By: Devona Walker
Young urban violence is not something many want to talk about. Black folks have grown tired of having our communities pigeonholed as violent. And in America at large, violent crime continues to decline. So, as long as the police tape, the gun shots and loss of life is relegated to urban centers, we may never address the most debilitating social ailment this country faces.
But avoiding the issue won’t stop the killing. According to research released last month by Northeastern University, the number of homicides involving black male youth as perpetrators increased 43 percent between 2002 and 2007. The number of black male youth involved as homicide victims, meanwhile, increased 31 percent. For gun killings, the increase was even more damning: 54 percent more young black male victims and 47 percent more young black male perpetrators. These increases are evident nationwide. (Read more about youth violence.)
“Gang killings have made a comeback,” said James Alan Fox, the author of the report and a professor at Northeastern University. “The mistake that was made was thinking gang violence is something you solve. You don’t solve it. You only control it. And when you shift attention elsewhere, it comes back. It always comes back.”
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