Amos Wilson: White Domination, Black Criminality

From [HERE] The perpetual domination of African Americans by White Ameri­cans psychically requires the White American criminalization of the African male, i.e., the White American perception of the African male as inherently criminal. In the context of White American domination there is no innocent Black male, just Black male criminals who have not yet been detected, apprehended or convicted. Their mere presence inspires in White Americans, fears of being assaulted, raped, robbed, or some other indefinable dread of being criminally victimized. Fantasies of the sexual molestation of White females by rapacious Black males are common to the White American male and female consciousness, and are frequent themes of their literary, cinematic, and pornographic productions.

For a very large percentage of White Americans, young Black males, sexual promiscuity, and criminality are synonymous. In the dominant White American consciousness the African male is existentially guilty, (i.e., he is guilty by his mere existence) for merely having the audacity of being alive. There is a pervasive feeling among many White Americans that their world would be much more secure if all young Black males were imprisoned, solitarily confined to their ghettos, or kept under constant surveillance. It is no quirky coincidence that such perceptions, feelings and attitudes toward African American males occur most prevalently within the context of White American dominance. Ultimately, criminality of the Black male regardless of its nature, truth or reality, resides in any act or attitude on the part of Black males which appears to White Americans to defy White American authority, control or dominance. It is White America which defines criminality and writes the criminal justice codes. It writes these codes not in the interest of justice as defined by its own moral code, but in the interest of maintaining, justifying and enforcing its continued dominance of the African American community.

In the interest of maintaining and justifying continuity of the White American community, the African male is not only readily suspected of committing crimes, but is actively provoked and seduced into criminality by his White American accusers and persecutors. White America's need to dominate Black America creates the need to perceive the African male as criminal, and to actualize African male criminality by socializing or ritualizing him into it by dent of judicial witchcraft. Such maneuvers are necessary in order to justify the White American community's repression of African Americans and psychodynamically defend the collective White American ego complex. The need to projectively perceive the African male as criminal, to psycho-socially and politicoeconomically condition his criminality, is reflective of repressed White American guilt and criminality. The White American community must realize, though it will not admit it, that crimes committed in the service of White American domina­tion — the rape and robbery of nations, the murder and exploitation of native peoples and their lands, the denial of the humanity of non-European peoples, the enslavement, lynching, racial discrimination against and disenfranchisement of African Americans — infinitely outweigh the alleged crimes of African American men. White American and European denial of their historical criminal subjugation and vicious exploitation of African peoples and their ongoing defense of their continuing criminal subordination of African peoples have psychically infected the African mind with a variant of White American/European communal psychopathology. Such Eurocentric psychopathology is manifested in Black-on-Black crime, the subject of this essay.

Black male criminality is the stepchild of White male criminal­ity. The White male, in order to enhance and protect his self-image, enjoy the material wealth, power, and political advantages of his criminality, must deny truth and reality: he must not experience the guilty conscience which would result from an acknowledgment and acceptance of his own criminality and psychopathy. His malevolent incrustations must be smoothed over and his criminal dross transmuted to gold. The collective White American ego complex must deny and distort reality if it is to persist in perceiving itself as God's chosen; as sanctified in face of its beastification of the African Americans (particularly males) and its thingification of others.