’ of Wilson and Pantaleo in November and December of 2014. It was one heck of a ‘Thank You!’ to all African descended Americans living in the United States. It is a message that clearly states that when the police state comes (and it already has), the cowards will side with the police.

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Kurt Nice

Kurt Nice aka Kurtiss Jackson is a behind the scenes pioneer in the Hip Hop Kulture, creating the first nationally distributed video mix tape series, Shades of Hip Hop, in the late 1990s. Since touring the country with the Stop the Violence Movement and the Temple of Hip Hop as KRS-ONE’s National Marketing Director, Kurt Nice has been a constant commentator on conscious Hip Hop and its relevance to the new rap music of today, through radio and cable appearances. contact Kurt at info@hiphoplives.net

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9 thoughts on “Why is “White on Black crime” perceived differently among “Blacks””

  1. Workplace deviance may arise from the worker’s perception that their organization has mistreated him or her in some manner. Employees then resort to misbehaving (or acting out) as a means of avenging their organization for the perceived wrongdoing. Workplace deviance may be viewed as a form of negative reciprocity. “A negative reciprocity orientation is the tendency for an individual to return negative treatment for negative treatment”.

  2. What is needed in situations in which there appears to be a ‘stand-off’ between various groups is a clearer understanding and appreciation of the perspectives held by stakeholders and an approach in which these can be understood and a useful dialogue can be developed and maintained. This chapter aims to provide some insights into the water-allocation debate through an exploration of perceptions of fairness and justice in two earlier social conflicts over water allocation in the Murray–Darling Basin (Gross 2008, 2010). The first centres on a 2006 NSW Government decision to cut the carry-over water allocation. This resulted in a community protest in the town of Deniliquin. The second social conflict is the community protest and campaign against the Victorian Government’s North South Pipeline and Food Bowl Modernisation Project initiated in 2007. These two social conflicts were case studies in a larger research project exploring equitable resource allocation in environmental decision making (Gross 2010).

  3. gray says:

    what the hell is this

  4. Pat Mercado says:

    externalizing, and sexual behavior problems; and poor self-esteem (c.f. Kendall-Tackett, Williams, & Finkelhor, 1993). Children may blame themselves for either the actions of the perpetrator or the results of disclosure. Children can feel shame and stigmatization caused by the abuse (Feiring, Taska & Lewis, 1996). Symptoms are related to child characteristics such as age and gender, as well as abuse characteristics such as penetration, duration and frequency of the abuse, and the relationship between the perpetrator and the child. Also, maternal s upport can lessen the de gree of symptoms in child victims (Kendall-Tacket t, Williams & Finkelhor, 1993; Feiring, Taska & Lewis, 1999). Behaviors and self-blame can diminish with time (e.g., Runyan et al., 1988; Feiring & Cleland, 2007), but psychological and health effects can continue into adulthood and last a lifetime for some victims (e.g., Kendall-Tackett, 2002).

  5. gold price says:

    Reward systems need to accomplish two goals that may sometimes feel mutually exclusive. They need to motivate individual performance and they need to maintain group cohesion. It is important to reward high performance, but it is also important that people experience the workplace as providing rewards that are equal when individual performance depends on group performance. The key to resolving this perpetual difficulty is making sure that the procedures used to make these kinds of decisions are fair. Employees who report less pay satisfaction are less satisfied at work. But when they feel that the methods for deciding on pay are decided fairly, they experience high organizational commitment and positive reactions to their supervisors. Everyone hates pay cuts but when interactional fairness is perceived, employees are much more likely to accept the bad news and less likely to engage in behaviors like stealing or to resign. When workers understand why things have happened, are treated with respect and consideration, they tend not to vent their anger on the organization [20]. This is what makes the Commitment to Open Communication so important: providing people with accurate information and increasing organizational transparency assures a greater perception of organizational justice.

  6. Vaclav Havel [president of the Czech Republic after the fall of the Soviet Union]: “All haters accuse their neighbors–and, through their neighbors, the entire world–of being evil. The source of their rage is the feeling that an evil world and nasty people refuse to yield to them what belongs to them by right. In other words, they project their anger onto others. In this sense, haters are like spoiled children, unable to understand that there are times when one must be worthy of receiving what one gets; and even when we don’t get everything we think we’re entitled to, it is not due to the malice of others” (Havel, “The Anatomy of Hate,” Diogenes 44.4 [Winter 1996]: 21).

    1. Kurt Nice says:

      Interesting points. Never heard of that one, The Anatomy of Hate.

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