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Holt Badgers Barr on ‘Systemic Racism’ After Former Attorney General Rejects BLM ‘Big Lie’

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As part of his book tour, former Attorney General Bill Barr joined NBC’s Lester Holt for an exclusive sit-down interview that was aired on Friday’s NBC Nightly News and the Saturday edition of Today. During the interview, Holt unsuccessfully attempted to get Barr to agree with him that systemic bias and racism exist in American policing.

Holt confronted Barr with an argument from the book, “you write about the big lie being Black Lives Matter…What did you mean by that?”

Barr responded by explaining that “Black Lives Matter is based on the premise that the main threat to black welfare in the inner city are out of control police force that gratuitously kill African-Americans and I think that’s something not born out by the facts.”

A bewildered Holt didn’t see how this could be: “In society, do you believe there’s such a thing as systemic racism?”

Helping highlight the fact that Holt confused “society” and “the system,” Barr rejected the notion, declaring that “racism exists in…individual’s souls.”

A more contentious Holt then wondered if Barr was being unsympathetic to plight of black Americans: “By dismissing systematic racism, are you not dismissing the pain of African-American families that have to sit down with their children and have ‘the talk’ because they’re afraid a simple traffic stop could lead to their death?” 

Barr defended himself by claiming “I don’t dismiss that as a reality,” but “I don’t think that police are racist and — as a general matter.”

Continuing to argue, Holt again asked, “You don’t see bias in police?” Barr continued to stand firm: “No, in every study of the situation that I’m familiar with says there is no bias. The numbers are—are– the product of the number of the number of interactions police have.”

Holt then tried one final time to push his narrative: “Yeah, and black men are the subject of three times as many traffic stops by police.” Barr responded with a much simpler explanation, “that sometimes is a function of where the police are. Police go where the crime is.”

Thus ended the lesson in correlation not necessarily implying causation.

This segment was sponsored by Vicks.

Here is a transcript for the March 5 show:

NBC Today

3/5/2022

7:41 AM ET

LESTER HOLT: Can we talk about the big lie? 

BILL BARR: Which one is that? 

HOLT: Well, you write about the big lie being Black Lives Matter. 

BARR: Yeah. 

HOLT: What did you mean by that? 

BARR: Black Lives Matter is based on the premise that the main threat to black welfare in the inner city are out of control police force that gratuitously kill African-Americans and I think that’s something not born out by the facts. 

CROWD: Black Lives Matter!

PROTEST LEADER: Black Lives Matter!

HOLT: In society, do you believe there’s such a thing as systemic racism? 

BARR: I actually think the whole idea is a cop-out. I think racism exists in people’s, individual’s souls. 

HOLT: By dismissing systematic racism, are you not dismissing the pain of African-American families that have to sit down with their children and have “the talk” because they’re afraid a simple traffic stop could lead to their death? 

BARR: No, I don’t — you know, I don’t – just, I don’t ignore that – 

HOLT: Dismiss is the term I used. 

BARR: I don’t dismiss that as a reality. I don’t think that police are racist and, as a general matter. 

HOLT: You don’t see bias in police? 

BARR: No, in every study of the situation that I’m familiar with says there is no bias. The numbers are—are– the product of the number of the number of interactions police have.

HOLT: Yeah, and black men are the subject of three times as many traffic stops by police. 

BARR: Right. And—and—and—and– that sometimes is a function of where the police are. Police go where the crime is. 

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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