Given the two recent high-profile incidents of black men dying at the hands of the police, you wouldn’t think black-on-black crime would be the top concern on people’s minds.
But that’s the subject of a forum this weekend hosted by motivational speaker Kevin Dorival and headlined by Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
Dorival, who is 36 years old and lives in Pompano Beach, explains, “With police brutality, the numbers are much smaller. I believe that so far this year, there have been 126 deaths reported, but we already have several thousand examples of black-on-black death. For some reason, police brutality is what the media is publicizing, but the amount of black-on-black death is much higher.”
That may be true, but there’s also substantial evidence proving that while black-on-black crime exists, it’s hardly more prevalent than white-on-white crime. Colorlines analyzed nearly 30 years worth of Department of Justice statistics and found that 94 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders, while 86% of white victims were killed by white offenders. As Jamelle Bouie writes, “If African-Americans are more likely to be robbed, or injured, or killed by other African-Americans, it’s because they tend to live in the same neighborhoods as each other.” The problem is that talking about black-on-black crime as if it’s a unique phenomenon leads people to conclude African Americans are inherently criminal — an attitude which may have led to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Dorival isn’t particularly concerned about the implications of the term. “Yes, there’s white-on-white crime,” he says. “They have their issues going on in their own community. But I live in the black community.”
Dorival doesn’t fit the mold of those who usually talk about black-on-black crime. He’s black himself and grew up in a single-parent home in Pompano Beach. At age 21, he was charged with armed robbery and spent eight months in jail after pleading guilty.
Since then, he’s reinvented himself as an internet marketing specialist, inspirational speaker, and host of the King Kevin Show. He’s also written two books: The Courage to Believe, a memoir, and 7 Types of Queens That Kings Desire, which seems to be a dating manual for black women. (He is, he mentions, single.) On his website, he lists “20+ Things You Didn’t Know About King Kevin — The Author,” which includes, at number 9, “I’ve never touched a pregnant woman’s stomach before.”
Dorival’s particular brand of inspiration consists of telling black people to fix themselves and often veers into disturbing territory. On a recent episode of the King Kevin Show titled “Black America Is at War but We Don’t Know It,” he complains, “Look at how our young men are behaving. Look how they dress, with tight clothes, pants sagging, nappy hair. Constant disrespect of themselves, women, authority. That’s just misguided energy, if you think about it. The problems that we see — the homosexuality, feminism, the excessive feminist ways that our young men have, and even older men have — is from the imbalance of energy in our homes.”
It seems hard to believe that a political figure would want to be associated with someone who approves policing black people’s hair and disapproves of homosexuality and feminism, but Dorival says Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward Commissioner Dale Holness, and Judge Matthew Destry are committed to attend. They’ve all signed up to be part of Dorival’s panel, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Worldwide Christian Center Church in Pompano Beach.
We've reached out to these officials for comment and will update this story when we get a response.
Since this story was published, two of the individuals listed as panelists on the event flyer have informed us that they will not be participating.
Judge Kal Evans said that he had been invited but had not agreed to be a panelist, and that he has previously asked Kevin Dorival not to use his name and image in connection with the event, since to do so would put him in violation of ethics rules for judicial candidates.
A spokesperson for Sheriff Scott Israel said that he would not be on the panel, but would try to stop by.
Commissioner Dale Holness, who plans to take part in the panel, writes: “I have not yet seen the video you made reference to and therefore not aware of the remarks therein; however, insensitive remarks or misguided energies aside, let us stay on the point of coming together to address the agenda topic. At the same time we can also address remarks made in the past or today without infringing on one’s freedom of speech.”
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.