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First Name Basis Podcast

Jan 4, 2022

When a white person murders a Black person and we try to call it like it is — RACISM — there’s a response that, without fail, will crop up.


The heartbreaking circumstances of the killing can differ — whether it’s police violence like in the cases of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd or racist white vigilantes like in the case of Ahmaud Arbery — but the frustrating response we often hear is the same: “Well what about Black on Black crime?”


Let’s take a moment now to get our collective eye roll out of the way before we tackle how to respond. 


While this response is SO FRUSTRATING, I’m here to help you have the tools to address it, focus on your values and hopefully have a productive conversation with the person who brings it up.


In this episode, we will talk about:

  • How your response will differ if you are BIPOC. Spoiler alert: Your primary responsibility is to protect yourself.
  • Where to start when you’re trying to engage someone in a conversation about this.
  • What research actually says about race and crime.
  • What under-resourced and over-exploited communities have to do with this conversation.
  • How to help the person you’re talking to dissect why they asked that question in the first place.


Y’all, don’t forget to see this question for what it really is: a deflection tactic. And by the end of this episode, you’ll know exactly what to do to face it head-on.


Race Talk Roadmap


Our Race Talk Roadmap is the tool you need to begin conversations about race and racism with your children! We have a list of three tips for parents of older children and a list of three tips for parents of younger children. Visit to get the Race Talk Roadmap sent straight to your inbox.


Articles, Studies, & Podcasts Referenced In The Episode 

Code Switch Podcast: “ Imagining a World Without Prisons or Police” 


So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo 


Report from the US Justice Department: Household Poverty and Nonfatal Violent Victimization 2008-2012


Why We Don’t Talk About Black on Black Crime: An Answer to White America’s Most Pressing Question” by Michael Harriot


‘Black-on-Black Crime” Is a Dangerous Myth” by Jameelah Nasheed


First Name Basis Podcast: Season 3, Episode 29: “Critical Race Theory in Schools


2018 report from the Center for American Progress, “Systemic Inequality: How America’s Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap


Code Switch Podcast: “Tulsa, 100 Years Later


Zinn Education Project: “Jan 1, 1923: Rosewood Massacre


Song Credit: “Sleeper” by Steve Adams” and “Dive Down” by VYEN