Snow Tha Product Reacted To #AltonSterling And It Prompted Talks Of “Black On Black” Crime

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Alton Sterling Tuesday night (July 5) was added to the ongoing list of black and brown people killed by law enforcement. After video footage surfaced online of the Baton Rouge man being tackled, held down and shot multiple times by a pair of Louisiana police officers, many took to Twitter with their frustrations and outrage. Mexican-American rapper Snow Tha Product followed suit.

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“fucking sickening!” she wrote. “this is a goddamn disgrace n btw why hasnt anyone killed zimmerman or any of these fucks yet”

To which one follower later responded: “just find it odd how minorities in America are the leadin murders of minorities and yet youre more concerned with white cops.” And that’s of course coded language for: “well, what about black on black crime?”

Such language, though common and fodder for conversation around community violence, is dangerous and often leads to an ugly falsity about people of color being the problem “instead of poverty, poor educational opportunities, proximity and other factors that spike crime rates in all communities despite racial composition,” as pointed out by Huffington Post.

What does “black on black crime” have anything to do with police brutality against people of color? A 2015 Year-End Police Violence report proves the two are independent issues as it compares the rates at which the 60 largest police departments in America kill civilians.

“Law enforcement officers have killed at least 1,152 people since January 1, according to Campaign Zero’s report,” wrote reporter Julia Craven last December. “The data also found that police departments in America’s 60 largest cities were responsible for around 25 percent of these deaths and that black people accounted for 41 percent of those killed, despite only comprising 20 percent of the population in those jurisdictions. In addition, 14 of these departments only killed black people this year, while five jurisdictions solely killed white people.”

Brittany Packnett, a member of Campaign Zero’s planning team, who also sat on Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) Ferguson Commission stated: “This analysis is critical to helping us understand what [2015] was like and this data is critical to helping us understand that this year was both particularly violent and that that violence continues to be felt disproportionately by black communities and communities of color.”

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As The Guardian announced this morning via a comprehensive database they’ve implemented online, Alton Sterling is the 558th person in the U.S. murdered extrajudicially by police officers in 2016 alone.

Race is always a factor in oppression and war. Has history not shown us that time and time again? [ ________ ] senselessly dying at the hands of law enforcement—the very people put in our communities to “protect and serve”, isn’t about “black on black crime”. This is an issue of agency, of policy, of accountability and of a culture that breeds intolerance.

“Even with videotaped evidence of police destroying black people,” said Jesse Williams at this year’s BET Awards, “many freedom-loving Americans remain unconvinced of a systemic problem.”