Following weeks of nationwide protests over a spate of police killings of Black people, President Donald Trump has claimed that “more white people” actually die at the hands of law enforcement.
The president made the comment after appearing to briefly lose it when asked about the hot button topic in a CBS News interview.
“Why are African-Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country?” host Catherine Herridge asked, prompting the president to immediately recoil.
“So are white people. So are white people! What a terrible question to ask,” he huffed. “So are white people.”
Studies have shown that Black men are about 3.5 times more likely than white men to die in police custody. White men were killed by the police in the highest numbers between 2013 and 2017, but white people account for a greater percentage of the U.S. population than Black people, according to a Harvard study.
Trump has made white grievance politics and the culture war a centerpiece of his re-election push in recent weeks, defending Confederate memorials and military bases named after Confederate generals even as he derides those who took part in anti-racism protests as “bad, evil people” seeking to destroy the country.
Beyond that, he's targeted the only full-time Black NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace, falsely accusing him of perpetrating a hate-crime “hoax” after a suspected noose was discovered in his garage at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway last month. Trump took to Twitter to demand that Wallace should “apologize” after the FBI concluded the noose was not a hate crime, but Wallace was not the one who reported it to begin with.
Amidst what has become a nationwide reckoning over racism in the country, Trump has veered off in the other direction and refused to acknowledge that racism is a problem. In fact, perhaps the most telling response he has offered to the racism issue at the heart of the protests was a recent retweet of a video showing a Trump supporter arguing with protesters and yelling “white power.”