VOD contributing editor Greg Thrasher at Lansing rally April 13

By Greg Thrasher

In too many venues in this region from the board rooms to the lounges of manufacturing plants to even church basements there is always some chatter or whispers about Black on Black crime. Often these exchanges involve a discussion about horrific criminal acts perpetrated against Black victims by Black assailants. The range and depth of Black on Black crime in the city hurts even now as I write these words yet these words must be written.
Many of these internal exchanges and chatter are constructive and warranted it is also true that many of them are nasty race tinged rumors and chatter often used to demonize the city and Black folks in general. Quite often those invoking this verbiage are Black people, from police officers to parents to pastors.
Yet my words here today are not about the criminal themes surrounding this potent and provocative subject matter but  in this setting I want to engage in a dialogue about another incarnation of Black On Black crimes. I want to explore and discuss the crimes of personal inhumanity we commit against each other.  The crime of Black on Black inhumanity. These are intra/inter personal negative actions just as lethal as crimes that violate our criminal laws.

Join together instead

The tragic behavior and destructive culture within the Black diaspora that negates the humanity and self esteem of Black people is sometimes beyond comprehension. The very nature of Black people shouting down each other’s dreams, ambitions and esteem and denying each other the basic dignity of humanity is reckless and impacts the every caliber of our lives.
No wound or injury hurts and stings and leaves life-long scars more than those which defeat our spirit and damn our personhood and self essence. When Black parents lecture to their children that they are ignorant, stupid and losers these words fill the air with arrows that pierce not only the heart but they puncture the mental ether of our children’s mental state of mind. When we attack the foundations of our children’s essence we destroy the currency of their consciousness and we harm their personal futures and we create obstacles in their dreams.

Children need parents' encouragement

The damage of anti-esteem words punishes the very soul of a child’s imagination. When a Black person hurls bitter rage at a senior person it augments the velocity of our elders’ life span. When Black people wage a civil war within the community we commit crimes against humanity that prevent our communities from prospering and even recovering from tough times and duress.
The prisons of anger, rage, contempt, shame, ridicule, humiliation, envy, jealousy, sadness, despair, and sorrow handcuff the very essence of our community. Detroit cannot recover if the crimes against our personal dignity and self worth continue at the present velocity.
We need rallies and protests which focus on ending the civil war of personal self hate and incivility we share and exchange with each other to often on a daily basis. Instead of a day of prayer and atonement, we need endless moments of recognizing each other’s personal essence and self worth. We need to schedule appointments and meetings with each other with agendas that promote our humanity for each other.
The foundation of this collective self hate and contempt for our very essence and personhood has a history in the development of America. I will leave the navigation of the origins of our collective self hate for another day. If we intend to create a city which has a future, we must as a Black community begin this journey with the affirmation of our collective self worth. We must end the crimes of inhumanity we are waging against each other beginning within our families and extending out into our relationships with our friends and others.
We can live a purposeful life in the city of Detroit and other urban venues across America. We must end the internal civil war within the Black community which places our very collective being in peril. Our future starts now only if we affirm each other’s humanity and self worth every moment we interact with each other. Right here…Right now…

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  1. Pingback: Keeping Alive the Dream of Barbara A. Thurmond of Augusta, Georgia: Barbara Thurmond and her sister Earnestine Covington dreamed of a world without violence – so they founded Blacks Against Black Crimes, Inc. in June 1991 to help reduce black-on-black v

  2. Pingback: Keeping Alive the Dream of Barbara A. Thurmond of Augusta, Georgia: Barbara Thurmond dared to dream of a world without violence, so with her sister Earnestine Covington, they founded Blacks Against Black Crimes, Inc. in June 1991 – and enlisted many oth

  3. CaraGia says:


    Your words speak to each person individually and as a community. I have to say that your words do much more than that. While I know your target audience is the black community, your words speak of what humanity does against humanity and the need for each and every one of us, as citizens of America and part of humanity to come together to heal the hurts of the past.

    Community and our connections within those communities are the only things capable of doing this. Being willing to step outside of ones comfort zone to place ourselves at the alter of humility and trust that with faith in God and love for ones fellow man and woman we are capable of establishing that it is exactly our differences and our different experiences that make us unique and valuable assets to each other. Not to be used, but to be celebrated and benefit all of us, to understand that it is our uniqueness that brings so many gifts together and makes it possible for realize that each one of us comes offering something of value to humanity. That is where true greatness lies in being one with each other and God.

    Nothing can be done to undo the past, no amount of money will ever repay the loss in self-esteem, the loss of integrity, the loss of life, etc. By setting the past aside, allowing it to die the natural death it has already done and refusing to relive or revive it is the only salvation we have as an individual, a community and as a nation. We must all, as human beings realize that we are all subject to the fallibility of man, place our hope, faith and trust in God, that He is capable of overturning the things that hinder our coming together as a people.

    All my respect to you for the wonder of your words and the kindness you demonstrate in your message. I sincerely hope and pray that they reach even one’s heart, as they’ve done mine.

  4. Kendra says:

    Black on Black crime is nothing new. It has been going on for centuries. It has excalated here because of economics. when economics suffer we suffer. The riots back in the 60’s were black on black crimes. nobody went to the suburbs and distroyed their stuff they did it in their own back yard. the nearest and dearest suffer. We always attack the ones we should love and cherish. But we don’t go out we don’t have cars, so we do the wrong things to the wrong people. We end up in jail with a felony and then get out and cannot progress so we resort right back to the bad stuff.
    Black on black crimes go back to slavery when black sole other blacks off to slavery so they wouldn’t be taken. We always hurt someone else instead of getting our own life on track. It use to take a whole neighboorhood to raise a child, now the neighborhood doesn’t want to be bothered or care. The schools and churches looked out for our children, now who cares? You had that nosey neighbor in the window, who saw everything and did something about it, now she don’t care and not in the window because she is afraid she will get shot.

  5. Fige Bornu says:

    Black on Black crime will not go away until Africans in America are separated from this USA dysfunctional system that celebrates war, and greed. Your article fails to share why mostly poor Blacks harm other Blacks; and I will not bore you with the reasons why. (The violence in our community is simply a result of “the hate that hate produced.”)

    If Blacks did not commit crimes against each, then, I would be surprised, because the past and present conditions that capture the inner being of Black people forges a constant, and demonizing prominence.

    Separation from this USA system is the only course toward true liberation. Cant’ you tell?

    • No I don’t advocate running away nor separation..I do advocate making a difference in where/what/who/when you find yourself in….Black Issues=American Issues..Our cities deserve to be great urban centers..I understand the legacy of oppression but Black people are victors not victims…Our Black genius made it possible for us to survive slavery…Our genius can survive the decay of cities…

      The question is What do we want to do??????????

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