Chuck Todd Runs ‘Color-blind’ Program About Charleston Shooting Using Only Black Gunmen (VIDEO)

In the wake of the horrific Charleston massacre, where nine black churchgoers were shot dead by white supremacist Dylann Roof, NBC’s Chuck Todd aired a segment that interviewed murderers who regretted having shot and killed someone. The strange part about the segment was that although Todd called the program “color-blind” and he was referring to an incident in which a white racist conservative had been the criminal, only black murderers were used in it.

The show aired on Sunday’s Meet the Press, and was part of a larger dialogue about gun control. Introducing the convicts’ powerful monologues, Todd said,

“The circumstances you are about to see are very different from the racist violence in Charleston. In this case, in the inmates are African-American that you’re going to hear from. But their lessons remain important.

And we simply ask you to look at this as a color-blind issue that’s about just simply gun violence.”

The following testimonies featured three black men from Sing Sing Correctional Facility. You can watch the program below, courtesy of Raw Story:

After the clips were aired, Todd turned to his guests to talk about gun control. He said, “Passing a law isn’t going to change the culture.”

Columnist Eugene Robinson disagreed, saying “But passing the right law — passing a law that frankly we’re not going to pass would take a lot of guns out of circulation, would make the gun not the normal thing one reaches for when one wants to aggrandize one’s self-esteem.”

Robinson also called Todd out on the lack of diversity in the testimonies and remarked that they were somewhat inappropriate given the details of the Charleston shooting.

“There wasn’t a terribly diverse set of people who were talking. Right now, we’re talking about a horrific crime committed by a white man, we’re talking about the search for two escaped murderers who are white men. So we should point out that this is not just an African-American problem.”

Todd agreed, and stated that the segment “wasn’t intended to be that way” but it’s hard to believe NBC couldn’t find at least one white shooter to interview. In stark contrast to Roof’s intentions on June 17, the men interviewed confess that they’d never had any original intention of killing someone. Roof, on the other hand, had planned his actions for months and shows no remorse.

Todd’s segment received criticism, which he responded to with a post on NBC’s website. Stating that “Some were upset it only featured African-American men talking about their regrets of pulling a trigger,” he said:

“The last thing we wanted was to cloud the discussion of the topic.

The original decision to air this segment was made before Wednesday’s massacre. However, the staff and I had an internal debate about whether to show it at all this week. When we discussed putting it off, that conversation centered around race and perception – not the conversation we wanted the segment to invoke.

We decided against delaying the segment because we wanted to show multiple sides of what gun violence does in this country. We thought the issue of gun violence in our culture and society was an important conversation to continue — too important to put off for another week. The consequences of gun violence should not be hidden.”

Todd unapologetically concluded the post with, “Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job.”

The segment did prompt a discussion of gun control, but it seems pretty inappropriate to include all-black interviews when referring to Charleston. NBC recognized this issue and could have done something to fix it, and they didn’t – so while there is a conversation about gun control, there is also a harmful racial stereotype being promoted. Meanwhile the real contributor to the Charleston massacre – Roof’s racist views – is going unchecked.

Featured image courtesy of YouTube (screenshots)