Fighting Crime With Chicken Little: Why things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem

More common than you think

Although the rapture turned out to be a JaMarcusesque bust, a quick glance at the evening news and the hundreds of thousands of stabbings, shootings, muggings, murders, and animal rapes occurring in every city every day makes it seem like the end is definitely near.

And, when you consider that more and more recession-induced frustrations are going to make people lash out even more at their (bastard) children and the fact that the upcoming NBA and NFL lockouts are going to fill the streets with a bunch of unemployed and uneducated Robocop thugs wandering the streets with nowhere to go after they’ve used up their Strokers credit lines, things aren’t looking up.

It’s a war going on outside, no one is safe, son, it don’t matter if you’re 3 feet or 8’1”, and sh*t is just getting worse and worse and worse.

Or not.

From “FBI: 5.5 percent drop in violent crime”

Crime levels fell across the board last year, extending a multiyear downward trend with a 5.5 percent drop in 2010 in the number of violent crimes and a 2.8 percent decline in the number of property crimes.

Year-to-year changes the FBI released Monday in its preliminary figures on crimes reported to police also showed declines in all four categories of violent crime in 2010. All categories for property crime went down as well.

“In a word, remarkable,” said Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. In his view, the declines signify success for aggressive law enforcement and corrections programs and comprehensive crime prevention efforts. He said the crime levels could easily rise if the current environment of state and local budget cutting extends to law enforcement measures that are working.

Wait, what??? I thought this was the end of the days!!! I thought things were getting worse!!! I visited my old elementary school last month and saw a 5th grader in a ninja costume chasing a lunch lady with a giant tampon!!! I personally know three 28 year old grandmothers who still gang-bang, and one of them is my accountant!!! A Nigerian nun broke into my house last night and shot me in the knee!!! It was a non-lethal wound, but still!!!

Nope.

The FBI reported that violent crime fell in all four regions of the country last year — 7.5 percent in the South, 5.9 in the Midwest, 5.8 percent in the West and 0.4 percent in the Northeast. The bureau’s preliminary statistics for 2010 are based on data from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Nationally, murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined 4.4 percent, forcible rape decreased 4.2 percent, robbery declined 9.5 percent, and aggravated assault was down 3.6 percent.

Yikes! Cold hard facts have a funny way of quelling hyperbolic anecdotal hysteria.

Still, even with these numbers, I know there are still going to be people who refuse to believe that crime is actually getting better. People whose notions and fears and misplaced nostalgias will make them maintain that each and every hood is a carbon facsimile of the first 15 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan.” Chicken Littles who refuse to believe that there’s actually hope, actually room to go outside and inhale, and actual proof that the sky is staying right where it’s always been.

As I read that report, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between how our perceptions about crime don’t quite fit the reality and how our perceptions about love and relationships don’t quite fit those realities either. Everywhere I turn (including here) I read more and more proof that we’re a bunch of relationship retards, getting picked last for coitus kickball, destined to eternally ride the short bus of romance. We’re stupid, fat, ugly, undateable, DBR, and…did I mention already that we’re stupid, fat, and ugly?

And, while I’m sure there are people out there experiencing real dating and relationship acrimony, the reality is that things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem. The vast majority of black men are still completely enthralled with black women. Black women are still the baddest and bangingest beings on Earth (even if they don’t quite believe it yet).

We’re still getting giddy when we meet someone who makes us smile, we’re still saving voicemails left by that person so we can listen to them later, we’re still asking our dudes and homegirls for the “hook-up,” we’re still on dates taking up all the damn booth space at the Cheesecake Factory, and we’re still getting invites to weddings that’ll definitely be so hood that they’ll be hilarious. (“Wow. I’ve never been to a wedding reception with a breakfast buffet”) And, speaking of hilarious, Jet magazine still hasn’t run out of their seemingly never-ending supply of pictures and unintentionally hilarious bios of just-married n*ggas.

Can things be better? Definitely. Our main problem continues to be the fact that there’s a bit of a communication disconnect between us, but our increasing willingness to have open conversations proves this is a problem that can (and will) be solved.

I understand that sometimes the barometric pressure makes it so damn tight that we’re convinced the sky is definitely falling. But, when you’re done reading this, take a look out your window. I bet you it’s still there.

—The Champ

In case you missed it, check out our interview with Black Enterprise.

No rapture means that God wants you to stay on Earth and purchase the paperback or the $9.99 Kindle version of “Your Degrees Wont Keep You Warm at Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime”

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of you for coming through and nominating us for FIVE Black Weblog Awards. We’re on the final ballot for Best Humor Blog, Best Writing in a Blog, Best Sex & Relationships Blog, Best Group Blog, and Blog of the Year. Please vote for us here.