MSNBC Guests Hit Giuliani’s Black Lives Matter Critique as ‘Nonsense’

Tensions were high on Morning Joe, Monday, in the aftermath of Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend and following a deadly week of shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas. MSNBC’s Harold Ford Jr. and Reverend Al Sharpton reacted loudly to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent comments that the Black Lives Matter Movement has “put a target on the back of police officers.” Host Joe Scarborough chimed in, too, decrying Giuliani’s comments as “a distraction.”

Giuliani contrasted last week’s shootings with the regularity of deaths in Chicago and suggested that the nature of “Black Lives Matter is inherently racist:”

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: The reality is—please, please, let me finish. And when you say black lives matter, that's inherently racist. 

JOHN 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. 

DICKERSON: Well—

GIULIANI: Of course black lives matter and they matter greatly. But when you focus in on 1% of less than 1% of the murder that's going on in America 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. 

Harold Ford Jr. insisted that Giuliani is promoting “his own political agenda” and he hopes that “we don’t get distracted by that nonsense:”

HAROLD FORD JR.: …But to suggest that when young black men call police, call law enforcement to be of help and be of assistance and there is concern that the law enforcement may not show up or may show up and treat them unfairly I think is something you have to address. And we have evidence, piece of evidence after piece of evidence, police officers engaging in unlawful conduct against black men. So, look, Rudy Giuliani has his own political agenda he is promoting. I hope we don’t get distracted by that nonsense

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I don't understand what he said, honestly. 

FORD JR.: —and we actually deal with the things we’ve been talking about here.

As per usual, Reverend Al Sharpton was also quick to fire back at Giuliani. Rather than dismiss it as “nonsense” he analogized Black Lives Matter to the National Organization for Women and United Jewish Appeals in an effort to combat Giuliani's comments that “Black Lives Matter is inherently racist:”

REV. AL SHARPTON: …I think that we have to deal with is to say that a rap song who says something or somebody at a rally represents a broader movement is absurd on its face. 

BRZEZINSKI: And that its racist.

SHARPTON: Let's look at the statement though about saying the slogan, black lives matter is racist. Then are we saying that national organization for women—

BRZEZINSKI: Right!

SHARPTON: —is anti-man? Or United Jewish Appeal is racist? I mean what are you talking about?  People raise all the time the concerns of people that have been neglected or treated differently. And I think that there is nothing anti-anybody else about trying to make sure you are no longer victimized by being treated and marginalized in an anti “you” kind of way. 

While the answer may not be satisfying for Harold Ford Jr. and Rev. Sharpton, what Mayor Giuliani pointed out in his “agenda pushing” by saying that “Black Lives Matter is inherently racist” is that regardless of your race, heritage, or occupation, one’s life matters.

View Full Transcript Here:

07-11-16 MSNBC Morning Joe
07:09:39 AM – 07:15:37 AM

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Here's Rudy Giuliani.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Yeah, he weighed in on the black lives matter movement in the connection to the Dallas police murders. Take a listen.

JOHN DICKERSON: 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. 

RUDI GIULIANI: When they talk about killing police officers. 

DICKERSON: But they don't. 

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

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

GIULIANI: The reality is--please, 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. 

DICKERSON: Well—

GIULIANI: Of course black lives matter and they matter greatly. But when you focus in on 1% of less than 1% of the murder that's going on in America 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. 

SCARBOROUGH: Herald Ford. What's your reaction? 

HAROLD FORD JR.: He conflates a lot of things. I find it difficult at a moment when the country is uniting and trying to come up with serious and real answers to listen to someone who languishes in and pedals hate and violence and kind of silliness. He, some of the points he raised about the crime issues and communities across the country are real. But to suggest that when young black men call police, call law enforcement to be of help and be of assistance and there is concern that the law enforcement may not show up or may show up and treat them unfairly I think is something you have to address. And we have evidence, piece of evidence after piece of evidence, police officers engaging in unlawful conduct against black men. So, look, Rudy Giuliani has his own political agenda he is promoting. I hope we don’t get distracted by that nonsense.

BRZEZINSKI: I don't understand what he said, honestly. 

FORD JR.: And we actually deal with the things we’ve been talking about here.

REV. AL SHARPTON: I think he should talk to Newt Gingrich. I mean even Newt Gingrich who I disagree with on most stuff said that living in America black is much different. So, I don't even want to get into the Rudy Giuliani argument. I did a piece on him in today’s "Daily news." I think that we have to deal with is to say that a rap song who says something or somebody at a rally represents a broader movement is absurd on its face. 

BRZEZINSKI: And that its racist.

SHARPTON: Let's look at the statement though about saying the slogan, black lives matter is racist. Then are we saying that national organization for women—

BRZEZINSKI: Right!

SHARPTON: --is anti-man? Or United Jewish Appeal is racist? I mean what are you talking about?  People raise all the time the concerns of people that have been neglected or treated differently. And I think that there is nothing anti-anybody else about trying to make sure you are no longer victimized by being treated and marginalized in an anti-you kind of way. 

BRZEZINSKI: Eddie?

EDDIE GLAUDE JR.: So that, this angers me. And it angers me for a number of reasons. First because he's engaging in bad faith. We know the facts are clear. The facts are clear. The center for policing equity has already put out, just recently put out a major study that was covered in "New York Times" July 7th,

BRZEZINSKI: Mm-hmm.

GLAUDE JR.: --showing that there’s no correlation between black on black crime and police violence. 

BRZEZINSKI: Mm-hmm.

GLAUDE JR.: No correlation between those two. Right? So the idea, in the midst of the death of Sterling and the midst of the death of Castile to bring up the issue of crime in Chicago, as if it has any bearing on those actions is an act of bad faith. 

FORD JR.: Right.

SHARPTON: Right.

GLAUDE JR.: That's the first thing. The second thing, right, blue lives matter, I suppose, isn't narrow. But black lives matter is. Right? That makes no sense to me. So, part of what we have to deal with is this. In the midst of this particular conversation, this goes to the question of whether or not we're more divided than we are. There are people who hold positions, assumptions about who black people are and those assumptions are driving policy. Are driving us, are driving perceptions and driving judgments about what motivates these actions. So every, you read my Twitter feed this weekend.

BRZEZINSKI: Yes.

GLAUDE JR.: Every time someone responds to the death of a black person by the hands of the police by saying or appealing to black-on-black crime or appealing to the criminality of "Criminality of black communities” what they’re revealing at that moment is that they really don’t care about the death of those black people right in front of them. 

SHARPTON: Right. Mm-hmm.

FORD JR.: Right.

GLAUDE JR.: At that point, I'm angry. 

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

GLAUDE JR.: I'm angry with that. And it’s--it is very difficult for then, for me then to be civil. 

BRZEZINSKI: There’s a complete disconnect.

SCARBOROUGH: Right.

GLAUDE JR.: In that conversation. So, I'm so happy I didn't see Rudy Giuliani. 

SCARBOROUGH: It, it, it, it--

FORD JR.: Can I say just one quick thing, in Memphis--

SCARBOROUGH: It's a distraction is what it is. It's a distraction, yes. 

BRZEZINSKI: Go to Harold real quick.

SCARBOROUGH: Yes. Black on black crime is a problem. Yes. Chicago is a problem. 

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

SCARBOROUGH: Yes. These are problems that we talk about all the time. 

BRZEZINSKI: They're all related to an extent. But.

SCARBOROUGH: Don’t conflate you know problems with law enforcement officers in the black community with what’s going on in Chicago.

FORD Jr.: Some of the things we're talking about here, a small example. And you mentioned in Memphis and I said it earlier, the protestors there, the chief of police in Memphis joined the protesters to cross the bridge there. There was probably some unlawful conduct in terms of blocking and shutting down the bridge but the police and the protesters behaved in a way consistent with what you talked about, Reverend, making the case that protesters are not a part nor support anyone that would kill anyone, particularly police officers, and the real concern is how do we have this bigger dialogue. So I salute my hometown—

BRZEZINSKI: Yeah.

FORD JR.:  --and I hope we don't get distracted by the silliness of Rudy Giuliani. 

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