On a special Sunday edition of CNN Tonight, liberal contributor Kirsten Powers declared that "white men are very violent and a problem" during a segment in which host Don Lemon defended his comments from last week that "the biggest terror threat" in the U.S. is white men.
At 10:36 p.m. Eastern, Lemon brought up a recent New York Times article which cites a study by the Anti-Defamation League suggesting that law enforcement is not concerned enough about white or right-wing extremists committing terrorist acts and hate crimes. Lemon: "They say, of the extremist-related murders in the U.S., 71 percent came from right-wing extremism, 26 percent Islamic extremism, three percent from left-wing extremism. That's 387 total deaths from 2008 to 2017."
Speaking to CNN contributor Charlie Dent, Lemon added: "Shouldn't law enforcement be concerned about it? Shouldn't we be concerned about it? Shouldn't we be able to talk about it without being demonized, quite honestly. I did, but it was accurate. What I said was right. What's the way -- what do we do?"
It did not seem to occur to Lemon that, if only about one or two percent of Americans are Muslims, and if 26 percent of terrorist acts were perpetrated by Muslim extremists in the past decade, then it would still make sense to have substantial concerns about Muslim extremism committing a disproportionately high percentage of terrorism.
Notably, NewsBusters has previously documented that such reports about murders committed by extremists have a history of misleadingly including cases that one normally would not expect, like white supremacists or other political extremists getting into domestic fights or committing crimes not actually related to their ideological views.
When Powers had her turn to speak, she complained:
If all these school shootings were done by someone from the Middle East, there'd be a very different reaction to them. I think if they were frankly done by African-Americans, it would be a very different reaction to them. So what we see here is we ignore -- and we have statistics here showing that white men are very violent and a problem, and nothing's being done about it.
And then we have the President of the United States talking about a bunch of brown people like they're the terrorists. I mean, we have a county where we -- every other day it seems like a white woman calls the police on a black man for barbecuing or gardening or delivering the mail, and yet we sit quietly while all these white men are out, you know, terrorizing people essentially. I mean, every time there's one of these shootings, and it's a white man.
Lemon then complained about those who bring up "black on black crime" as he jumped back in:
One of the most frustrating things to me is the default is to say, when you talk about this, "Well, what about black on black crime?" If that's the first place your mind goes, you need to check yourself, because what about people with red hair? That is not what we're talking about.
Liberal contributor Bakari Sellers then claimed that "black on black crime is a myth," but did not acknowledge that blacks have a higher probability of being targeted by other blacks than whites do of being targeted by other whites, so there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about blacks being disproportionately victims of crime.
Lemon then added:
The fact that your mind goes there says a lot about what you're trying to make an excuse for and why you think -- why is it so uncomfortable for you to -- for people to admit that there's a certain segment of terrorism -- of crime in this country that white males are mostly responsible for? What is so hard to discuss about that?
But, as previously documented by NewsBusters, whites tend to commit both homicides and hate crimes at a disproportionately low rate compared to their percentage of the population.