Melissa Moon, WREG.com, July 19, 2006
Memphis — It’s a subject most people don’t like to talk about, but many in the African American community say black on black crime in Memphis is out of control.
“I hate to hear breaking news cause I always think who got killed this time,” said Hickory Hill homeowner Freddie Askew.
What angers Freddie Askew even more is that the number of African American victims keeps piling up.
“Jim Crow didn’t destroy us, racism didn’t destroy us, it is us destroying us,” said Askew.
Already this year, Memphis has seen 91 homicides. A breakdown shows 89% of the victims are Black. And 84% of those accused of murdering the men, women and children, are also African American. 96% of the suspects are male.
“We’re just as upset as anybody. I mean it angers me,” said Memphis NAACP Executive Director Johnnie Turner.
Turner says what’s happening is the destruction of a race that took decades to build up. And it’s this senseless destruction that makes it hard for the NAACP to fulfill it’s goals in the black community.
Pastor Kenneth Whalum Junior says black on black crime is the result of inner city poverty. He says it’s time for other African Americans in the city to step in and help.
But Turner says it’s not just a “black” problem. Even if you don’t live where the bullets are flying the weight is on everyone.
“White folks have a stake in this, black folks, the city, the county,” said Turner.