Media Call Out Donald Trump For Tweeting False, Racially Charged Crime Data
Research ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN
Media outlets condemned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for "catering to the worst sort of racism" by retweeting "racist and wildly inaccurate" statistics about murder and race in the United States from an organization that "does not exist."
Donald Trump Tweets Graphic On Homicide And Race
Donald Trump Retweeted Graphic Claiming Over 81 Percent Of Whites Who Are Murdered Are Killed By Blacks. On November 22, Republican presidential candidate and current frontrunner Donald Trump shared a graphic on Twitter claiming that 81 percent of whites are killed by black assailants. The graphic cited the Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco as its source:
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2015
Media Call Out "Racist And Wildly Inaccurate" Claims In The Chart That "Appear To Be Aimed At Perpetuating Racist Myths"
CNN: Trump's Tweet Contained "False, Erroneous, Sort Of Made Up Crime Statistics" From "An Agency That Simply Doesn't Exist." On the November 23 edition of CNN's Early Start, co-host Christine Romans remarked that the chart Trump retweeted contained "erroneous" statistics on crime noting that Trump wanted to share with his followers "a racist urban myth." Reporter Tal Kopan added that "the statistics were completely false" and the "agency was made up" adding that Trump has had issues before retweeting things "that have very controversial, and in some cases, offensive material in them":
CHRISTINE ROMANS : You've got a candidate here, Donald Trump, who tweets and he retweets what people, what other people tweet. Tell us a little bit about this controversy over this, these crime statistics, these false, erroneous sort of made up crime statistics that Donald Trump retweeted.
TAL KOPAN: Sure, so he retweeted, and what that means is he took a tweet from a follower and then he put it in quote marks and he retweeted it from his own account so all of his millions of followers could see it. And what was in it was this picture that's showing on the screen that contains a number of false statistics. And it's cited to an agency that simply doesn't exist. And what it implies is that black people kill far more people of both races than any other race. And that's simply not true.What statistics show is that each race is most likely to be murdered by someone of their own race, largely because people tend to be killed by individuals they know. And so, the statistics were completely false, the agency was made up, and what's interesting about this for our viewers who don't actually use Twitter, there is a button you could use that simply retweets a follower, and it just goes out there. What Donald Trump does is a copy and paste and puts it in quotes, it's a little more complicated than simply pushing a button. And he's had some issues before with retweeting things that have very controversial, and in some cases, offensive material in them.
ROMANS: But he wants his viewers, his followers to see that. So he sends a message, every retweet sort of sends a message because you're sharing, in this case, an urban myth, some would say a racist urban myth with all of those people. [CNN, Early Start, 11/23/15]
The Washington Post: "Donald Trump Retweeted A Very Wrong Set Of Numbers On Race And Murder." A November 22 Washington Post article, headlined "Donald Trump retweeted a very wrong set of numbers on race and murder," called out the statistics in the graph as "not true" stating that "[a]ccording to data from the FBI, most whites are killed by whites, as most blacks are killed by blacks." The articles also noted that "there doesn't appear to be any such organization as the 'Crime Statistics Bureau,'" which the chart cites as the source for the data. The article concluded by noting, "Trump is no stranger to retweeting questionable information":
On Sunday afternoon, Trump retweeted a graphic dealing with the same issue that was also contentious -- and quickly revealed as erroneous.
The graphic, first tweeted by a Twitter account called @SexyPatriots and then retweeted by @SeanSean252, cited data from an organization called Crime Statistics Bureau in San Francisco, suggesting that blacks were responsible for most killings of black people --and most killings of whites.
That is not true. According to data from the FBI, most whites are killed by whites, as most blacks are killed by blacks. There's an obvious reason for that: Most people are killed by someone they know -- as is the case in 78.1 percent of homicides between 1980 and 2008, as we've noted before -- and most people are related to and live near people who are of the same race as themselves.
And, finally, there doesn't appear to be any such organization as the "Crime Statistics Bureau." There is a Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is a federal organization and is, therefore, based in Washington.
Trump is no stranger to retweeting questionable information. Earlier this year, he retweeted an insult of Iowa voters. That retweet was eventually disowned by Trump and blamed on an intern. [The Washington Post, 11/22/15]
Daily News' Shaun King: Graphic Is "Bogus" And "Racist." Daily News writer Shaun King took to Twitter and called out the graphic shared by Trump stating that it was "bogus," "racist," and "from a source that does not exist":
Not only that, but this bogus/racist graphic from @RealDonaldTrump - the LEADING Republican candidate, is from a source that does not exist
-- Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 22, 2015
The New Republic: "Trump Is Catering To The Worst Sort Of Racism" With False Graphic. In a November 22 post on the Minutes blog, New Republic senior editor Jeet Heer wrote that "By wildly inflating the likelihood of a murderer of a white person to be black (an exaggeration of nearly sixfold), Trump is catering to the worst sort of racism" by sharing the graphic:
According to the tweet, 81 percent of murdered whites are killed by blacks. In fact, that's the reverse of the truth. Most people are killed by members of their own race because crime is motivated by proximity and opportunity.
By wildly inflating the likelihood of a murderer of a white person to be black (an exaggeration of nearly sixfold), Trump is catering to the worst sort of racism. Perhaps the icing on the cake of this anti-black outburst is that the source of information cited in the tweet--the "Crime Statistics Bureau" of San Francisco--doesn't seem to exist. [The New Republic, 11/22/15]
Mother Jones: Trump's Graphic Is "Wrong. Period." A Mother Jones article called out the graphic Donald Trump promoted for containing "a wee racial error," claiming that "Donald Trump's hatemongering moves on to African-Americans." The article pointed out that the graphic "makes it looks like blacks kill everyone." In an update, the article dispelled claims that the graphic is "controversial" or "questionable," stating "it's wrong. Period" adding it was altered "in a grossly obvious way intended to make a racist point":
[O]ne of the most well-established facts about murder in the United States is that it's pretty racially segregated. Whites kill whites, blacks kill blacks, etc. But today Trump decided to tweet the CSB graphic on the right, for no readily apparent reason. And wouldn't you know it: it contains a wee racial error. It claims that most whites are killed by blacks, but in 2014, which is the latest full-year homicide data available from the FBI, 82 percent of whites were killed by other whites and only 15 percent were killed by blacks.
Trump's tweeted graphic swaps the the numbers for the offender's race--but only for white victims. For black victims, the numbers in the graphic are roughly correct. This makes it look like blacks kill everyone. And just in case these numbers are too subtle for you, it includes a stereotypical black thug to make sure you get the picture.
UPDATE: Come on, folks. This graphic is not "controversial" and it's not "questionable." It's wrong. Period. The numbers for white victims are swapped in a grossly obvious way intended to make a racist point.
[Mother Jones, 11/22/15]
The Huffington Post: The Statistics In Trump's Chart Are "Wildly Inaccurate" And "Appear To Be Aimed At Perpetuating Racist Myths About Black People And Crime." A November 22 Huffington Post article stated that the chart Trump retweeted is full of "racist and wildly inaccurate crime statistics," meant to "portray black people as murderers." The article went on to say that "The Crime Statistics Bureau cited in Trump's tweet does not exist":
Real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted a chart of racist and wildly inaccurate crime statistics.
The statistics, purported to be gathered by a Crime Statistics Bureau in San Francisco this year, appear to be fabricated. The Crime Statistics Bureau cited in Trump's tweet does not exist. The FBI, which does gather official crime statistics for the U.S., has not yet released them for this year.
Last year's FBI statistics show that the numbers in Trump's tweet are incorrect and appear to be aimed at perpetuating racist myths about black people and crime.
In 2014, about 82 percent of murders involving white victims were committed by other white people, while only 14 percent were committed by black people, according to the FBI.
Among murders involving black victims, just under 90 percent were committed by other black people, while 7 percent were committed by white people. [The Huffington Post, 11/22/15]
The Daily Beast: Trump's Tweet Was An "Erroneous Image" With "A List Of Wholly Fabricated Statistics." A November 22 article from The Daily Beast condemned Trump for retweeting "a photo with completely made-up statistics about black crime" and for promoting "a list of wholly fabricated statistics" about crime and race. From The Daily Beast:
At this point, it should come as no surprise when Donald Trump manipulates the truth to his political advantage. However, presenting false racially-biased statistics a day after an African-American protester was thrown out of one of his events, doesn't send the best message.
Earlier on Sunday afternoon, Trump did his weird version of a manual retweet of an image depicting a man (in this context, assumed to be black), with a bandana over his face pointing a gun sideways towards a list of wholly fabricated statistics.
The image alleges that 97 percent of African-Americans were killed by African Americans, while only 1 percent of murdered African-Americans were killed by police. These two statistics are demarcated from the rest in blue and red ink respectively. It also claims 81 percent of whites who are killed are killed by blacks, which is pure race-baiting at its most ignorant. The numbers in this erroneous image are attributed to the "Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco," and reflect 2015 data.
For one thing, a "Crime Statistics Bureau" does not exist. The FBI is responsible for this data and they have yet to release a report on 2015, because, well 2015 is not over yet.
Secondly, whoever made that image did so with the intent of lying about the percentage of white Americans killed by black Americans. In 2014, that number was 14 percent, not 81 percent.
Additionally, in the graphic, only 16 percent of whites are killed by other whites. In the same FBI report, it clearly states that 82.3 percent of whites are in fact killed by other whites, which is very similar to the number of blacks killed by blacks (89.9 percent). [The Daily Beast, 11/22/15]
ThinkProgress: Trump's Tweet Was "Fake [...] Racist And Wildly Inaccurate." A November 22 article from ThinkProgress noted that Donald Trump's tweet included statistics on murders in the United States that are not only "fake" but "also racist and wildly inaccurate." The article went on to explain that the fake statistics were "designed to stoke racial prejudice against blacks":
Donald Trump, the leading candidate in the Republican presidential primary, tweeted a graphic with fake statistics about murders in the United States.
The statistics are also racist and wildly inaccurate.
The FBI's 2014 report, which was released in late September, reveals that the statistics in Trump's graphic are fake and designed to stoke racial prejudice against blacks.
Trump's graphic states that 81% of whites who are murdered are murdered by blacks. This is false. The actual data shows that 14% of white murder victims are murdered by a black person. (In 2013, it was 13.6%.)
The percentage of blacks murdered by other blacks (89.9%) is similar to the percentage of whites murdered by other whites (82.3%). Trump's graphic falsely states that 97% of blacks are killed by other blacks but just 16% of whites are killed by other whites. [ThinkProgress, 11/22/15]
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- Diversity & Discrimination, Elections, Justice & Civil Liberties, Crime, Criminal Justice
- The Washington Post, CNN, The New Republic, Twitter
- Christine Romans, Donald Trump
- HuffPost, Mother Jones Magazine, Think Progress, The Daily Beast, Daily News, Early Start
- 2016 Elections