Giuliani: Blacks must say "what they're doing among themselves about the crime problem"

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that in the wake of growing tensions between police and the African American community, African Americans must explain "how and what they're doing among themselves about the crime problem in the black community."

"If you want to protect black lives, then you've got to protect black lives not just against police," Giuliani said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."

The former mayor said police killing black people "happens rarely although with tremendous attention," and instead said the public should focus on black-on-black violence, "which happens every 14 hours in Chicago," adding: "and we never hear from Black Lives Matter."

Giuliani continued, saying African Americans need to teach their children about respecting the police and avoiding violence in their own communities.

"If I were a black father and I was concerned about the safety of my child, really concerned about it and not in a politically activist sense, I would say be very respectful to the police, most of them are good, some can be very bad and just be very careful," he said. "I'd also say be very careful of those kids in the neighborhood, don't get involved with them because son, there's a 99 percent chance they're going to kill you not the police."

He added that African Americans exacerbate the tensions through music and pop culture, saying "they sing rap songs about killing police officers and they talk about killing police officers and they yell it out at their rallies."

The former New York mayor said in order for issues of police brutality -- and violence against police in retaliation -- to be solved, it's time to "look differently at race" and "try to understand each other."

"The reality is we have to look differently at race in America if we're going to change this," he said. "We've been looking at it the same way for 20 years and here's where we are. We both have to try and understand each other."

White people, Giuliani said, need to understand "that African American men have a fear -- and boys have a fear -- of being confronted by the police because of some of these incidents."

"Some people may consider it rational, some people may consider it irrational," he added, saying police departments across the country should have a "zero tolerance" policy for officers who act out based on race. "But it's a reality, it exists."

Giuliani said the phrase "Black Lives Matter," which has been the key slogan for those advocating against police brutality and for criminal justice reform, is "inherently racist."

"Of course black lives matter, and they matter greatly," he said. "But when you focus in on 1 percent of less than 1 percent of the murder that's going on in America and you make it a national thing, and all of you in the media make it much bigger than the black kid that's getting killed in Chicago every 14 hours, you create a disproportion."

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.