During the January 30 edition of Salem Media’s The Charlie Kirk Show (simulcast on Real America’s Voice), host Charlie Kirk falsely claimed that Black people commit more crimes than non-Black people while discussing the murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police.
“For years I’ve been told by activists that Blacks commit — they don’t commit more crimes, but the reason they might, down to statistics, is because there is more police in their neighborhood,” Kirk said. “It’s the exact opposite of a way to view it. There’s more police in your neighborhoods because Blacks commit more crimes. Period.”
According to a 2021 report from the Department of Justice and FBI, “Among the most serious incidents of violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault), there were no statistically significant differences by race between offenders.”
Majority Black neighborhoods are often simultaneously over- and under policed, meaning that officers will pester Black folks for small offenses and ignore large-scale public safety concerns. This leads to an overrepresentation of Black people in the incarcerated population and in the criminal justice system.
Black people are also frequently represented as criminals in American news media. “Anti-crime hysteria,” a rhetorical strategy promoted by Republicans in the lead up to a disappointing midterms performance and repeated here by Kirk, only fuels the problem of systematically racist policing.
Kirk’s guest, the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald, has a long history of racist commentary in right-wing media, and appeared on Fox News on Friday evening to blame Nichols death on “diversity training.”