In a recent skirmish with Georgetown Professor and MSNBC regular Michael Eric Dyson, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani got into trouble for noting that 93% of black homicide victims are killed by other blacks. The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave Giuliani two Pinocchios, claiming that he “omitted important context”—namely, that 84% of white homicide victims are killed by whites.
That “important context” is utterly irrelevant to Giuliani’s point.
To set the stage: Giuliani was responding to racial agitators’ charge, in the context of the Darren Wilson-Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, Missouri, that the most serious threat young black males face today is racist, trigger-happy white cops.
Giuliani argued that those who profess concern about racial justice should focus on the reason for the preponderance of cops patrolling black neighborhoods—high black homicide rates—and the primary source of high black homicide rates—black homicide culprits.
Dyson retorted that cops make an oath to uphold the law, whereas most black homicide culprits are punished and sent to jail. Giuliani responded by asking why the black community didn’t work to bring down the black homicide rate so that black neighborhoods don’t need so many cops.
Why did Giuliani specifically address black-on-black homicide? To the extent that blacks are killed at higher rates than whites and other groups, there’s a societal interest in examining such cases more thoroughly to see whether there are trends underlying their causes, such as blacks being more likely to come from broken homes, belong to gangs, suffer poverty, or emulate gangster culture.
But Dyson reacted with outrage to Giuliani’s statement that “The white police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other 70-75% of the time” (an underestimate). Dyson cried, “Look at this! This is the defensive mechanism of white supremacy in your mind, sir!”
Except that Giuliani didn’t claim that only white police officers are capable of stopping crime in black neighborhoods. He was simply responding to Dyson’s argument that there are too many white cops in black neighborhoods. He did so, not by demanding that cops in black neighborhoods be white, but by explaining the reason behind Dyson’s claim that there are too many white cops in black neighborhoods—namely, these neighborhoods need lots of cops, and most cops are white.
Similarly, Giuliani wasn’t claiming that the intraracial nature of black homicides is responsible for the preponderance of white cops in black neighborhoods. Giuliani recommended that the black community work to reduce black-on-black killings, not because black homicide perpetrators are more lethal than white ones, but because racial agitators like Dyson always lump people into communities based on skin color and foment racial divisions. If it’s “black lives” that we’re focusing on, Giuliani implied, then why don’t blacks step up and change a culture that tolerates killing so they don’t need white cops around?
But all of this was irrelevant to Fact Checker Michelle Ye Hee Lee, herself guilty of “omitting important context”—namely, why Giuliani made his comments in the first place.
Lee—who joined chief fact-checker Glenn Kessler at the Post last week—wrote that Giuliani had implied “that intraracial violence in black communities is uniquely bad.” But Giuliani never implied any such thing. He was simply responding to Dyson’s illogical demand that society focus disproportionately on white cops killing blacks.
Lee’s absurd reaction to Giuliani’s comments would be like a feminist claiming that most insults directed toward women are generated by males, with a male social scientist responding, “Actually, studies show that 93% of insults toward women are generated by women”—and the feminist crying, “You’re lying, because 84% of insults directed against men come from men!”
You don’t say. Was anyone asking that question? In our hypothetical example, men weren’t out there raging that men are being verbally victimized primarily by women and not other men.
Similarly, Giuliani was simply refuting the claim that blacks’ high homicide rate is largely due to racist white cops.
(In fact, to the extent that interracial violence occurs, blacks kill whites nearly twice as often as the reverse. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, 7.6% of black homicide victims in 2013 were killed by whites, compared to 13.6% of white homicide victims who were killed by blacks.)
The Giuliani-Dyson dustup demonstrates the flaw in these supposedly neutral fact-checking sites: namely, they’re so unreliable that they need their own fact-checkers. The exposés they publish regularly betray political bias by putting the most liberal possible spin on a statement if there’s any conceivable room for differing interpretations.
Lee’s closing argument gives her game away: She says that Giuliani’s statement “lacks significant context—especially because race relations and police treatment of minorities are complex and emotionally-charged topics.” Got that? Because Giuliani didn’t make up claims as a sop to the weepy emotional crowd that thinks there’s a pandemic of white cops shooting innocent black boys, Lee calls him a liar.
Yet Post editors are simply “thrilled” with Lee’s first week on the job, writing, “Her work already is making an impact, with a post on Rudy Giuliani’s claim about black-on-black violence that was a big hit with readers.” That’s true—if by “a big hit with readers” you mean “a big hit job that generated about 95% hostile comments from readers.”
Given the biased character of online fact-checkers, a statement made by a conservative rated ‘False’ likely has more truth value than a ‘True’ statement made by a liberal.
- WATCH: Rudy Giuliani Hits Back After Being Called ‘White Supremacist’ by Dyson on ‘Meet the Press’ (insider.foxnews.com)
- Rudy Giuliani Tells the Truth About Excessive Black Crime (ambrosekane.com)
- Giuliani: ‘White police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other.’ – The Washington Post (curmilus.wordpress.com)
- Rudy Giuliani’s Ferguson race comments blow up the internet…”…Next time you invite Rudy Giuliani on the Sunday morning shows, make sure you give him the heavily caffeinated coffee, because once he gets wound up he really heads off to the races. Appearing (gyggrey.wordpress.com)
- Giuliani: ‘White Police Officers Won’t Be There’ If Blacks ‘Weren’t Killing Each Other’ (VIDEO) (talkingpointsmemo.com)