10 Types Of Black-On-Black Crime Black People Need To Stop Committing

Damon Young
Damon Young

1. Serving undercooked and/or underseasoned meat at events Black people happen to be at


Pictured above is some undercooked and awkwardly seasoned chicken I took home from an event several days ago. Words can not fully encapsulate how disappointing and fraudulent this chicken was. This chicken was the final season of Lost. It was Shemar Moore's cornrow wig in Diary of a Mad Black Woman. If Jeb Bush's presidential campaign had an official food, this chicken would have been it.

Anyway, this was an event thrown by Black people. In honor of some other Black people. Which is why what you're witnessing is a crime. Because it's criminal to be a Black person and invite a hundred Black people somewhere and serve them despondent chicken. There's no country — at least not in Black America — for gloomy poultry. Nor shall there ever be.

(Why, you ask, did I even bother bringing this griefstricken chicken home? I wanted to see if it could be salvaged. It couldn't.)

2. Serving no food at events Black people happen to be at

If you have an event or gathering that's expected to last longer than 15 minutes and you don't provide food — and you don't tell people no food will be provided — this is even more criminal than the melancholy chicken. Maybe it isn't quite a felony. But you should be punished for this. Perhaps you should be forced to relinquish every chair in your home or something.

3. Three-hour-long church services

I love the Lord as much as the next person, but there's literally nothing that can happen in an 180-minute-long service that can't occur in 80 minutes. Goin' Up A Yonder is not a 47-minute-long-song, and it shouldn't take pastor 92 minutes to connect Ecclesiastes 1:11 to his heroin addiction.


Yet, our people keep subjecting young people to this, turning potentially enthusiastic Christians into protagonists in Kendrick Lamar verses. And this needs to be considered a crime. Because it is.

4. Surprising other Black people with the hood

Of course, there's nothing wrong with the hood. The hood is the shit. Also, related, there's less danger of half-assed meat being served if you happen to be at an event in the hood. If you go to a Bougie Black People event, you might need to eat beforehand, because Bougie niggas might have the audacity to prepare and serve couscous sliders. Hood events don't have this problem. Maybe you'll get shot. But you'll get shot with a satisfied stomach.


Anyway, if you are planning on inviting a friend somewhere, and this somewhere happens to be in the hood, you need to inform that person that this event is taking place in the hood. Because while the hood is great and cool, it's not great and cool to be surprised by the hood. You need to be prepared for the hood, so you can prepare for the hood.

5. Allowing bad hair to happen to good Black people

If you have a friend whose hair consistently vacillates from "damn fool" to "Is he a zombie and we just haven't realized it yet?" and this has been going on for an extended period of time, you should be charged with a crime. And no, if they always have half-assed hair, it's not their fault. They're obviously not self-aware enough to know the reason birds keep flying into their heads is because they think its a nest. Which is why it's your duty to prevent that, and a crime if you don't.


6. Forcing other Black people to listen to your shitty music

Think of all the terrible mixtapes and ghastly demos that have been shoved into your hands at beauty salons and barbershops and Megabus stations and family reunions. Now, think of how lovely the world would be if the distribution of shitty rapping and abhorrent singing came with a citation.


7. Strolling at grown-up ass parties

Raise your hand if you've ever been at a party as a grown-ass man or woman, saw a group of frat bros or sorority sisters starting to stroll, and thought "Holy shit! This is my favorite part of the night! I love when this happens so much!!!" Of course, me asking you to put your hands up while I'm typing on a laptop in Pittsburgh is a fruitless exercise. Because I can't see any hands. But I'm going to assume that if I was able to see each of you, none of you would have your hands up right now. Unless you happen to be Greek.


8. Asking for hook-ups from Black people who have been at jobs for literally 37 seconds

If your boy just got hired at 12:22pm, and you're already texting him about potential hook ups at 12:37pm, you should probably spend a weekend or two in prison. Because you're a bad person. But mainly because you're single-handedly ruining our employment rates. I don't have any numbers in front of me, but I'd wager at least 52% of Black people who've been laid off were laid off because friends and family kept asking for the hook-up. Even for shit where hook-ups don't even register. ("I'm a security guard at the bank, Jerome. How the hell am I going to hook-up your credit?")


9. Undertipping

Although the server undertipped might not be Black, it eventually ends up being a form of Black-on-Black crime, because that server might then assume the next Black people she sees will be shitty tippers too. Which'll make her give them substandard service; misremembering orders with an attitude and forgetting forks and shit. Which will make them cuss her out. Which will get them arrested. And Arrested While Black At The Olive Garden is a class B felony in 32 states.


10. Playing basketball with no shirt on

You're not Morris Chestnut or Taye Diggs, and this isn't a cliche scene in a Black movie where a group of boys shoot hoops and debate whether Shaun should come to the wedding because he fucked Lisa in college and Lisa didn't tell Darrell about it yet and it might cause some friction within the group even though all this shit happened 19 years ago.


No one wants to post you up and get a back full of chest sweat. And then go commit a crime because, after they have a back full of chest sweat, they're so angry that they have to go and rob someone.

Just put your fucking shirt on.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



Interesting thing about the history of tipping. Tipping began because after Emancipation White restaurant owners didn't want to pay their staff. So they pushed for laws allowing them to "employ" newly freed Black folks to work but without pay. Their pay would come in the form of tips.