I have written about Bill O'Reilly, a/k/a "Bill O'Racist," in the
past and his proclivity to distort the facts when discussing
African Americans. Well, he's at it again.
On one of his recent shows on Fox News, he asked, "Don't
you think most African-Americans know there are super
predators among their ethnic group? Don't they know it?"
Earlier in the year, he said, "Well, Sanders says he is a
straight talker but not, not on this issue. Here's the truth.
African-Americans make up 13 percent of the total
population in the U.S.A. but commit 37 percent of all
murders. And 90 percent of black murder victims are killed
by other blacks. You will never ever hear either Bernie
Sanders or Hillary Clinton say that. Republican candidates
will not likely point it out either because it's politically
incorrect. It's much easier to decry racism than actually
address the root causes of violent crime which are a
corrosive culture and collapse of the traditional family."
For the record, every racial and ethnic group has predators
among its ranks, just as they have members who are positive
In his rush to blame everything on "corrosive culture" and
"collapse of the traditional family"among African Americans,
Bill O'Racist conveniently ignores some basic facts.
He should have learned last November from Donald Trump's
re-tweeting an erroneous post that claimed that 81 percent
of Whites are killed by Blacks. Not only was that fiction, the
supposedly source for the figure --"Crime Statistics Bureau -
San Francisco" - did not exist.
As fact checkers pointed out at the time, only 15 percent of
Whites are killed by Blacks.
"Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the
exact opposite is true. By overwhelming percentages, whites
tend to kill other whites. Similarly, blacks tend to kill other
blacks. These trends have been observed for decades,"
Indeed, FBI stats show that few homicides are committed
outside an assailant's race. In fact, 8 percent of Blacks are
killed by Whites and 90 percent of African Americans are
killed by other African Americans. According to the FBI, 82
percent of Whites are killed by other Whites.
Clearly, there is no "corrosive culture" factor among African
Americans at play here.
A report titled, "Black Homicide Victimization in the United
States: An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data" by the
Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, provides
further insight into Black homicides.
The typical Black homicide victim was 31 years old; 7
percent were younger than 18 years old and 2 percent were
65 years old or older. Most - 87 percent - were male and 13
percent were female.
The report notes that 84 percent of all Black victims (4,960
out of 5,891) were killed with guns. Of those, 73 percent
were killed with handguns.
Significantly, 72 percent (2,002 out of 2,766) of Black
victims were killed by someone they knew. Only 764 were
killed by strangers.
Moreover, 51 percent of the homicides grew out of an
argument between the victim and the assailant.
Approximately 15 percent were reported to be gang-related.
Instead of dwelling on Bill O'Reilly's ignorant diatribe, the
stats should point us in a different direction if we want to
reduce homicides in Black America. First there is the larger
issue of gun control.
"Blacks in the United States are disproportionately affected
by homicide. For the year 2013, blacks represented 13
percent of the nation's population, yet accounted for 50
percent of all homicidevictims," the Violence Policy Center
report stated. "... For black victims of homicide, like all
victims of homicide, guns - usually handguns - are far and
away the number-one murder tool. Successful efforts to
reduce America's black homicide toll, like America's
homicide toll as a whole, must put a focus on reducing
access and exposure to firearms."
Equally important, we most focus on young Black males.
That's not to say we should ignore Black females - we
shouldn't - but 87 percent of Black homicide victims are
male. No other group is close.
"The homicide rate for black male victims was 30.59 per
100,000. In comparison, the overall rate for male homicide
victims was 6.87 per 100,000. For white male homicide
victims it was 3.71 per 100,000. The homicide rate for
female black victims was 4.36 per 100,000. In comparison,
the overall rate for female homicide victims was 1.72 per
100,000. For white female homicide victims it was 1.39 per
100,000," according to the report.
Finally, we must discard the stereotype that most homicides
are a result of random violence. As the figures show, 72
percent of Black victims were killed by someone they knew.
And just more than half of those deaths began with an
argument. With 15 percent of the deaths attributed to gangs,
they also cannot be ignored.
Teaching Black men to successfully resolve conflict
nonviolently has to be a top priority, if we are going to be
successful. And this must start early in the life of boys.
There are many reasons to be concerned about homicide in
Black America. But Bill O'Racist and other right-wing nuts
totally miss the point.
George E. Curry is President and CEO of George Curry
Media, LLC. He is the former editor-in-chief of Emerge
magazine and the National Newspaper Publishers Association
News Service (NNPA). He is a keynote speaker, moderator,
and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web
site, georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at
twitter.com/currygeorge, George E. Curry Fan Page on
Facebook, and Periscope. See previous columns at
'Bill O'Racist' at it
By George E. Curry
George Curry Media Columnist
There is no debate concerning the irrefutable fact that The
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the
greatest leaders recognized, admired and affirmed by
millions of people across America and throughout the
world. King’s activism and leadership changed America
and the world, as did Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson
Mandela in their respective global impacts.
As we prepare to celebrate the 87th birthday of Dr. King as
part the official federal holiday celebrations, I believe it is
very important to focus on how Dr King’s legacy today is
still relevant and transformative for all people who cry out
for freedom, justice, equality and empowerment.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a devoted man of faith and a
committed freedom fighter for the establishment and
building of “The Beloved Community.” Dr. King was clear
about the ultimate goal of the Civil Rights Movement. His
vision went beyond changing laws and winning victories
against the forces of injustice and repression. Social
change for Dr. King was not an abstraction or just a dream
or an unreachable goal, but it was a realistic, achievable
and tangible outcome of the struggle for freedom and
equality: “The Beloved Community”
In his own words, King emphasized, “The nonviolent
resister must often express his protest through
noncooperation or boycotts, but noncooperation and
boycotts are not ends themselves; they are merely means
to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent. The
end is redemption and reconciliation. The aftermath of
nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community,
while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.”
Today, in the bold tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., we
salute the Black Lives Matter movement. It is being led by
young, gifted, talented and courageous activists, who are
using nonviolent civil disobedience anew to challenge racial
injustice and the wanton police violence and murders that
have become too frequent against Black Americans and
But today we must also assert in King’s transformative
tradition that “All Black Lives Matter!” In other words, yes
we have to stand up effectively against police brutality and
prosecutorial misconduct. Yes, we urgently have to reform
the criminal justice system in its totality. Yet, we must also
stand up effectively with our activism to stop the self-
destructive violence and murders that too many of us
perpetrate on each other in our own families and
In principle and in faith, the truth is we have to be against
all forms of violence and all forms of the destruction of
humanity. There is no justification to take the life of
another human being. It would be a gross contradiction to
everything Dr. King worked and sacrificed for if we
remained silent about the surge in self-destructive gun
violence that prevails today in too many of our
Reconciliation for Dr. King was not reconciling or
compromising to leave injustice or racial bigotry in place.
However reconciliation was the active and involved
process that resulted in specific social transformation that
inured benefits to all people. The success of the Civil
Rights Movement under Dr. King’s leadership not only
benefited Black America, but also the success of this
movement for change provided benefits to all people.
King never suspended his faith in the God of justice and
liberation. He refused to bend his principles and beliefs on
the effectiveness of nonviolent social change activism and
multiracial movement building. The organization of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) by Dr.
King and other Black church leaders was a prophetic step
forward that kept the Black church in America at the
forefront of the battle for civil rights and human rights.
King was an intellectual genius who stood on the universal
theological principles of the oneness of God and the
oneness of all humanity.
In my younger years, I personally worked with Dr. King,
Golden Frinks and Milton Fitch in the North Carolina
SCLC. I witnessed firsthand how Dr. King transformed
and inspired the consciousness of people to believe and
exert a grassroots power to promote social change. We
could use that kind of grassroots power today to get a
massive voter turnout.
Dr. King was not a “weak” leader who sought to appease
or to entertain the powerful in the high places and
principalities of oppression. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in
complete solidarity with the poor and marginalized, but yet
determined to end poverty and injustice wherever those
evils were manifested.
Thus, we should also revisit Dr. King’s economic justice
demands. It is my opinion that if Dr. King were alive today
he would be encouraging “principled youth entrepreneurial
development.” Participating in the U.S. economy as
business owners that help to financially sustain our
communities should be a priority.
In his last public speech on April 3, 1968 on the night
before his tragic assassination in Memphis, Tennessee,
without fear Dr King asserted, “The nation is sick; trouble
is in the land, confusion all around…But I know,
somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see
the stars. And I see God working in this period of the
twentieth century. Something is happening in our world.
The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are
assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South
Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City;
Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis,
Tennessee, the cry is always the same: ‘We want to be
In 2016, “We want to be free!” We want an end to racial
injustice and all manifestations of inequity and inequality.
But we realize from the living legacy of Martin Luther
King, Jr. that we all should remain vigilant and active. Let’s
keep Dr. King’s transformative legacy alive and vibrant
with renewed energy and support.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the President and CEO of
the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)
and can be reached for national advertisement sales and
partnership proposals at: firstname.lastname@example.org; and for
lectures and other professional consultations at: http:
Legacy of Martin
Luther King, Jr.,
By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
NNPA News Wire Columnist