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Black on Black (BoB) Crimes: Is it Cowardice, Desperation or Both?

There appears to be three main schools of thought on the issue of BoB crimes, namely:

1. It is Based Pure Cowardice: far too many angry/immoral/unethical Black men/women commit crimes on other Black men/women in their own areas because they are too afraid to go to other areas in which they would be quickly noticed. In other words, they are viewed as cowards for this very reason.

2. It is an Act of Desperation: far too many angry/immoral/unethical Black men/women commit crimes on other Black men/women in their own areas because of scarcity of resources in their areas. In other words, they only resorted to so doing out of desperation (i.e., a hungry man/woman is an angry man/woman).

3. A combination of Cowardice and Desperation: the “BoB” crimes are committed out of a combination of pure cowardice and desperation, and it is far too often too difficult to separate/delineate one from the other.

This is a very difficult topic for me. As a Black man who is an immigrant, I have often had to assess the plight of Black Americans and that of immigrants at large either separately or concurrently. Accordingly, quite often, I have found myself working hard to relate to the utter violence and deprivation that appears to exist in far too many predominantly underprivileged communities in which Black Americans and other minorities reside. But, the focus of this article is on BoB crimes since all data seem to indicate that BoB crimes far outweigh those that other groups commit on each other at this time.

So, What the Heck is the Problem with Underprivileged Black Americans?

Whether we are referring to Detroit, MI or the South side of Chicago, or various parts of California and New York City, the story remains the same. Too many Blacks are killing other Blacks.

Often, I have blamed it all on leadership. It has been said that with lack of the latter the people will perish. Undoubtedly, there is a lack of Black leadership or any leadership in the Black communities. I have personally communicated with far too many Black leaders who seem to respond quite passionately, yet proceed to be just like most of the others… NON-VISIONARY and UN-DRIVEN TO LEAD. In Detroit, MI, the last mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who came from a prominent Black political family in the area screwed up so badly that he had to be incarcerated for decades after a court found him to be utterly corrupt beyond reproach. One would think that a man of this background would have had a great deal of wisdom around him, who would have helped him realize the importance of his ascent and opportunity to lead his own community, which quite frankly required his leadership more than most. However, he was eventually replaced by a White mayor who appeared to have brought the City together and on the right path. This is just one example of lack of Black American leadership because the City of Detroit has suffered enough after experiencing loss of jobs, and White flight, which induced it to go from the richest City in the World to one of the worst in the World. Accordingly, what it experienced with its last Black leader was “a senseless slap on the face”. As a Black man, I’m qualified and disappointed enough to call it just that without being called a racist, because I believe it is time for Black leaders and all leaders who want Black votes to become ACCOUNTABLE.

Although there have been some reasonable Black leaders or leaders of other persuation that have seemingly been concerned about their opportunity to lead following the assassination of Dr. MLK Jr, Malcom X, JFK and others in that category (e.g., Deval Patrick the former governor of Massachusetts), it appears to me those who truly understand the role of a leader in the Black community have become rather “scarce”, which bottom-lines the ‘scarcity of resources’ problem. Often, seem to hear the echoing voice of Charles Barkley saying “I am not your role model, I am not paid to be your role model” so many times. And to be honest, it is the most idiotic voice I have ever heard.

Anyhow, in an effort to remain relevant, I will refer to two past articles that I wrote on pervasive issues that affect the Black American community as the PARENT ISSUE of all other issues or sub-issues that it faces, essentially, leadership or lack thereof.

Black Americans appear to face a dilemma. As they argue the fact that racism still exists and is often manifested via police brutality that often results in the killing of young Black men, which is a fact; they often are faced with a very relevant concern that is often raised by many Whites, which is:


Although one has nothing to do with each other, as one is seemingly based on cowardice, desperation or both, and the other quite often on racial animus, it certainly helps solidify some of the stereotypes about the WORTH/VALUE of BLACK LIVES. In other words, they are both based on a RESPECT that hasn’t been procured by Black American in their communities, and thus, not reciprocated by both Blacks and Whites. Successful Blacks need to realize their duty to strategically invest in their own communities and particularly their own children. If they fail to secure the future, they will have had only themselves to blame. A visionary leader will choose to be proactive as opposed to reactive and will understand that prevention is the best medicine.


If Black lives do matter, why are so many Blacks killing other Blacks? This question is as valid as that of asking if Black lives do matter why are cops killing Blacks?

If Blacks American lives matter as much as others, why are so many still living in deplorable states in the presumed richest country in the World? Why is there such immense disparities in Black achievement? Why aren't the richest Black leaders and those that want to secure Black votes address these issues prior to seeing public office?

It is a cop-out to blame it all on racism, and we'd all be cowards if we were to so assert. But, there is one desperation that Black Americans necessitate at this time and it is that of digging into their own souls and asking themselves, HOW CAN I MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR MY CHILDREN AND CHILDREN'S CHILDREN?

Until Black Americans or their leaders answer this very important question to themselves, Black lives will seemingly continue NOT to matter (as much) not only to many Blacks; but also to Whites and particularly White officers who have had to watch Black demean and kill other Blacks senselessly. Their perception of Blacks is likely to be different from ours, particularly if they already had pre-existing prejudices or stereotypes.

Should 'real' and conscientious Black leaders who will have read and understood this very article ever surface, they will have been able to address the ROOT CAUSES of the issues and stereotypes in order to treat the problem through its causes as opposed to doing so through its symptoms or manifestations. My job as a natural intellectual is to expose the root causes of this issue so that at least one person in a million will see the light even once in a while. The latter would have been sufficient for me, especially if such a person goes on to catalyze changes not just in the Black communities, but also in society at large.

Dr. Lorins is the Chief Editor of This article was sponsored by

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