U.S. NewsHuman Rights


Rudy Giuliani's Black Lives Matter Comments Lack Accuracy And Context

While his message is technically true, he's ignoring other points of consideration.
Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 10, 2016

"You've got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police, the real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times, 9,900 out of 1,000 times are other black kids who are going to kill them," Rudy Giuliani said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

That's former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talking about the Black Lives Matter movement in response to a week of deadly officer-involved shootings.

Giuliani was questioning why the movement fails to react in the wake of murders at the hands of other black people — but now many are questioning where he got that statistic.

SEE MORE: Obama On Alton Sterling, Philando Castile And Why Black Lives Matter

Giuliani's numbers aren't quite right. FBI homicide data from 2014 says 90 percent of black homicide victims were killed by other black people.

He's shared this statistic before. In a 2014 "Meet the Press" interview, he said, "I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks."

That comment was in response to the deadly police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri. That time, he got the numbers right — at least according to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

But all of that is beside the point. His basic message is technically true — that more black people die at the hands of other black people than at the hands of, say, white police officers. But it ignores a point of consideration Yale University law professor Stephen Carter explains like this: "The lives of blacks killed by blacks are no less precious than those of blacks killed by whites; but the symbolism, the relationship of image to history, is different."

Worth noting: According to the FBI's numbers, 82 percent of white victims are killed by other white people.

This video includes images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.