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It’s called the Knockout Game,” a violent and deadly amusement for teenagers who identify an unsuspecting victim and deliver a cold-hearted sucker punch that is so forceful, it renders the person unconscious.

As a black man, I am horrified, saddened and angry.

Police say this deeply troubling trend that so far seems to be linked mostly to young black men is spreading to many cities including Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.

During the game, the young men take turns until one of them knocks the victim unconscious. There have been at least three reported deaths within the last two years from this deadly activity – and police say the game is becoming more popular, especially in black communities across the country.

Reports of these assaults have increased in recent weeks and the black teens who participate in this sick, violent game are putting their futures at risk, and their victims are turning up in hospital beds and morgues.

So what’s the purpose of the “Knockout Game?”

“For the fun of it,” one teen explains, according to the CBS station in Washington, D.C.

“They just want to see if you got enough strength to knock somebody out,” another teenager said.

We’re losing too many young black men to an insane sub-culture that glorifies violence; we’re watching their self-destruction play out on the streets of America every day and, sadly, some of us could become victims of this dangerous activity that our young people call a “game.”

We can’t blame the “Knockout Game” on racism. This has nothing to do with racial profiling. It has nothing to do with Republicans or the Tea Party. It has nothing to do with white supremacists. It has nothing to do with “stand your ground” laws. This is about an evil that has taken hold of some of our young black men, our sons, our children, and we are fighting for their souls.

“This is the only thing they have to do with their lives?” my father-in-law asked with exasperation.

In Youth’s Violent Game of “Knockout,” There Are No Winners  was originally published on

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