Murder and Race

Chimpanzees have been known to raid baboon nests. When they do, they then beat the baboons up, running them off and chasing them away from the latter’s babies. The chimpanzees then capture the baby baboons left behind in the confusion, which the chimps then beat against trees until the baby baboons are sacks of mushy pulpy flesh and broken bones. The chimpanzees then, after beating the baby baboons to death, stand in a circle, where they play catch with the sack that was once a living baby baboon. This is not a response to any aggression by the baboons. This is not a fight for food or for survival. This is only because the chimpanzees had nothing else to do, which is a behavior that can be determined through observation. I do not want to venture an inquiry about who watches chimpanzees do this. I’m sure naturalist observations of animal behavior must have no human intervention. The naturalist cannot feel bad for the gazelle that the lions take down and eat. What is clear in the observations is that chimpanzees kill for the sake of killing, or is because they have nothing better to do, which would be more banal, if not even more horrifying, unless we examine the Homo-sapiens and his endeavors in murder. Yes, perhaps what I am saying is that chimpanzees also murder and this seems to be a trait of at least two of the Great Apes.

The chimpanzee is the species of animal that is the closest relative of the Homo-Sapiens. We are Homo-sapiens first and often times in the final analysis, before and after we choose to be human. We are 98% identical in our DNA with our chimpanzee brothers. Our specialization in this killing for no reason is that we blindly and senselessly kill one another; even the chimpanzees do not do this to themselves. You might think that we do this because we view our diversity the way chimps do baboons, but this is not the case.

If any examination of the murder statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Justice is made, anyone can see clearly that African Americans kill African Americans and White people kill White people, the former at rate of 96 out of every 100, the latter at a rate of around 80 out of every 100. For every 100 murders where an African American is the victim, the perpetrator is another African American 96 times. For every 100 murders where the victim is white, the perpetrator is white around 80 times. These are from the 2012 Department of Justice statistics on murder broken down by the categories of race, gender and ethnicity. I am not putting forward a conservative argument, but a liberal one–murder is murder and the facts are what they are statistically; so, what then do these stats for murder show us and how are we to use them when the media attempts to drive a Machiavellian wedge between African-Americans and White people by suggesting that we are an endemically racist society whenever it happens that a white person is the perpetrator against an African American who has been murdered? And let me say that I have already taken as a given that truth and accuracy in journalism in America takes a back seat to sensationalizing the news and pandering to received ideas on race and racism.

There are reasons to kill, of course, we should understand this. I was once reminded by a Hasidic Jewish ESOL student that the commandment is not, Thous shall not kill, but Thou shall not murder. And this is the point here; all murder is killing, not all killing is murder. The above ratios are for murder, not killing. We murder not only our own, Homo-sapiens to Homo-sapiens–and I still insist that human is a choice, that human is something a Homo-sapiens can become, but is not something he is born . . . We murder more often those who the bureaucracy tells us are our own, yet the media makes the rare occurrence when an African American is murdered by a white person as something seething in our society and indicative of a disturbing problem, which has the effect of dividing us; and perhaps this is the only purpose–yes, of course, to divide We the People leaves power more powerful and the monied if not more monied, at least further from reproach by the people. African-American murders African-American, Asian murders Asian, White murders White, each murdering another of his own at a rate significantly higher than another other not of his own. Cain is Abel’s brother.

Of course, this idea of his own has to be spread across the bureaucratic and other social barriers built between races and ethnicities, gender, religion, and class. Nonetheless, although I support such moves by our society, I do not have the optimism that others might have. The day we have no consciousness of these distinctions, however, is the day we might have free-for-all murder across all former barriers. The horror of existence might be that as soon as we eliminate all distinctions, we will then broaden the pool from which we choose to murder.

This is not a corrective against any forward movement toward a less racially and ethnically divisive society, but a satire on our nature as Homo-sapiens, and how feeble our humanity really is in face of the nature we misunderstand and mismanage.


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