Stop the knockout game violence

Why are these (predominately African-American men) engaging in physical attacks for no other reason but to assault people they don’t know?  Photo: AP screen grab from an undated YouTube video shows a group of adults walking past a man who was just knocked out by one of the group members.

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2013 — Millicent– A question was raised to during a free flowing conversation after the Thanksgiving Holiday dinner with my extended family on the “Knockout game.” We’re trying to figure out why are these (predominately African-American men) engaging in physical attacks on anonymous (mostly White) people for no other reason but to assault people they don’t know? One relative’s explanation was that it all comes back to subject of Obama. My family and I specifically agreed that we were not going to talk about politics which is why we tried to avoid talking about the mess with Obamacare, hence the conversation about the Knockout game.

Dear Frustrated,

SEE RELATED: Knockout attacks and the injustice of hate crime laws

The question of why African-American males engage in senseless and unmitigated violence is an important question, and one worthy of a national dialogue to get to the root of the problem and determine what can be done to stop it.

For the purpose of framing your question, folks in the media have been calling these physical attacks, “the Knockout Game” or “Polar Bear Hunting.” The inference or the suggestion being that these attacks are specifically and intentionally being targeted toward hunting White people. Two people have been killed.

Because of the political implications these senseless attacks may have in fragmenting their liberal base, many in the liberal media have been reluctant to discuss the problem and the increasing hopelessness of African American males. 

SEE RELATED: Thanksgiving family feuds: Neutralizing turkey conflicts

After a 78 year old women was attacked in New York, Al Sharpton called for action against the thugs involved in the Knockout game attack saying, “These kids are targeting innocent people, and in many cases specifically targeting Jewish folks. We would not be silent if it were the other way around, and we will not be silent now. This behavior is racist, period. And we will not tolerate it.” 

In order to understand the problem, we also have to examine the broader social context in which the problem exists. 

Some would argue the violent attacks are largely out of the frustration of having so much “hope” for a “change” under Obama only to be in a worse financial state than they were under white Presidents.

Perhaps they are frustrated and tired of being largely ignored, except when they were made a suspect in a crime. Pulitzer prize winning author Ralph Ellerson spoke of the problem of a black man and his struggle with being invisible in his fictional novel, the Invisible Man published in 1952.

Ninety-six percent of African Americans voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Many African-Americans, specifically men concluded when Barack Obama became the President of the United States that finally someone in the ultimate seat of power would have their interests at heart.  For them, President Obama’s success provided a road map to success in sharing in the American dream that so many other groups seem to enjoy.

Unfortunately, since Obama has been president things have not gotten better for African-Americans economically, in fact they have gotten exponentially worse.  As a demographic, African-American males have the highest unemployment of any demographic, which begs the question, if not now with this President, then when will their opportunities to realize the American dream materialize? 

According to a Pew Foundation study, black men were more than six times as likely as white men in 2010 to be incarcerated in federal and state prisons, and local jails than in 1960.

To add insult to injury, these same African American males now realize (and it has been documented) that President Obama consistently and repeatedly lied to the American public with a straight face very convincingly when he promised:

“If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan, period.

African-Americans believed President Obama’s rehetoric. Perhaps they should change their political affiliation until they get the respect and assistance they deserve.

My suggestion is speak the truth to the president and Mrs. Obama, even if it’s not what they want to hear.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Millicent Carvalho-Grevious

Dr. Millicent Carvalho-Grevious, is the founder and principal of Pennsylvania Conflict Resolution and Mediation Services, Inc. She has mediated conflicts for over 30 years, providing services in a variety of venues for private and public entities, including the United States Postal Service, the Office of Dispute Resolution of the Department of Education, and the office of Employer Support for the National Guard and Reserve. She was one of 14 conflict resolution experts from 11 nations invited to Chongqing, China in 2009 to participate in a forum titled, “Responding to the Challenges of Financial Crisis and Building Social Harmony.” Previously, she served as Director/Program Chair of Urban Studies and Community at LaSalle University, Associate Professor and Chair of Department of Social Work at Virginia Union University and Associate Professor and Social Work Department Chair at Delaware State University. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Social Work and Master of Law and Social Policy degrees at Bryn Mawr College and Master of Education (Counselor Education) at Boston University and Bachelor of Arts at LaSalle University.

Contact Millicent Carvalho-Grevious


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