By Elaine Magliaro
On Sunday, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani of “a noun, a verb, and 9/11” fame appeared on Meet the Press. He got into a contentious discussion with Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson on the subject Ferguson, Missouri. After host Chuck Todd brought up the disproportionality of white police forces not reflecting the demographics of the communities they serve in several American cities, Giuliani said that he was “disappointed” that the focus was “on the majority of the police force being white, rather than violence between African-Americans.” He said, “But the fact is, I find it very disappointing that you’re not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here.”
Dyson responded, “First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions deeply embedded in American culture.” Dyson added, “Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.” He continued, “If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?”
Giuliani replied, “It’s hardly insignificant, it is the reason for the heavy policy presence in the black community.” Dyson responded, “Not at all, not at all.”
Giuliani then asked, “What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child? Why aren’t you protesting that?… Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?”
Later in the heated debate, Giuliani said, “The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70-75% of the time.”
Then Dyson responded, “Look at this! This is the defensive mechanism of white supremacy in your mind, sir!”
Click here to view the Meet the Press discussion with Rudy Giuliani and Michael Eric Dyson.
Ta-Nehisi Coates responded to Giuliani’s comments on Meet the Press in an article for The Atlantic in which he wondered why no one is talking about American-on-American crime.
Yes. It’s almost as if killers tend to murder people who live near them. Moreover, it seems that people actually hold officers operating under the color of law to a different standard. This is an incredible set of insights, which taken together offer a revelation so profound, so far-reaching, that it must not be wasted on our shiftless minority populations. The Gospel of Rudy Giuliani must sally forth across the land and challenge a culture that accepts neighborly violence and differing standards of death.
For nearly 15 years, our politicians have told us that murder perpetrated by Islamic terrorists represented an existential threat to the country. From al-Qaeda to ISIS, we are told that radical Islam is a killer that will drive us all into the sea. In fact, however, the most prolific killer of Americans hides behind a cloak of sensitivity and political correctness. The time has now come for some tough talk: The American people have one of the highest murder rates in the industrialized world. Almost all of these people are killed by other Americans. War hustlers and Bin Laden pimps love to go around screaming, but 9/11! Three thousand people died on 9/11. Nearly 15,000 Americans were killed in 2012. Americans perpetrate roughly five 9/11s against other Americans every year. By the end of this week, more Americans will be killed by other Americans than were ever killed by ISIS.
Coates went on and posed a number of questions:
Why are our politicians ignoring this plague of American-on-American crime? Why are American leaders not protesting the cult of death that fills the graveyards of America? Who will bravely challenge the culture of failure that says that Americans should only be outraged when Muslims kill Americans?…
And I’d add one more question: Why do we ignore the problem and the statistics of white-on-white crime?
What Rudy Giuliani gets wrong about the deaths of young black men (Washington Post)