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This tired idea makes the wrongful connection between Blackness and criminality

Close-up portrait of a young Black man against a black background.
Close-up portrait of a young Black man against a black background.
Photo: Tacy Pierre-Louis/EyeEm/Getty Images

Whenever protests and riots spark from police killings of unarmed Black men, women, and children, the same discourse surfaces. Again again, we hear the rebuttal against the movement for Black lives: “Black on Black crime.”

We hear logic like, “Black people protest and riot when a police officer kills a Black person, but don’t protest and riot when they kill their own.” Folks who offer this retort bring up how Black people (essentially, Black men) commit a disproportionate amount of crime. That way of thinking supposedly calls out the hypocrisy of both individual Black activists and the broader Black community.

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