CBS Hits Giuliani for Calling on Both Blacks & Whites to Solve Race Tensions

On Sunday's Face the Nation on CBS, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was not only hit from the left by host John Dickerson on the issue of police interactions with the black population, but after the former GOP mayor's segment was over, three out of four panel members also griped about his views.

As Giuliani actually took time to put some of the onus on both whites as well as on blacks to do more to improve relations between the police and blacks, he seemed to ruffle some feathers for not putting all the blame on the side of the police and their defenders.

After the former mayor began his first response by making recommendations for what whites should do, but then shifted to advising the black population on what they should do, host Dickerson seemed to bristle as he followed up:

Mr. Mayor, let me just ask you, you started off by saying that white Americans have to understand that this is happening to the black community, and then, at the end, you said members of the black community have to teach their children to behave in front of the police. Those messages seem to conflict with one another.

After Giuliani repeated his contention that blacks are under much more danger of being killed by other blacks than they are by police officers, the CBS host challenged him for previously complaining about liberal activists endangering the police with their rhetoric:

Right, just a final question, sir, you said the Black Lives Matter movement has put a target on the back of police officers. When members of the African-American community see videos as they have this week, they feel like there is a target on young black men. Explain your response about how they put a target on police officers, how that can match up when people see these videos.

The two then got into a back on forth on whether Giuliani's complaint was fair:

GIULIANI: Well, when they talk about killing police officers. 

DICKERSON: But they don't-

GIULIANI: They sure do. When they sing rap songs about killing police officers and they talk about killing police officers and they yell it out at their rallies, and the police officers hear.

DICKERSON: But, Mr. Mayor, but what you seem to be doing is taking-

GIULIANI: Please, let me finish. And when you say, "Black Lives Matter," that's inherently racist.

DICKERSON: Well, I think their argument-

Giuliani concluded by continuing his criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement:

Black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter. That's anti-American, and it's racist. Of course black lives matter. And they matter greatly. But when you focus in on one percent or less than one percent of the murder that's going on, and you make it a national thing, and all of you in the media make it much bigger than the black kid who's getting killed in Chicago every 14 hours, you create a disproportion. The police understand it, and it puts a target on their back. Every cop in America will tell you that if you ask them.

Dickerson notably gave softer treatment to left-leaning guests in interviews earlier in the show as Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and Cornell Williams Brooks of the NAACP appeared.

After the Giuliani segment, there was a panel discussion in which three out of four members took their own jabs at Giuliani from a liberal point of view. Even though Giuliani as mayor of New York dramatically cut the homicide rate and no doubt saved the lives of thousands of black New Yorkers who otherwise would have been crime victims, Sherrilynn Ifill of the NAACP began by charging that the New York Republican "presided over one of the most discredited areas and periods in policing in the city of New York which is, in fact, responsible for a lot of contention that exists between police officers and people in African-American communities."

Before long, CBS Justice and Homeland Security correspondent Jeff Pegues added to the criticism of Giuliani, charging that he did not understand the situation:

We heard what Mayor Giuliani said, and I think that, if you talk to people in communities and certainly if they hear what he just said, you know, as the mayor of Dallas said a couple of days ago, words matter. And I think, based on what he was saying about black families, it shows that he has -- and I'm sure some of the interviews if he were to go and talk to some of the people there -- it just shows a lack of understanding of what the root of the problem is.

The CBS correspondent added:

There is a history of mistrust between the black community and law enforcement, and that's at the root here. and two years out from Ferguson, that still has not been addressed. So you're not going to get to the root of the problem until you address that issue and until people like Rudy Giuliani go to these communities, actually talk to the people who live there, and get a sense for what they really feel and what's really at the root of the problem.

Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post soon took his turn to aim at Giuliani as he suggested that the former mayor was somehow wrong in pointing out that the overwhelming majority of killings of black Americans are by other blacks and only a small percentage by police officers:

One other thing I want to say is that, you know, so I work on a team for the Washington Post that covers fatal police shootings full time, right. We've been studying this for two years. And I think our inability to move forward with this conversation is largely based on our inability to grasp the facts of this. We often talk in rhetoric on either side, but we don't grasp the facts, right? For example, when Mayor Giuliani says that black men are almost never killed by police, it doesn't happen, well, that's just not true.

He added:

So what we know is, the Washington Post data says that there have been 512 people who have been shot and killed by the police this year, in 2016 -- 123 of them have been black. That is a dead black person almost every single day this year. What we also know is, while we love and respect our police officers -- we don't want any of them to be killed -- that they are not that often killed in the line of duty.

They are killed -- once a week, an officer is killed. Which is a tragedy, once a week. Three times a day, a police officer takes the life of an American citizen, and when we start to have this conversation about black-on-black crime and murder, we conflate two things because a criminal killing someone is not the same as the state, the government, a police officer killing someone.

Lowery did not mention that many of those shot by police officers are criminals, as opposed to many other black homicide victims who have been killed by other blacks and have done nothing wrong.

Moments later, Lowery nodded as Ifll took one last swipe at Giuliani:

Ownership of the problem cannot simply fall on African-Americans. It's interesting that, you know, we were listening to Mayor Giuliani because he's one of the people who, no matter what police officers did, always defended them. (Lowery can be seen nodding his head.) We see this with the spokespersons for police unions. We need that when something goes wrong, we want to hear from police officers, "We take responsibility for the fact that something went wrong, for the fact that one of our people did something wrong" so that we can come together and talk in the same way that we are asked to take responsibility when people in our community commit crimes.

Ifill claimed that Giuliani "always defended" the police, even though the former mayor talked about indefensible police actions that have required dealing with when he was on the show earlier. Giuliani:

And on the black side, what they hear from us is constantly defending the police. Now, I'll give you an example. I had a police officer who brutally attacked a gentleman named Amadou Diallo. That police officer is now sitting in jail for 25 years due to the work of my police commissioner, Howard Safir and the prosecution of now Attorney General Loretta Lynch. I also had police officers who were wrongly accused and were acquitted by a jury even though mobs were calling for them to be put in jail despite the fact that jury found them not guilty. These are complicated situations, and we have to try to understand each other.

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the Sunday, July 10, Face the Nation on CBS:
 

JOHN DICKERSON: President Obama said things aren't as bad as they were in the '60s in terms of race relations. Do you agree with that?

[CORNELL WILLIAMS BROOKS, NAACP]

Talk about the police. There are obviously some bad actors and they are captured in these horrendous videos, but everybody on both sides is saying, "Don't paint the other with a broad brush." Help people understand how to talk about the changes you think need to be made in the police force, but then also respect these people who are brave and take risks and serve their communities.

[WILLIAMS]

(...)

Let's start with this. What would you tell a young, African-American 18-year-old man in your district who came to you and said, "What does my future look like?"

[REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD)]

These videos are so powerful and yet in a political sense you saw today the Secretary of Homeland Security there with Commissioner Bratton sending a very clear signal both in visual but explicit terms that he stands with the police, that the administration seems to be worried that the focus on improving policing has maybe gotten painted with too broad a brush on all of police.

[CUMMINGS]

Tell me about the aftermath of Baltimore with such a central part of the conversation. Where do things stand now?

[CUMMINGS]

Well, that's what I wonder about in Baltimore. You had the hung jury and two acquittals. Some people would say, "That's not consequences for Freddie Gray who is, you know, who died after being in custody."

[CUMMINGS]

President Obama said that, in his press conference, he said that there were times when activists might have engaged in rhetoric that was overheated and occasionally counterproductive. What's your feeling about that in terms of -- and he's talking about rhetoric with respect to the police.

[CUMMINGS]

(...)

JOHN DICKERSON: Mr. Mayor, I want to ask you about something former Speaker Newt Gingrich said, which is that, he said, "White Americans can't understand the extra risk that comes with being black in America," and that whites "instinctively underestimate the danger of the black experience." What do you think about that?

FORMER MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R-NYC): I agree with that completely. I agree largely with the sentiments of Congressman Elijah Cummings. The reality is, we have to look differently at race in America if we're going to change this. We've been looking at it the same way for 20 years, and here's where we are. And we both have to try to understand each other. First, let me say, my deep sympathy for the people of Minnesota, people of Louisiana, people of Texas and of Dallas, And I'd like them all to remember that, although these incidents happen in different ways, they're all shared together as Americans. 

We share this violence together as Americans, so maybe whites have to look at it differently, and blacks have to look at it differently. Whites have to realize that African-American men have a fear and boys have a fear of being confronted by the police because of some of these incidents. Some people may consider it rational; some people may consider it irrational. But it's a reality. It exists. 

And there's a second reality in the black community. And the second reality in the black community is too much violence in the black community. So a black will die one percent or less at the hands of the police and 99 percent at the hands of a civilian, most often another black. So, if you want to protect black lives, then you got to protect black lives not just against police -- which happens rarely but with tremendous attention -- and which happens every 14 hours in Chicago -- every 14 hours -- and we never hear from Black Lives Matter. 

So, if you want to deal with this on the black side, you've got to teach your children to be respectful to the police, and you've got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police, the danger to them -- 99 out of 100 times -- 9,900 out of 1,000 (sic) times ---  are other black kids who are going to kill them. That's they way they're going to die. Now, on the white side, we have to understand that, whether we get it or not, there is this extraordinary fear of the police have to institute a policy of zero tolerance like we did for crime in New York -- zero tolerance, no disrespect.

Way back 14 (sic) years ago, Commissioner Howard Safir began a program in New York City called "Courtesy, Professionalism, and Respect." It was continued by the next three police commissioners, including the one you just had on now. 

DICKERSON: Mr. Mayor, let me just ask you, you started off by saying that white Americans have to understand that this is happening to the black community, and then, at the end, you said members of the black community have to teach their children to behave in front of the police. Those messages seem to conflict with one another.

GIULIANI: Of course they don't. If I were a black father, and I was concerned about the safety of my child -- really concerned about it and not in a politically activist sense -- I would say, "Be very respectful to police. Most of them are good, some can be very bad, and just be very careful." I'd also say, "Be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood and don't get involved with them because, son, there's a 99 percent chance they're going to kill you, not the police." And we got to hear that from the black community is how and what they are doing among themselves about the crime problem in the black community. When there are 60 shootings in Chicago over the Fourth of July, and 14 murders, and Black Lives Matter is nonexistent, and then there's one police murder under very questionable circumstances, we hear from Black Lives Matter, we wonder: Do black lives matter? Or only the very few black lives that are killed by white policemen but not all of those other black lives that are killed by other blacks. 

And on the black side, what they hear from us is constantly defending the police. Now, I'll give you an example. I had a police officer who brutally attacked a gentleman named Amadou Diallo (sic) (meant Abner Louima). That police officer is now sitting in jail for 25 years due to the work of my police commissioner, Howard Safir and the prosecution of now Attorney General Loretta Lynch. I also had police officers who were wrongly accused and were acquitted by a jury even though mobs were calling for them to be put in jail despite the fact that jury found them not guilty. These are complicated situations, and we have to try to understand each other.

DICKERSON: Right, just a final question, sir, you said the Black Lives Matter movement has put a target on the back of police officers. When members of the African-American community see videos as they have this week, they feel like there is a target on young black men. Explain your response about how they put a target on police officers, how that can match up when people see these videos. 

GIULIANI: Well, when they talk about killing police officers. 

DICKERSON: But they don't-

GIULIANI: They sure do. When they sing rap songs about killing police officers and they talk about killing police officers and they yell it out at their rallies, and the police officers hear.

DICKERSON: But, Mr. Mayor, but what you seem to be doing is taking-

GIULIANI: Please, let me finish. And when you say, "Black Lives Matter," that's inherently racist.

DICKERSON: Well, I think their argument-

GIULIANI: Black lives matter, white lives matter, Asian lives matter, Hispanic lives matter. That's anti-American, and it's racist. Of course black lives matter. And they matter greatly. But when you focus in on one percent or less than one percent of the murder that's going on, and you make it a national thing, and all of you in the media make it much bigger than the black kid who's getting killed in Chicago every 14 hours, you create a disproportion. The police understand it, and it puts a target on their back. Every cop in America will tell you that if you ask them.

(...)

DICKERSON:l Your response to Mayor Giuliani before.

SHERRILYN IFILL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Well, I hesitate to make my response all to Mayor Giuliani because, you know, part of what we're confronted with today is the needs of 21st century policing and law enforcement. And Mayor Giuliani not only has a 20th century vision, but he actually presided over one of the most discredited areas and periods in policing in the city of New York which is, in fact, responsible for a lot of contention that exists between police officers and people in African-American communities.

(...)

JEFF PEGUES, CBS NEWS JUSTICE AND HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We heard what Mayor Giuliani said, and I think that, if you talk to people in communities and certainly if they hear what he just said, you know, as the mayor of Dallas said a couple of days ago, words matter. And I think, based on what he was saying about black families, it shows that he has -- and I'm sure some of the interviews if he were to go and talk to some of the people there -- it just shows a lack of understanding of what the root of the problem is.

There is a history of mistrust between the black community and law enforcement, and that's at the root here. and two years out from Ferguson, that still has not been addressed. So you're not going to get to the root of the problem until you address that issue and until people like Rudy Giuliani go to these communities, actually talk to the people who live there, and get a sense for what they really feel and what's really at the root of the problem.

(...)

WESLEY LOWERY, WASHINGTON POST: One other thing I want to say is that, you know, so I work on a team for the Washington Post that covers fatal police shootings full time, right. We've been studying this for two years. And I think our inability to move forward with this conversation is largely based on our inability to grasp the facts of this. We often talk in rhetoric on either side, but we don't grasp the facts, right? For example, when Mayor Giuliani says that black men are almost never killed by police, it doesn't happen, well, that's just not true.

So what we know is, the Washington Post data says that there have been 512 people who have been shot and killed by the police this year, in 2016 -- 123 of them have been black. That is a dead black person almost every single day this year. What we also know is, while we love and respect our police officers -- we don't want any of them to be killed -- that they are not that often killed in the line of duty. They are killed -- once a week, an officer is killed. Which is a tragedy, once a week. Three times a day, a police officer takes the life of an American citizen, and when we start to have this conversation about black-on-black crime and murder, we conflate two things because a criminal killing someone is not the same as the state, the government, a police officer killing someone.

(...)

IFILL: Ownership of the problem cannot simply fall on African-Americans. It's interesting that, you know, we were listening to Mayor Giuliani because he's one of the people who, no matter what police officers did, always defended them. (Lowery can be seen nodding his head.) We see this with the spokespersons for police unions. We need that when something goes wrong, we want to hear from police officers, "We take responsibility for the fact that something went wrong, for the fact that one of our people did something wrong" so that we can come together and talk in the same way that we are asked to take responsibility when people in our community commit crimes.

NB Daily Crime Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism CBS Face the Nation Video John Dickerson Rudy Giuliani


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