CNN started the day with a feverish argument, thanks largely to their guest, the inflammatory ex-police officer, Harry Houck.
Marc LaMont Hill, a regular pundit, a professor at Moorhouse College and reasonable person whenever Houck appears on CNN, first clarifies the problem.
HILL: I think we have to reject the ninety-nine percent of cops are good argument not because they're bad. It's because it's not true but because it ignores the fact that this is a systemic problem. Just like we we don't have a problem saying the school system is broken we don't the defendants quickly and say hey but all the teachers are good.
CUOMO: but teachers don't get attacked and killed in response to what seemed as a systemic problem that's why you err on the side of caution.
Hill acknowledges that the problem lies not with the individual officers, but a systemic one where there is inherent racism in the system. And that's where Houck enters into the picture.
Houck was armed on New Day with the statistic that African Americans in NYC comprise roughly 20% of the population but comprise 75% of shooting arrests. This figure takes none of the increased police presence in poorer, minority neighborhoods, and forgets the Stop and Frisk proclivities that are still a part of life for many non-Whites.
Houck has been on the record in the past saying that he feels there's essentially never a time when a police officer, guilty of misconduct, isn't punished. Basically, Houck thinks that a bad cop never gets away with anything!
They argued back and forth about the climate for cops and the solutions: Hill wants accountability, citizen review rather than internal review and more protective measures like body cameras. Houck wants people to never, ever question a police officer. Period.
Then, the conversation revealed that Houck really thinks that Black people are more prone to criminality and that sparked a pretty lively discussion, to put it kindly.
HILL: Harry's still on national TV and just said that Black people are prone to criminality. I want to be able to respond to that.
HOUCK: Well, they are.
HILL: You think Black people are prone to criminality?
HOUCK: The statistics...
HILL: You don't mean that. I'm going to give you a chance to correct that. You don't mean that Black people are prone to criminality.
HOUCK: What does this say? What does this say?
HILL: I don't know what that says, but I know...
HOUCK: The chief can back me up, because he's come...
PHILIP BANKS, FORMER NYPD CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT: First of all, I'm not going to say Blacks are prone to crime because I don't believe in it and it's not true.
HILL: It's racist.
HOUCK: It is not racist.
HILL: To say that black people are prone to criminality...
HOUCK: That's not what I said. I said 75 percent of the shootings that occur in New York City are done by blacks. All right.
CUOMO: All right, guys.
The fireworks are why CNN puts on a hack like Harry Houck, and LaMont Hill does a pretty good job calling the man out on his idiocy. However, the basic premise that we need to discuss these systemic issues and attempt to fix this massive problem was agreed upon by the host, Banks and Hill. Well three out of four ain't bad, right? Houck just wanted to harp on the semantics of the idea of systemic racism which he interpreted as 'everyone is a racist.' But they got him to clamp down and shut his yap, finally.
CUOMO: How you discuss it matters also. Let me get to the chief. We're going to have lots of conversations on this. This is just a first step.
BANKS: This is a point of reference that I'd just like to point out to Harry. When you point to these racial demagogues, quote unquote racial demagogues, one thing that you should take into consideration, a lot of times the media is flocking to a couple of individuals that may or may not be speaking for the African-American community.
Yes...NYC had a bit of a problem under someone who, just yesterday, had some pretty offensive things to say, Of course I mean that Giuliani fella, in case anyone's forgotten. The calmest of the guests summed up the issues, and made a good point to close out the lively exchange.
BANKS: I think what protesters are saying is, let's all take a look, because there are problems. A problem doesn't mean that you're all bad. It doesn't mean that you're all good. It means that there are problems that have to be taken. And if we sit down and we kill a rhetoric, and we have some intelligent conversation, we can make a change for the better for all.
CUOMO: And look, we know each other very well. Chief, you and I are getting, you know, to know each other better now. You're going to be part of our conversation. We've got to take a breath, even when something that's said is completely wrong. We've got to deal with each other the right way.
The right way to deal with a sociopath like Harry Houck Mr. Cuomo, is to perhaps give him fewer opportunities to be a blatant racist jerk. Just my two cents.