Never one to let pass an opportunity to attack President Obama and other Black leaders, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani went on Fox News yesterday and blamed the killing of two NYPD police officers on the president and other Black leaders for promoting “hate the police” propaganda.
“We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police,” said Giuliani during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t care how you want to describe it—that’s what those protests are all about.”
Just as he did all too frequently when he was mayor, Giuliani once again demonstrated his penchant for fanning racial flames at a time when others are looking for calm reason. On more than one occasion while he ran the city, Giuliani responded to controversial shootings committed by NYPD officers by blaming the victims of the shooting. In this case, he blamed the shooting of the two police officers by a mentally unstable man on the protesters who were demonstrating against deadly police shootings—not on the deadly police shootings themselves, or even on the killer’s mental instability.
Giuliani said the nationwide protests of police killings and grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York, in addition to the ongoing criticism of police tactics and the criminal justice system, were part of what led to the shooting of two NYPD officers in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.
“The protest are being embraced, the protests are being encouraged. The protests, even the ones that don’t lead to violence—a lot of them lead to violence—all of them lead to a conclusion: The police are bad, the police are racist,” said Giuliani. “That is completely wrong. Actually, the people who do the most for the Black community in America are the police.”
That thinking was directly addressed by the activist group Black Lives Matter, which issued a statement yesterday denouncing the killing of the officers.
“An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice,” said the group, which has been organizing protests. “We who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse and violence.”
The claim that police do the most for the Black community is an argument Giuliani has made before. A few weeks ago he tangled with scholar Michael Eric Dyson on “Meet the Press” when he said police are an oft-seen presence in the Black community because they are there to keep Black people from killing one another.
Dyson countered that his claim was part of the “defense mechanism of white supremacy.”
“Your attitude reinforces the problematic perspective that prevails in the culture, sir,” Dyson said. “Look at this. This is the defense mechanism of white supremacy at work in your mind, sir.”
On Fox & Friends, Giuliani a few weeks ago even said he had saved more Black lives than any mayor in New York’s history.
“I’d like to see if Dr. Dyson has ever saved as many lives in his community as I’ve saved,” he said.
On Fox yesterday, Giuliani accused Black commentators of creating “an atmosphere of severe, strong anti-police hatred in certain communities.”
He also accused New York Mayor Bill de Blasio of “allowing protests to get out of control,” adding that it wasn’t time to call for de Blasio’s resignation because “a lot of other police officers were killed under a lot of other mayors.”
“If I was in the situation that Mayor de Blasio is in, and I feel sorry that he’s in this situation, I would give a speech to the police department and I would explain that maybe I was wrong about a few things,” Giuliani said. “Maybe I was wrong about putting too much emphasis on, you know, police misconduct, when in fact police misconduct is a minor part of the problem. Community, serious violent crime, is a much bigger part of the problem.”
“I think I would say to them, and I have said this to the police, ‘You know, the people who are saving black lives in this city are you, the New York City Police Department.’ I’m not doing it. President Obama is not doing it. Mayor de Blasio is not doing it,” Giuliani went on. “He’s not out at night walking up and down housing developments and trying to save children from being killed. The police officers are doing the most, right now, in these very, very poor communities.”