Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani rattled off an alarming statistic on “Meet the Press” during a heated debate Sunday about race and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown: 93 percent of black murder victims are killed by a black person. Giuliani gave the statistics while expressing his disappointment that there aren’t any protests about black-on-black murders on the scale of the demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white police officer killed Brown. Guiliani directed his anger at Michael Eric Dyson, a black professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who has authored a number of books on race.
“I find this very disappointing that you’re not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. We’re talking about the exception here. I’d like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this and the solutions to that,” Giuliani said.
But Dyson said there’s a difference between the blacks that murder other blacks and white police officers who shoot and kill black people. Most blacks go to jail for murder, and they’re also not sworn by the police department to uphold the law, Dyson said.
“In both cases, that’s a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions that are deeply embedded in American culture,” he said. “Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail.”
The 93 percent figure cited by Giuliani comes from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which released a report on homicide trends in 2011 that looked at crime data from 1980 to 2008. The report also found that a high percentage of white murder victims were murdered by white people.
“Most murders were intraracial,” the bureau said in a press release announcing the report. “From 1980 through 2008, 84 percent of white homicide victims were murdered by whites and 93 percent of black victims were murdered by blacks. During this same period, blacks were disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. Blacks were six times more likely than whites to be homicide victims and seven times more likely than whites to commit homicide.”
Brown, 18, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug 9., a Saturday afternoon, in Ferguson. Protesters across the country have since called for a review of police shootings. It's unclear if Wilson will face charges in Brown's death. A grand jury decision in the case is expected this week, possibly Monday.