Black Violence: Is There 'Concern Fatigue'?

At PostBourgie, Gene Demby vehemently rejects a claim that blacks "shrug off" killings in our own community, arguing that people are simply tired from caring too much.

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Anti-violence march in Chicago (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Adamantly rejecting a claim that blacks "shrug off" killings in our own community, at PostBourgie Gene Demby argues instead that people are simply tired from caring too much. 

Over at The Root, Keith Harrison resurrects a tired trope.

"Where is the outrage in our community about all of those slain blacks, most of whom were male and a plurality of whom were under 25 years old? Where are the protest demonstrations? Where is our community's message that the ongoing carnage is unacceptable?

Sabiyah Prince, a Washington, D.C.-based anthropologist whose specialty is African-American life and culture and who has worked with community organizations in Harlem and D.C., says that it's easier to garner support when the foe represents power. "In a situation where a child walks to the store and a quasi-law-enforcement person can shoot and kill him and get away with it … that mobilizes people," Prince says ...

This genre of concern-trolling has been in full-bloom since the Zimmerman verdict: black people should turn their attentions to the crushing violence in their communities, but they sit idly by as their children are butchered.  Can Keith Harrison get an amen?

We've been down this road before. So let's make this plain: To assert that black people simply shrug off the murders of their sons and daughters and cousins and best friends, that folks simply shake their heads and keep it moving is to assert that black people are constitutionally incapable of grief and outrage. It's to assert, sideways, that black people aren't fully human.

There's a tremendous arrogance in the idea that someone who doesn't have to navigate these dangers every day cares more about them than the people who live in their edgeless shadows. There was all that anger that surrounded the killings of Derrion Albert or Hadiya Pendleton — the latter's death became such a major story in black communities that her funeral was attended by Michelle Obama ...

Read Gene Demby's entire piece at PostBourgie.

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