After the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin sparked protests in streets across the country, some began wondering aloud about why the same sort of outrage isn’t directed toward black-on-black violence. Many argued that while Martin’s death was tragic, it wasn’t any more special or heart wrenching than the deaths of many teens across this country. As millions signed the petition and rocked hoodies in solidary with Martin’s family, a vocal minority of black folks began questioning the growing “hoodie” movement.

This counter-argument is just another in a long line of “black people don’t….” logic that springs forth almost anytime someone is legitimately upset about an issue. Don’t believe me? Peep a comments section of many of these articles calling on accountability.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

Black people…

  • Don’t complain or protest black-on-black violence
  • Don’t get upset or protest how we’re portrayed on TV
  • Always complain, but do nothing
  • Are the only people still hung up on color
  • Don’t believe in community
  • Are unhealthier than all others and don’t care
  • Don’t like each other, let alone marry each other (especially black men)
  • Don’t go to school, get married, are successful
  • Aren’t open-minded

I could go on.

Despite all of talk about how lazy, complacent, and complicit black people are in our own negative situations, the reality is that it just isn’t true.

After political commentator Juan Williams wondered why black people don’t protest black-on-black crime, Te-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic pointed out that we have.

From coast to coast many have taken to their neighborhood streets to protest violence in our communities, and others have started or worked with organizations on the ground to stem the tide.

Black people, like others, are also vocal of how we’re portrayed in the media (peep the NAACP’s STOP Campaign), we are working to reform our own health, we overwhelmingly marry each other, we work to change our communities, and engage in all of the positive things as others. But you wouldn’t know any of this because we are our own worst critics.


Why are we so willing to believe the most negative things about ourselves, despite evidence to the contrary?

The next time someone fixes their mouth to say “black people don’t…,” perhaps you should tell them to take a look in the mirror to see if they’re among the folks talking loud, but really saying nothing at all.

What do you think?

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  • Terry

    I would just like to comment that when a black man is successful, educated, and has “moved up”….what does he do? He marries a white woman. There are many, many educated successful black women…why does this happen.

    • what’s what

      you are an idiot. Black men marry Black woman. By your comment, I am assuming you are a Black woman. Perhaps if you toned done the ‘tude, you would be married too. Don’t believe the hype! Your comment is laughable.

    • Pseudonym

      Yeah, I agree with “what’s what.” First, you have to acknowledge that there may be more non-black than black women where more educated/successful black men hang go to school and work. At the end of the day, they may be marrying their immediate professional peer pool (where they’re probably spending most of their time) with race not being the main determining factor. (If I were to move to China, chances are my husband will be Chinese. If I move to Spain, he’s more likely to be Spanish. It’s kinda like that.)

      AND as mentioned above, even with that factored in, more educated black men are still marrying black women rather than not, so people need to stop perpetuating that rumor (and assuming that every black man who marries a non-black woman is marrying her because of her race instead of their common interest, her awesome personality, or even her drop-dead georgeousness- b/c non-black women are beautiful, too!).

      It’s not true.

      Yes, there are black men and women out there with color-complexes but that’s not just limited to us (my Korean friend once whined to me about how all the Asian men were “going white”). People of all races exoticize women from other cultural groups. It’s annoying, but happens. What’s most important, though, is that you don’t allow it to make you bitter.

  • Socially Maladjusted

    keep it real

    Is there a rule that says you can’t call blacks out on black on black crime and also call whites out for their enslavement and colonization of people in foreign countries and their present day racism? Both are facts.

    No rule that says that ^ where I come from, but it seems that there’s a rule against calling out WHITE PEOPLE’S crimes where people like you come from.

  • Jive

    Blacks can’t cope to their BS as if every one owes them something? You all been crying for years and years and years… The most racist rookie I have ever been around… BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!

  • Big Bertha

    Why would anyone want to live around black people??? savages and every one knows it! Why do the blacks who a have any brains move way away from the black neighbor hood… Blacks cry cry cry what a loser race… Lets call it real folks!