David Sirota, a columnist for Salon.com, was on Don Lemon’s show on CNN yesterday. He was one of a four-member panel to discuss the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting just over a week ago, and displaying the best “I’m sorry I’m white” expression he could muster, said that America is “thirty percent white guys and seventy percent of the mass shootings of the last many decades have been at the hands of white guys.”
“Many decades” is not a measurable amount, first of all–one man’s “many” is another man’s “few”–so that part of his statement is amateurish and immediately dismissable as such.
Then Sirota goes on to say, “I think we need to be asking the question about why the composite is so similar. Why are seventy percent of these mass shootings at the hands of white men? Not to say that they should be racially profiled, but to ask the question, Why is the composite so similar?”
Is that a fair question? First of all, Sirota’s statistics are inaccurate; the white-male population makes up 39 percent of America, not thirty. Second, regardless of whether white males make up 30 or 39 percent of America, he is still comparing the number of massacres over the past “many decades” to the number of white males in American today. The only thing Sirota gets right is to point out that if the shooter were black, he’d be labeled a thug, and that if he were Arab, he’d be labeled a terrorist. That’s true, but white shooters are labeled psychotic, angry white males, and an entire political party, the Republicans, is smeared by the media and by liberals for the deeds of one white shooter. So whereas one black and one Muslim shooter are respectively called a thug and a terrorist (aw, poor shooters), the entire conservative population is called psychotic. Let’s call it even.
I’ll take this opportunity to defend Don Lemon, and I hope it’s the last time I ever have to. It is being reported by other conservative outlets that he suggested profiling whites or that he asked if we should profile whites. That’s unfair; he was reading into Sirota’s Salon column and asked if he was suggesting profiling whites.
But I have an idea, though I warn you, it may be a little bit controversial. It is certainly nothing that a news network such as CNN would permit me to say on air.
Since a majority of the shootings in America–not massacres, but single-victim shootings–are committed by black people, primarily in inner-city environs, we need to be asking the question about why the composite of these criminals–majority black–is so similar. Not that blacks should be racially profiled, just that we should be asking what it is about blacks that makes them turn cities into war zones.
This is not my actual opinion, of course; I am being facetious. But were I serious, and were I on network television, and were it known that I am a conservative, my name would be trending on Twitter and the media would permanently affix to my lapel a red letter “R” for “Racist” so that all would know that I am a committer of that most mortal of sins, such as would never–oh no, not ever–be committed by David Sirota.