Posted Dec. 29, 2008 – The number of murdered Black teens has shot up dramatically over the past eight years, a new report shows.
Since 2000 and 2001, homicides of African-American teens have risen an alarming 39 percent, according to the study by Northeastern University.
The findings are particularly troubling because the spike in Black murders occurred as the homicide rate in other U.S. communities steadily declined, The Wall Street Journal notes. The pattern is even starker among youths.
“It’s hard to pin down cause and effect,” said James Alan Fox, one of the authors of the study. He said that there are several likely reasons for the surge, not least of which were severe cuts in local law-enforcement programs that successfully countered murder rates during the 1990s. Most of the killings of Black youths were perpetrated by other Blacks.
In addition to a reduction in police programs, poor parental supervision (largely attributable to single-parent homes), inferior schools and widespread gang activity are all responsible for the problem, Fox said. “Cuts in support for youth have a much greater impact on Black families who don’t have alternatives,” he said.