Conservatives are scrambling to delegitimize the Black Lives Matter protests in the face of back-to-back police shootings of black men, at least partially, caught on tape. Many have taken to cable news to spew divisive rhetoric (former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani has made the rounds to call the movement racist, while former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh was invited onto CNN after threatening President Obama on Twitter) and corrupt the conversation with misinformation.
Enter Mike Huckabee.
After claiming on Fox News that “more white people have been shot by police officers this past year than minorities” to dismiss the fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, the Washington Post rang up the former Fox News talking head and repeat failed presidential candidate.
Pointing to the Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage on police shootings, fact-checkers noted that “Yes, more white people than black people (or “minorities,” as Huckabee generalizes) were shot and killed by police in 2015,” however, “looking at crimes simply as the raw number of white people affected vs. the number of minorities affected is misleading. By definition, there are fewer minorities”:
So, even though more whites were killed by police in 2015 by sheer numbers, blacks were three times as likely to be killed by police. Blacks comprise 12 percent of the U.S. population; black men represent 6 percent.
When confronted by the Post on his misleading claims, the former Arkansas governor became decidedly defensive, doubling down on his dismissal of Black Lives Matter in favor of what he claimed was a more accurate movement:
It’s not me that needs to be ‘fact checked.’ It’s the Post — I only said exactly what YOU reported. My comments were 100 percent factual. The pure facts also reveal that 94 percent of those killed by police are men, so by your ‘proportional’ standards, the real movement in America should be ‘Male Lives Matter.