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Why we should stop using the term “Black-on-Black crime”: an analysis across disciplines
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-12, DOI: 10.1080/15377938.2021.1976694
Delores Jones-Brown, Kenethia McIntosh Fuller, Paul Reck, Waverly Duck

Abstract

Official statistics document that the majority of all crime committed in the U.S. is intra-racial. Only crimes involving victims and offenders of Black racial identity have been assigned an explicitly racialized label. Drawing on work from multiple disciplines, this paper traces the historical origins of racialized crime statistics. It examines how official statistics are manipulated, through racial disproportionality analysis, to mask the amount of crime committed by Whites and to support a view that Black crime is more prevalent and dangerous than other criminal offending. We trace the origin of the term “Black on Black crime” to unsuccessful efforts by Black leaders to protect the Black community from victimization or gain equitable treatment for Black defendants. We argue that the use of the term should be abandoned, in part, because of its current use in public discourse to legitimize police and civilian violence against Blacks. Recommendations for addressing and eliminating the use of this racially charged term in public discourse, policy, and criminal justice practice are provided.