Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani faced immediate Web backlash Sunday morning after he asked why people protest the killing of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown but not black-on-black crime.
“Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks,” Giuliani said, triggering a heated argument on NBC's "Meet the Press." “I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this.”
Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson, a frequent MSNBC pundit, said Giuliani was applying a "false equivalency" to the situation in Ferguson, where a grand jury will soon decide whether to charge Officer Darren Wilson in Brown's shooting death.
“Black people who kill black people go to jail,” Dyson said. “White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”
Watch the full exchange here:
“What about the poor black child that was killed by another black child?” Giuliani asked. “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?”
“When I become mayor, I’ll do that,” replied Dyson, exasperated.
“White police officers wouldn’t be there,” Giuliani said, “if you weren’t killing each other.”
The comments followed a "Meet the Press" segment about disproportionately white police forces serving far more diverse populations. White officers dominate forces in most large U.S. cities, a Washington Post analysis found. Only three out of 53 police officers are black in Ferguson, where two-thirds of the population is black.
Most murder in the United States is intra-racial, according to data from the Justice Department: White people are more likely to kill white people, and black people are more likely to kill black people.
Nearly 84 percent of white victims from 1980 to 2008 were killed by white assailants, the department's numbers show. During the same period, 93 percent of black victims were murdered by someone of the same race.
Some Twitter users responded Sunday with outrage, calling Giuliani’s comments racist.
Wow, never realized how awful Mayor Guiliani was until I heard him speak about #Ferguson on Meet the Press. Old, tired, racist.— Vicki Walden (@TheVikChick) November 23, 2014
On Meet the Press, Rudy Giuliani displaying a solidly antiquated view of race and policing.— Ben Max (@TweetBenMax) November 23, 2014
Don't give Trump and Giuliani the time of day. Last thing St. Louis needs is racist New Yorkers weighing in. Got enough problems. #Ferguson— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) November 23, 2014
Rudy Giuliani is using the black on black crime to defend having disproportionately white police forces on @meetthepress and I CAN'T— Meghan Groob (@mgroob) November 23, 2014
Some wondered why Giuliani was even on the talk show:
@aterkel why is Giuliani relevant enough to be on meet the press? (Other than he's a far right wing celebrity.)— Matt Perrella (@skipwiley11) November 23, 2014
Others showed support:
I wholeheartedly agree with Mayor Giuliani. Why isn't there more outrage about the issues plaguing black communities?? #meetthepress— Maurice Corbett (@MalecoDC) November 23, 2014
@meetthepress I agree Giuliani!!— viv100 (@vivanari) November 23, 2014
What do you think of Giuliani’s opinion on the Ferguson protests?