Rudy Giuliani has his opinion about all the unrest in Ferguson, which includes feeling that there’s “no question” that people in black communities experience more unjustified police shootings than people in white communities. However, he said that these things must be put in the “proper context.”
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Giuliani raised some good questions, like:
“Why is it happening? Why is it happening more often in the black community?”
Which would have been good, but then he had to go and put a racist spin on it with this:
“And doesn’t it actually logically make sense that it’s going to happen more often in the community where there is five, six, seven, eight, nine times more violence than in another community?”
Logically it might, when you don’t even understand the issue enough to ask better questions. Some better questions to ask might be:
- Why is there a higher crime rate in poorer neighborhoods?
- How do police behave in these neighborhoods vs. poor, but predominantly white, neighborhoods?
- Why are poorer neighborhoods more likely to be predominantly black?
- What role does generational poverty play in the crime rate in these neighborhoods?
- What role does institutional racism play in making these neighborhoods predominantly black?
- What role does society play in keeping these neighborhoods predominantly black?
Conservatives don’t ask these questions, though, and don’t pay much attention to the sociologists that do. Instead, they look at the poor neighborhoods, and their demographics, and see a different connection between being black and being poor. They see a different connection between being black and high crime rates. And they draw their conclusions based on the (incorrect) assumption that black people generally just make bad choices, and white people generally don’t.
Giuliani also said that the responsibility to stop this is only partly on police departments to train their officers better, and to increase diversity. More of it falls on black communities to reduce the need for police officers to even be there.
It’s sad, really, that the conservative mindset boils down entirely to choice. They think that black people have the same opportunities, and therefore the same choices, as white people. That’s just not true, especially not for the impoverished. Even poor white people have opportunities that poor blacks don’t, simply because they’re white.
Giuliani’s questions show that he thinks this same way. When he says that police shooting black people has to be put in its proper context, and then calls the crime rate in black communities “the proper context,” he shines a very bright light on the deeper problem. And then he perpetuates it, like most conservatives do.