During Sunday's Meet the Press, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Georgetown Professor Michael Eric Dyson got into a racially charged shouting match over black-on-black crime statistics, culminating with charges of "white supremacy" by Dyson.
The conversation centered around race relations, crime, and police officers' actions in light of the situation in Ferguson. Host Chuck Todd showed an infographic noting various U.S. cities that have a disproportionate number of white police officers to black citizens and remarked how that could lead to many of those cities becoming "future Fergusons."
Giuliani took exception to the focus of this report and pointed out the pink elephant in the room. "I find it very disappointing," he said, "that you are not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks… I would like to see the attention paid to that that you are paying to this and the solutions to that."
This upset Dyson, leading him to level the "white supremacy" charge at Giuliani:
Dyson: Can I say this? First of all, most black people who commit crimes against other black people go to jail. Number two, they are not sworn by the police department as an agent of the state to uphold the law. So in both cases, that's a false equivalency that the mayor has drawn, which has exacerbated tensions that are deeply imbedded in American culture. Black people who kill black people go to jail. White people who are policemen who kill black people do not go to jail. If a jury can indict a ham sandwich, why is it taking so long?
Giuliani: It's hardly insignificant.
Dyson: I didn't say it was insignificant. I said it was out of proportion in your false equivalency, sir.
Giuliani: It is the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community.
Dyson: Not at all. The police presence cannot make a distinction between those who are criminals and those who call the police to stop the criminals.
Giuliani: What about the poor black child that is killed by another black child? Why aren't you protesting?
Dyson: Those people go to jail. I do protest it, I'm a minister. They go to jail. Why don't you talk about the way in which white policemen undercut the abilities of Americans to live?
Giuliani: So why don't you cut it down so so many white police officers don't have to be in black areas?
Dyson: They don't have to be. It's a matter of the affect of the state occupying those forces, sir.
Giuliani: How about 70 to 75 percent of the crime in my city takes place in black cities.
Dyson: How about your attitude reinforces the problematic perspective that prevails in the culture, sir.
Giuliani: How about you reduce crime?
Dyson: You know what? When I become mayor, I'll do that.
Giuliani: The white police officers wouldn't be there if you weren't killing each other 70 to 75 percent of the time.
Dyson: Look at this -- This is the defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind, sir.