Fox News panel goes off the rails when Lou Dobbs tries to argue whites are a minority in the US
Fox Business correspondent Lou Dobbs, who is tasked by the network to explain the science of economics to Fox viewers, denied that white people are the majority culture in the United States. Dobbs, who charges thousands of dollars for his expertise on American culture and politics, was engaged Wednesday in a discussion on Lou Dobbs Tonight with correspondent Juan Williams and radio host Mark Simone during network coverage of the Democratic National Convention.
The three engaged over the decision to drop all further charges in the Freddie Gray homicide trial in Baltimore. It has been a right-wing talking point that the Baltimore police charged in Gray’s death were being “railroaded” by a zealous prosecutor eager to curry political favor in the black community. Gray’s broken neck in the back of a police transport was ruled a homicide by authorities, although the decision to drop all further charges means that no one will be held culpable for Gray’s death.
Dobbs insisted that if a hypothetical person follows a police officer’s instructions, does not resist, and doesn’t carry a gun, that person will not have a negative outcome in an encounter with the police. “You have got to respect law enforcement first and foremost,” he said. He explained to Williams that “nearly all” the police shootings have involved “armed men.”
Williams began to explain that in a recent case in Minnesota (referring to Philando Castile), the suspect had told the police officer that he had a gun on his person and yet, had still been shot, but Dobbs cut Williams off before he could expand on the point. Dobbs then changed the subject to Black Lives Matter.
“Looking at Black Lives Matter demonstrating here [at the DNC]. Black Lives Matter is effectively a hate group, and it’s discriminatory by its very name,” Dobbs said.
Then, before Williams could answer, Dobbs said, “What do you think, Mark?”
At that point, Simone took the question about BLM and turned it into a question about cities that need to be “cleaned up.”
“Chicago. Baltimore. Detroit — what do these cities all have in common?” Simone let the question hang before he resumed. “One party rule,” he said. “I hate to say it, Democratic party rule, and they’ve just not been great on crime and cleaning up the cities.”
When Williams was allowed to resume speaking, he returned to Dobbs’ question. “When it comes to Black Lives Matter, Lou, I think people are trying to say in addition to the idea that white lives and upper income lives matter, poor black lives do matter. That’s not a racist statement.”
Dobbs dismissed Williams. “I think that shorthand is not applicable in discussions where we’re talking about the worth and the value of life. In this country is — always celebrated, it’s a fundamental value, the value of life. And that means all lives, all Americans. And I wouldn’t tolerate something called White Lives Matter.”
“Well no, but whites are the majority,” Williams said.
“Well, no, I don’t think we are, really,” Dobbs shot back.
“Yeah, you are the majority,” Williams insisted.
“I don’t think we are, but the fact of the matter is — ”
“I think you are.”
“Well OK, I’ll be glad to be part of the minority or a majority, as long as I am an American,” Dobbs concluded.
Williams agreed with Dobbs everyone should get to be an American, but he tried, again, to bring Dobbs around to the idea that it is dangerous for black men in America. “I think we are arguing over statistics,” he said. “There is statistical evidence that if you’re a poor, unarmed black man you’re more likely to get shot…”
Dobbs, at this point, cut him off. “But statistically, that’s not true.” After Williams cited one of the studies that shows how black men are statistically more likely to die at the hands of police than white men, Dobbs claimed to have access to another study. When Williams began to discredit Dobbs’ research, Dobbs waved his hand at him and said, “Oh please. We’re not going to bore the audience to death.”
For the record, white (non-Hispanic) people comprise approximately 72 percent of the 2015 United States population, according to the United States Census Bureau. (Clarification added at 4:17 p.m. Census statistics at the link embedded in previous sentence show that in 2015, 77.1 percent of people identified as white “alone.”)
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