In last week’s edition of NBC’s awful Meet The Press, failed presidential candidate and ex-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani added to his already impressive record of upsetting rational human beings with a racist tirade on black people. And just when it seemed other networks would learn from the deserved wave of criticism Giuliani received, and never book him on segments about race again, CNN decided to let him spew his bigoted nonsense two days later.
In a now-viral Meet The Press segment, host Chuck Todd focused on mostly white police departments in predominantly minority communities across the country, communities like Ferguson, Missouri. He also examined the steps such communities could take to make their precincts more representative of the people they serve. Giuliani used the show as a platform for spewing his personal brand of racism.
“I find it very disappointing that you’re not discussing that 93% of blacks in America are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said. “We are talking about the significant exception, 93% of blacks are killed by other blacks. I will like to see the attention paid to that you are paying to this and the solutions to that.”
What is always baffling about people like Giuliani (and other white males like him, including George Will, Bill O’Reilly, and Joe Klein) who bring up this statistic to further the belief that black people are the only human beings who tend to commit homicide on their own race is that they never mention comparable stats for other races — like that 83-84% of white murder victims are killed by other whites.
Giuliani never got around to quoting that statistic. He was just at the beginning of his candid anti-black people rant.
“It is the reason for the heavy policy presence in the black community,” he bloviated. “Why don’t you cut it down so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas. How about 70-75 percent of the crime in my city take place in black cities. How about you reduce crime?”
Giuliani finished the segment with this lovely statement: “White police officers wouldn’t be there if you weren’t killing each other.”
Phrases like “my city” and “if you weren’t killing each other” aren’t going to get Giuliani invited to keynote the next NAACP Annual Convention or Dream Defenders protest gathering. But the ex-mayor’s outward show of racism didn’t get me nearly as worked up as his fellow Meet The Press panelist, Georgetown sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson. That’s because the Giuliani on MTP was the same one I always knew.
Growing up in New York City during Giuliani’s two terms as mayor, I saw first hand how Giuliani divided the city with his racial politics. He used the infamous Crown Heights riots, the heated three day event that saw blacks and orthodox Jews fight each other in the Crown Heights part of Brooklyn, to help defeat David Dinkins for mayor in 1993.
During his first term as mayor, Giuliani instituted policies guided by the controversial “Broken Windows” theory, which has been used to guide law enforcement officials to focus on stopping petty crime like littering or spraying graffiti. But Broken Windows, which has returned to New York along with its creator, Giuliani and now Mayor Bill De Blasio’s police commissioner Bill Bratton, has been widely and correctly criticized as a pretext for racially discriminatory policing.
Giuliani also emphatically backed the New York Police Department’s handling of the notorious assault or killings on the unarmed black trio of Abner Louima, Amadou Diallo, and Patrick Dorismond. And he showed no hesitation in implementing the harsh conservative policies Republicans like him prefer that severely harmed the poor and working class, groups that are disproportionally black, during his time as mayor. Attacking union rights, welfare for the poor and going after social service programs were all apart of Giuliani’s legacy as mayor.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t surprised to see Giuliani’s Meet The Press meltdown that galvanized this piece. Instead, it was seeing him appear on CNN’s New Day less than 48 hours later to double down on his Sunday racist nonsense that made me want to call out these shows. It’s one thing for this disgraced individual to appear on Fox News, a network dedicated to consistent white privilege race baiting and alternate reality nonsense. It’s another thing entirely when other networks solicit Giuliani’s perspective on black Americans. It’s why I didn’t feel sorry for Todd when he struggled to break up Giuliani and Dyson’s heated argument. Todd and his producers should have had the common sense to maybe foresee that Giuliani wasn’t the best person for that segment (or any other significant segment for that matter). But it served as the latest example of how the Sunday shows are a joke — and as forewarning that viewers should expect that when the next heated discussion on race pops up, Fox News won’t be the only network requesting the services of a well known racist like moody Rudy.