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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recommended read from "A 21st-century segregationist claim": Why Giuliani's race screed is so foolish -- and dangerous

"During a recent appearance on "Meet the Press," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani inspired days of criticism by telling fellow guest and Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson that his focus on police brutality was misguided. "We are talking about the significant exception," Giuliani said, referring to white police officers killing black people. "Ninety-three percent of blacks are killed by other blacks." Giuliani then went further, telling Dyson, "Why don’t [black people] cut [crime] down so so many white police officers don’t have to be in black areas?"

Except for Giuliani die-hards or unreconstructed racists (far from mutually exclusive), most people recognized the ex-mayor's comments as insensitive — at best. But while there's been criticism of Giuliani's use of crime statistics, especially his failure to note a similar figure is true for white killings, there's been less focus on whether these statistics themselves are as objective and reliable as we believe. With that in mind, Salon recently spoke on the phone with Dr. Khalil G. Muhammad, the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of "The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America," a widely praised study of the history of how racism and criminology have mixed."

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