by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Donald Trump is respected for his business acumen, but his political commentary leaves much to be desired. He is also accused by political opponents of being a racist and tends to make remarks that confirm, rather than refute, these allegations.
This week, Donald Trump went to Twitter to state that he feels that blacks and Hispanics are responsible for much of the violence that occurs in New York City. Rather than considering the root causes of the violence, Trump points to the racial composition of those whom he believes to be responsible for the crime that occurs in urban communities.
According to Bill O’Reilly, 80% of all the shootings in New York City are blacks-if you add Hispanics, that figure goes to 98%. 1% white.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is also known for being biased against people of color. He regularly points to single parent households as the cause of violence. But like Trump, O’Reilly rarely takes note of policies implemented by white males that create unstable situations for families of color. For example, the spike in single parent households occurred after the so-called War on Drugs, which gave sentences for crack cocaine possession that were 100 times longer than those for powder and also introduced mandatory minimums, giving parents long prison sentences for non-violent crimes. These policies were considered to be among the most racist laws in history, and led to the black male prison population rising out of control.
When kids are being raised in situations where their parents are incarcerated, dead, hooked on drugs, unemployed and uneducated, they are more likely to end up as a part of the criminal justice system. In a way, you can compare it to the way Michael Vick put his puppies in a cage, starved them, beat them and forced them to fight till the death. Extreme violence was the result.
Of course black people are not animals, but the comparison can be made, since living mammals all respond to their environment: When young black and brown males are put into situations where there are no resources, no education, few jobs, rampant police abuse/profiling and terror everywhere they turn, then violence will be the outcome. As an honor student in St. Louis said when he was caught carrying a gun: “I had to carry the gun for my own protection.”
Thugs are MADE IN AMERICA, manufactured by the policies of men like Donald Trump and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, both of whom are billionaires who neglect their own roles in the creation of urban terror.
O’Reilly and Trump also fail to mention that much of the violence stems from white-owned gun manufacturers that fail to support laws that keep track of guns so that they deliberately end up in the hands of criminals. This has led to millions of African Americans being terrorized by gun violence at the hands of guns made by white men like Trump and O’Reilly.
O’Reilly (who might be the most racist man in the history of television) and Trump were both referencing the 2012 Crime and Enforcement Activity, which says that shooting suspects were 78.2 percent black, 18.9 percent Hispanic and 2.4 percent white.
Sadly, the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our major cities is committed by blacks and hispanics-a tough subject-must be discussed.
Trump’s discussion can begin by realizing the role that powerful white men have in creating conditions under which violence takes place. It’s difficult to blame poor and powerless people for the condition of a city that is run by powerful and wealthy white men. If anyone has the power to change the conditions of his city,it would be men like Donald Trump. So, maybe they should start by looking in the mirror to see the mess that they’ve created. That’s what you call “personal responsibility,” which is a foreign concept for men like Donald Trump.
Dr. Boyce Watkins co-stars in the Janks Morton Film “Hoodwinked,” starring Dr. Steve Perry, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and Dr. Ivory Toldson. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.