Debunking the Myth That Blacks Ignore Crime at Home

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Writing in the New York Times, Rutgers political science professor Lisa L. Miller denounces the “standard conservative talking point” that black activists focus on police brutality but ignore violent crime in black neighborhoods. She says the claim is offensive and demonstrably wrong. “While Black Lives Matter receives deserved attention, countless grass-roots organizations — many of which were founded by bereaved black women — are doing remarkable work to prevent and reduce crime,” Miller writes. “They protest violence, testify at city council hearings, press for gun-control reform and collaborate with politicians, faith-based organizations and, yes, even the police.”

Miller, who spent 20 years studying anti-crime politics, says such local organizing goes largely unnoticed by politicians, scholars and the news media, all of which focus instead on large national groups with big budgets and expensive lobbyists. She concludes, “Grass-roots organizations in black communities lead the efforts to make their streets safe. We need to get rid of the offensive falsehood that black people don’t care about crime, and help create the reforms they’ve long demanded.”

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