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 toward 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).
Finally, when The Daily Beast reverse google image searched the picture, the only yielded results were attributed to YouTube videos in Arabic, which featured a duplicated image of the man in the picture Trump shared.
This explicit truth-bending is only compounded by the fact that a Black Lives Matter protester named Mercutio Southall Jr. was kicked out of a Trump rally in Alabama on Saturday.
“Get him the hell out of here, will you please?” Trump requested at the rally. “Get him out of here. Throw him out!”
Southall at one point was on the ground being kicked and punched by several white men in attendance. When asked about the violent incident this morning on Fox & Friends, Trump said, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”
The Daily Beast has reached out for comment to Southall Jr., who said he was repeatedly called a “nigger” and a “monkey” at the event. Meanwhile in a Facebook message, his father asked me for some time before speaking about yesterday's events.
The Trump campaign has not responded to a question from The Daily Beast about whether Trump himself retweeted the image and where he got the information within it.
The FBI National Press Office told me they would have to wait until staffers were at work tomorrow to assess the validity of the data.