Self-Accountability Applies to All Americans Not Just African-Americans
The great actor-singer-athlete-activist Paul Robeson once stated, “We realize that our future lies chiefly in our own hands. We know that neither institution nor friends can make a race stand unless it has strength in its own foundation; that races like individuals must stand or fall by their own merit; that to fully succeed they must practice the virtues of self-reliance, self-respect, industry, perseverance, and economy.”
What stands out in Robeson’s statement is that he did not say what race he was referring to or who he included when mentioning we.
Over the last year with the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown by police officers in New York and Ferguson, Mo. respectively, many critics of the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” or “I Can’t Breathe” movements have stated that African-Americans should not protest against excessive police force until they become accountable for Black-on-Black crime.
While the African-American community must become more accountable for our failings, self-accountability does not just apply to the African-American race. It applies to all groups of people, including Whites, Hispanics, Asians and yes, police officers as well.
Although the number of Black-on-Black crimes has decreased tremendously in recent years, the number is still way too high and African-Americans must begin showing the self-respect that Robeson preached about in the early 20th century.
While African-Americans must admit the truth about Black-on-Black crime and embrace self-accountability, White Americans must accept that their demographic has a history of racism against Blacks and other minorities and it seems that racism is increasing in this country instead of decreasing.
They too must be accountable for what many in the White community do, if the same holds true for African-Americans.
According to NBCNews.com, “There are 939 active hate groups in the United States—a 56 percent increase since 2000, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The number of such groups surged in response to President Barack Obama’s election and the economic downturn—growing from 888 in 2008 to1,007 in 2012—before falling back slightly [in 2013]…
“Members of these groups and others were involved in 5,796 ‘incidents’ in 2012, the most recent year for which the FBI has compiled data. While that number declined from the 6,222 incidents reported the prior year, 7,164 people were victimized.”
While everyone should know that all of the hate groups did not consist solely of White people, those numbers prove that hatred is real in this country and those who have hateful views of others need to be held accountable for their failings.
Furthermore, statistics show that Whites kill Whites more than any other race kills them. Hispanics kill Hispanics more than any other race kills them and men kill men more than females kill men.
Therefore, intra-racial or intra-community crime is not something unique to the African-American race. It is something unique to the entire human race.
Those with the asinine belief that police officers and racists like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn should not be convicted of killing unarmed Black men until the African-American race is accountable for Black-on-Black crime do not say that Black men who kill White women should not be prosecuted until Whites stop killing Whites.
Based on Justice Department statistics, Whites are killed by other Whites 84 percent of the time, compared to 94 percent for Blacks.
When O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994, I do not recall any Simpson protestors saying he should be acquitted or not charged at all because Whites kill Whites too.
It is only when Black men are killed by Whites and Hispanics that critics, or those in total denial that racism exists, apply the intra-racial murder and self-accountability argument.
What is good for the goose should be good for the gander and if African Americans have to be accountable for all crimes committed between Blacks, then the same should hold true for every other race. Whether Robeson was only talking about one race in his aforementioned statement, his wisdom applies to all races. And all races have some improving to do before they can point their fingers at others.