Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani — who once released the juvenile arrest record of Patrick Dorismond, an unarmed black man shot to death by an undercover NYPD officer, in order to prove that the victim was “no altar boy,” when Dorismond had, in fact, been an altar boy — really wishes that everyone would stop thinking so much about Mike Brown. In a Sunday morning Meet the Press appearance, Giuliani responded to a question about disproportionately white police forces like the one in Ferguson, where most of the community is black and almost all of the cops are not, by complaining about the supposed lack of attention paid to black-on-black crime. As fellow guest Georgetown professor and minister Michael Eric Dyson pointed out, this is a (familiar) false equivalency, but that didn’t stop Giuliani’s rant.
After noting that New York mayors have long made an effort to make the NYPD reflect the racial makeup of the city it serves, Giuliani said, “The fact is that 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 are talking about the significant exception here [in the Brown case]. I’d like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”
(The Washington Post noted that while Giuliani’s statistic was correct, the vast majority of all American murder victims were killed by someone of their own race: “Nearly 84 percent of white victims from 1980 to 2008 were killed by white assailants, the [Justice Department’s] numbers show.”)
“First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they’re 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,” Dyson responded. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”
Then Giuliani really lost it: “What about the poor black child that is killed by another black child? Why aren’t you protesting that?” he shouted. “Why don’t you cut it down so that so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?” As Dyson struggled to get a word in, Giuliani continued, “Why don’t you reduce crime? The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other.”
Finally, Chuck Todd cut him off, saying, “As you can see, this has a lot of tension to it.” That’s one way of putting it!
Here’s the full clip: