I’ve been thinking a lot more about black criminality. So, black criminality is the idea that black people are perceived as criminals, untrustworthy, and liars. This perception leads bosses, co-workers, strangers to act harshly towards them versus other people in everyday situations. For example, a co-worker of yours is caught stealing $10.00 for which he later returned to the till. However, since it was caught on camera, he was reprimanded for borrowing the money even jut for a little while. This co-worker was white. Then you, a person of color, takes two $10 dollar bills from the till and puts it into your wallet. You then put $20.00 back in to the register five minutes later. Your manager sees you take the two bills, but instead of getting reprimanded, you get fired. You tell your boss that your other co-worker didn’t get fired. Your boss will say that every incident is different, and he is not allowed to discuss other employees with you. You start to take a count of what makes your case different than your white co-workers. It’s true, you don’t know ALL the details of the other case. It could be he needed the money to buy medicine because he was sick. You start feeling bad. However, you then question the other employee and realize his case we just handled different then yours. You realize slowly that you were just treated differently. Which is unfair, but the store can do what they want. If you fought it, you know you’d lose. You realize, you’ve been another victim of Black Criminality.
Black Criminality is dangerous because it directly affects your well being and it’s hard to fight. It’s those cases of getting thrown in jail for stealing a candy bar. You stole the candy bar, so you did something wrong. . .but most other people are not punished so harshly. “What? So, everyone should get through in jail for stealing a candy bar?”. Of course not, it just needs to be fair and not based on race. All we can do as people is expose it for what it is, and hope people recognize and acknowledge when it’s happening. Black Criminality is a disease and it (for a lack of better term) is easily refuted. Why? Because even if statistics show it exists, the crime is still a crime. Employers, friends, law enforcement, are ALLOWED to use the full force of the rules to reprimand you, just as much as they’re allowed to lessen it for others.
We need people to see it, believe it, and change it. Check our own bias. Is there a moment in your life where in your position of power you’ve treated someone a lot different than the person standing next to them? This is different than, “life is not fair”. This is also different than, “when it rains it pours”. We also need to stop calling the police on black people for doing nothing. We really do. It’s disgusting. It’s ridiculous and it reinforces black criminality.
I, myself, have personally been trying to figure out if a situation that has happened recently is because of Black Criminality. It’s easy to say that “because-of-whose-involved” that it cannot be Black Criminality. I live in a place that is SO WHITE. Which isn’t a negative most of time. However, I can’t help but wonder if the diet racism that exists here in this valley has the ability to protect those who unknowingly oppress the people they so adamantly swear they protect.
I wonder. . .