Trumps says ‘more white people’ are dying from police violence than Blacks

The president claimed it was a 'terrible question' to ask about police brutality

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the daily coronavirus briefing as Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia (R) looks on in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has a response to Black Americans who are being killed at the hands of the police, and it is that white people are too.

The president made his comments Tuesday during an interview with CBS News. He was asked about George Floyd which he claimed was “terrible.” However, it was his answer to why African Americans are “still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country,” that has drawn controversy. He pivoted to whataboutism.  

Read More: Black Jacksonville residents speak out against Trump’s visit on ‘Ax Handle Saturday’

“So are White people. So are White people. What a terrible question to ask. So are White people,” Trump told CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge at the White House. “More White people, by the way. More White people.”

In June, Harvard published a study that declared more white people were killed by the police between 2013 and 2017. However, they are the largest demographic of people. Further, the study declared that Black Americans were three times more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement. Another study also showed that one in 1,000 Black men could expect to die after an interaction with the police.

A sign reading “Racism is the biggest pandemic” is seen at the All Black Lives Matter Solidarity March on June 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

It is these staggering figures and Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody in May that revitalized that Black Lives Matter movement. Since Floyd’s death, there have been nationwide protests. Many confederate statues have been torn down as it is felt that those who fought to preserve slavery should not be honored.

Read More: Transcript reveals George Floyd told cops he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times

Trump took a different view over the confederate statue and flag. It was a matter of free speech that he wanted to defend.

“All I say is freedom of speech. It’s very simple. My attitude is freedom of speech. Very strong views on the Confederate flag. With me, it’s freedom of speech. Very simple. Like it, don’t like it, it’s freedom of speech,” Mr. Trump said.

Trump was coy about how he’d feel if his supporters held conferderate flags at his rallies. He defaulted that it would be within their “freedom of speech” to do so.

He doubled down on the free expression of speech when Herridge asked if he could understand “why the flag is a painful symbol for many people because it’s a reminder of slavery.” Trump opted to cite NASCAR in his reply.

“Well, people love it and I don’t view — I know people that like the Confederate flag and they’re not thinking about slavery. I look at NASCAR — you go to NASCAR, you had those flags all over the place. They stopped it,” Mr. Trump said.

Read More: Black ex-cop charged in Floyd’s death sought to ‘change the narrative’ in policing, mother says

Last month, NASCAR made the decision to stop flying Confederate flags at their games. It was a mandate with support and backlash. For Trump, it was simply people deciding how they chose to express themselves.

“I just think it’s freedom of speech, whether it’s freedom of speech, whether it’s Confederate flags or Black Lives Matter or anything else you want to talk about. It’s freedom of speech,” Mr. Trump continued.

Subscribe to theGrio’s Dear Culture podcast on Spotify, Apple and Stitcher.

Share: