Every time you think Donald Trump could possibly not sink to a new low, he proves us all wrong. On Saturday the billionaire, who keeps Hitler’s speeches at his bedside for light reading and happily accepts white supremacists into his group of supporters because they are “very receptive to [his] message” and “want this country to be great again,” whipped his followers into a frenzy with anti-Muslim hate speech then sicced them on a lone African-American man who had the audacity to chant “black lives matter” while wearing a t-shirt that bore the same message.
Responding to his orders, a group of Trumpcoats surrounded the man, punching, kicking, and shoving him before dragging their victim away from their leader. While the Trump campaign said it does not condone the actions of the crowd, on Sunday Trump announced that his campaign spokesperson was lying, explaining that the man’s assertion that black lives matter is “disgusting.” According to Trump, the man deserved it:
“Maybe he should have been roughed up. It was disgusting what he was doing.”
Not satisfied with simply giving his Faithful advance permission to beat black men at his rallies, Trump followed up by tweeting out a list of wholly inaccurate, racist “USA crime statistics” intended to demonize black people — like the man his supporters gang-attacked on Saturday:
Not only are the statistics completely made up, but the Crime Statistics Bureau that is supposedly in San Fransisco doesn’t seem to exist. The city of San Fransisco tracks crime statistics, of course, but does not break them down by race. Of course, the Uniform Crime Report, or UCR, is based on data from the FBI, so it seems that even the organization the meme cites is wholly invented.
Which brings us to the FBI’s statistics…
As you can see, Trump’s meme is nowhere in the ballpark of reality. The numbers above are from 2014, as it is still 2015. Unless one flies around through time and space in a blue police box, practices some other form of time travel, or is from the future, it is impossible to know the data. There were 5,703 murders in 2014. If Trump were honest, his meme would read like this:
- BLACKS KILLED BY WHITES: 8%
- BLACK KILLED BY POLICE ???
- WHITES KILLED BY POLICE ???
- WHITES KILLED BY WHITES 82%
- WHITES KILLED BY BLACKS: 18%
- BLACKS KILLED BY BLACKS: 90%
It is difficult to tell what percentage of each race is killed by police because reporting has traditionally been voluntary, and only 3 percent of the nation’s 18,000 police departments choose to participate in data collection.We do know that black Americans are twice as likely to be unarmed when killed by police, according to an analysis by The Guardian. We also know police kill black people at three times the rate of whites. but exact statistics would be impossible to determine unless reporting was mandatory, and the data collection and reporting was transparent.
Trump is currently leading the polls by a wide margin. In other words, someone who would tweet the same fake data adored and peddled by by white supremacists is the Right’s top pick for President. How scary is that?
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.