Book Review: ‘Black Silent Majority’ by Michael Javen Fortner


(New York Times) – For as long as I can remember, certain relatives of mine were always dismayed and often enraged by the daily headlines and nightly news stories of crime. As a kid I heard countless tales of the terrible outrages visited on black people by other black people: burglarizing homes, pulling guns and shooting at one another, too often claiming innocent bystanders in the crossfire. Some of these stories were personal testimonies of victimization. In my ’70s childhood on Chicago’s South Side, I was taught that some black people behaved despicably.

Punitive roots run deep in American soil. Black anti-crime attitudes are among the many branches. So too is an abiding faith that respectability, lawfulness and personal responsibility are the bases of good citizenship. In the late-19th-­century South, newly emancipated African-­Americans used the law to regulate behavior and enforce community norms in spite of state-sanctioned racial terror. In the great migration north, they often advocated for more law enforcement, even though law enforcement typically meant policing the boundaries of white neighborhoods. And in postwar cities from California to Florida, blacks joined law enforcement agencies, just as my uncle did in 1981, weathering prejudice directed at them by white officers and harboring aspirations to protect the innocent and punish the guilty.


Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker
%d bloggers like this: