By Mick “Spin” Dumdell
This recent news story out of Baltimore got me to thinking about the reasons for the recent huge increase in Black on Black violence in Baltimore. First, this story about two triple shootings there:
BALTIMORE, Md. – Baltimore police are investigating the second triple shooting in the city within 24 hours after three shooting victims walked into an area hospital.
Officers responded to a local hospital Wednesday night where medical staff directed them to three men suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Two of the victims, ages 21 and 29, had injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
A third victim had a gunshot wounds to the chest and was listed in critical condition Thursday morning. Detectives determined that the three men were shot in the 2000 block of N. Forest Park Avenue in northwest Baltimore.
Minutes before the shooting, three teens were injured in an unrelated shooting in east Baltimore. There had been 175 homicides and 347 shootings as of Thursday morning.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 410-396-2488.
Outside of racism and White Privilege, we have all heard the violence blamed on many factors, from drugs to rap music to the so-called “thug” mentality. But I think the Black on Black violence may simply be a form of “cutting” behavior. Why do cutters cut themselves? From the HopleLine blog:
As I have talked with hundreds of cutters, one major reason emerges over and over again: Most people cut themselves to try to cope with an even deeper emotional pain. If you or anybody you know is cutting, please understand cutting is just a cruel symptom of something much deeper and painful going on inside.
An anonymous blogger put it this way: “I used to cut because I felt like it was the only way to feel something other than the hurt and confusion and self-hate that was driving me insane. I would cut because I hated myself so much that I wanted to tear myself to pieces.”
Most cutters’ ability to cope with life is overwhelmed by powerful emotions or extreme pressure that seem too intense to bear. Jenessa said she’s been a cutter for 7 years. “I was sexually abused by someone very close to me. I started cutting because I always thought that what happened was my fault. I have never gotten over it so I used to cope with any problem I had by cutting. Taking it out on myself was so much easier than figuring out what to do emotionally.”
Most cutter’s ability to cope with life is overwhelmed by powerful emotions or extreme pressure that seem too intense to bear.
When these emotions aren’t dealt with, tension builds up. Cutting can feel like a release of this tension. Rachel said cutting is a way for her to deal with her pain: “It’s an escape from reality.No matter how temporary it is it’s a relief to escape all the pain.”
and from The Mayo Clinic:
Self-injury, also called self-harm, is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It’s typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, self-injury is an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration.
I submit that the Black on Black violence is this same type of inwardly directed self-harm brought about by frustration and emotional turmoil. Blacks are simply overwhelmed by the intense White Privilege, racism, poverty, despair, and other problems in Black America and the violence is simply a coping mechanism.
Think about this the next time you hear the violence blamed on single parent families, or rap music. White children also come from single parent families, and also listen to rap music, yet they do not kill each other in large numbers. The fact that the murder rate in Baltimore has increased over 33% from the prior year should clearly indicate that some other new factor is in play. The Baltimore Sun reports:
Violence in the city has surged since the death of Freddie Gray in April, the protests and riots that followed, and the charges announced against six police officers involved in his arrest and transport.
Nonfatal shootings have nearly doubled, from 165 at this time last year to 320 this year. Robberies were up 15 percent as of June 27, the last date numbers were available. Police said overall violent crime was up 5 percent.
But I don’t think the gangs are to blame as is detailed at the above link. I thing we are seeing a psychological problem, a manifestation of Black Cutting Behavior. The answers are to be found in therapy, not in punishment and prisons. Think about it.
Yours very truly,
Mick “Spin” Dumdell
FootNote: The Image is from the old Flash Gordon movies