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MSNBC Gives Guest Forum to Claim 'Genocide' Against Minorities

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

Over the past couple of weeks, both MSNBC and CBS have given a mostly unchallenged forum to liberal attorney Benjamin Crump to promote his new book, provocatively titled Open Season: Legalized Genocide Against Colored People, in which he promotes an alarmist view of widespread discrimination against the country's black population.

in an appearance on CBS This Morning, he even repeated the myth that Charleston church mass murderer Dylann Roof was actually taken to Burger King instead of being immediately locked up by the arresting officers.

The segments hosting Crump -- who is a high-profile activist in cases of police violence against black suspects -- did not inform viewers that blacks only make up about 25 percent of deadly police shooting cases, in contrast with the media's tendency to ignore almost all white, Hispanic or Asian shooting victims.

On Saturday's PoliticsNation show, host Al Sharpton only mildly suggested that the word "genocide" might be too strong a word as he began the segment by posing: 

In your book, you talk about genocide, and I'm sure some will say that's a strong term. Why did you use that term in describing what is going on with black Americans in terms of the relationship with law enforcement in this country?

Crump began by defending his choice of words:

It was intentional, and I am very unapologetic in using that term because we have to look at what is happening to our children. When you and I and leaders of National Action Network where in Ferguson, Missouri, after the tragic killing of Michael Brown who had his hands up and was killed the afternoon in broad daylight, a young man said, right in front of the National Guard with all the cameras there, and they were trained on them center mass. And he said, "Go ahead and kill me now while the cameras are here because you all are going to kill us when they're gone. It's important that the world see how y'all are killing us."

The liberal activist then argued that the criminal justice system engages widespread "killing" of black Americans through high incarceration rates:

It was important for the world to see how they're killing us, but not just in these high-profile police shootings with bullets, but, more poignantly, how they're killing us in the courtrooms with the law itself that is supposed to protect us. One in every five black men in America, if you look at the statistics across state lines, are convicted felons. And experts believe if this trend continues, in the next 25 years, one of three out of every black man in America would be a convicted felon, so how can you say that this isn't a subtle way of killing us whether with bullets or with the law.

Sharpton then pivoted to his other guest, Pastor Kyev Tatum, to discuss the recent shooting of Atatiana Jefferson in her own home in Fort Worth by a police officer who had been sent there by a concerned neighbor to do a welfare check.

Appearing as a guest on CBS This Morning on October 17, Crump recalled the same story from Ferguson, and soon repeated a recurring piece of misinformation claiming that Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who murdered nine black church members, was given special treatment after he was apprehended by police: CBS co-host Gayle King set him up by posing:

You have a chapter called "White Men Are Not Shot in the Back," and you give several examples of unarmed black men are killed, and yet there have been white suspects who have done mass shootings that are still alive. Can you talk about that?

After Crump responded by listing several examples of black men being shot and killed by police officers, King brought up Roof as she followed up: "And on the other side, you have Dylann Roof, who did the shooting in Charleston, taken alive."

The liberal activist asserted:

You have Dylann Roof -- you have the shooting at Parkland, Florida, and white men who are confirmed mass murderers, are arrested and protected. In Dylann Roof's case, they take him to Burger King after they know he's killed nine of the most innocent people you could ever find.

Roof was actually taken immediately to jail, and was given food from Burger King later because the jail otherwise lacked internal food services at that time, making it necessary to acquire food from outside.

And one mentioned the argument that criminal suspects who do not resist arrest are less likely to be killed by police than those who try to avoid being arrested.

His book similarly cites a limited number of blacks being killed by police, paired with whites not killed by police, without noting that many whites are killed by police each year.

In 2018, according to the Washington Post, 452 whites were shot and killed by police officers, compared to 

Crump also devoted a chapter to arguing against Florida's Stand Your Ground law, citing a small number of cases when ita appears that black Florida residents may have been unfairly not allowed to use the law, but he did not mention the big picture that the per capita violent crime rate in Florida has fallen to a 52-year low in the years since the law was enacted in 2005.

From the Saturday, October 26, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: In your book, you talk about genocide, and I'm sure some will say that's a strong term. Why did you use that term in describing what is going on with black Americans in terms of the relationship with law enforcement in this country?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It was intentional, and I am very unapologetic in using that term because we have to look at what is happening to our children. When you and I and leaders of National Action Network where in Ferguson, Missouri, after the tragic killing of Michael Brown who had his hands up and was killed the afternoon in broad daylight, a young man said, right in front of the National Guard with all the cameras there, and they were trained on them center mass. And he said, 'Go ahead and kill me now while the cameras are here because you all are going to kill us when they're gone. It's important that the world see how y'all are killing us.' And that was riveted into me, Reverend Al, because he was right. It was important for the world to see how they're killing us, but not just in these high-profile police shootings with bullets, but, more poignantly, how they're killing us in the courtrooms with the law itself that is supposed to protect us. One in every five black men in America, if you look at the statistics across state lines, are convicted felons. And experts believe if this trend continues, in the next 25 years, one of three out of every black man in America would be a convicted felon, so how can you say that this isn't a subtle way of killing us whether with bullets or with the law.

From the October 17 CBS This Morning:

GAYLE KING: You have a chapter called "White Men Are Not Shot in the Back," and you give several examples of unarmed black men are killed, and yet there have been white suspects who have done mass shootings that are still alive. Can you talk about that?

BENJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Black people -- brown people are killed in some of the most unbelievable ways when they have encounters with police officers. Michael Brown was walking -- "hands up, don't shoot" -- in Ferguson. Then, you have Ernest Hoskins who we talk about, a young man who was having a debate with his boss in front of his three employees, and his boss blew his head off and claimed Stand Your Ground.having a mental illness crisis, and the police officer shoots her fie times while she's on the ground, and he's on his feet. And then you have Pamella Turner, who --

KING: And, on the other side, you have Dylann Roof, who did the shooting in Charleston, taken alive.

CRUMP: You have Dylann Roof -- you have the shooting at Parkland, Florida, and white men who are confirmed mass murderers, are arrested and protected. In Dylann Roof's case, they take him to Burger King after they know he's killed nine of the most innocent people you could ever find...

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