Keith Ellison: Antifa is a ‘movement,’ not a ‘group;’ defund the police was ‘dumb’

Ellison also said "white people do most of the raping, looting, and robbing, and shooting in our country."

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison went on Glenn Loury's podcast last week and participated in a broad discussion about George Floyd, police, race, crime, Liz Collin, and the Alpha News documentary film The Fall of Minneapolis. (The Glenn Show/YouTube)

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison went on Glenn Loury’s podcast last week and participated in a broad discussion about George Floyd, police, race, crime, Liz Collin, and the Alpha News documentary film The Fall of Minneapolis.

Discussing his thoughts on policing, public safety, and police misconduct, Attorney General Ellison said in part, “It is true that we have rape, murder, and robbery going on in our streets and community, we have too many shootings.”

Eventually, a podcast co-host asked the attorney general about this comment with a “side-bar” question: “why do you think the people in question are doing all this raping and looting and all of this stuff? Is it white people’s fault?”

Ellison responded by saying “white people do most of the raping, looting, and robbing, and shooting in our country.”

However, the co-host interjected, saying he was asking specifically about crime within “a black community,” not just total numerical figures. Ellison acknowledged this by saying he understood the question. Following this exchange, the attorney general proceeded to address the co-host’s question.

As such, Ellison’s comment appeared to be about total numerical crime statistics rather than proportional crime rates or percentages.

The prevalence of violent crime in the United States is monitored by the FBI. The FBI developed an online dashboard which tracks hundreds of thousands of violent crimes reported in the United States. For 2022 (the most recent available year), the dashboard contains data submitted from over 13,000 law enforcement agencies from across the country “and covers 75% of the total population.”

According to that nationwide crime statistics dashboard from the FBI, white people committed 44% of violent crime that occurred in 2022. Additionally, the same data show that black people committed 43% of violent crime from the same year. In roughly 10% of violent crime cases from 2022 shown on the dashboard, the FBI reports the race of the offender as “Unknown.”

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that white people (including those who are Hispanic or Latino) are 75.5% of the nation’s population. Conversely, black people are roughly 13.6% of the population. Given these numbers and the 2022 crime data, white people committed far less violent crime in proportion to their population, while black people committed far more violent crime in proportion to their population.

In fact, the FBI’s data indicate there were more white victims of violent crime than white perpetrators of violent crime in 2022.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the FBI define a white individual as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.” Additionally, individuals who are Hispanic are often categorized as white.

Given this, the white violent crime numbers provided by the FBI include people who are Latino, Middle Eastern, and North African.

While these crime statistics were not discussed on the podcast, Ellison said people, regardless of race, commit crime because of “the malevolence of the wicked heart.” However, the attorney general said that high crime rates among the black population are connected in part to historical racism that occurred in the United States.

Later in the podcast, the attorney general said that the reasons black people are “associated with elevated levels of violent crime” are much more complicated than some people want to imply. Ellison then stated his belief that compounding practices such as “redlining, voting denial, lynching” have contributed to what he called “a certain kind of situation.”

According to Ellison, black people are also “overwhelmingly represented” in the “exonerated” category, referring to people who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit. The attorney general also said that “most mass shootings” are committed by white men.

Attorney General Ellison also discussed his belief that black people have been “unfairly targeted” by police. In what appeared to be a rhetorical question, Ellison asked the podcast hosts, “How many black men, between 1865 and 1925, actually raped some white woman?” Addressing the podcast hosts, Ellison said, “You know they didn’t.”

In addition to his remarks about crime and crime statistics, Ellison accused Alpha News reporter Liz Collin of racism.

Repeatedly mistaking Collin’s name, the attorney general said Collin is “hostile and suspicious of anything black people are trying to do,” and that she can’t imagine that “police misconduct” exists.

Ellison also talked about the push to “defund the police” after George Floyd’s death.

“Defund the police was dumb, is dumb, and mostly it was blown out of proportion by the right wing,” he said. However, Ellison was a supporter of an unsuccessful 2021 ballot measure that would have removed a minimum funding requirement for police from the city charter.

Ellison was also asked for his thoughts on Antifa, which he described as “not so much of a group as it is a movement.”

“I think that they’re not big enough to make a big deal about,” he said. “If they commit crimes, they should be held accountable.”

Following Ellison’s podcast appearance, Collin requested an interview with the attorney general, as she has in the past. Ellison’s office declined.

As a matter of fact, Ellison actually mentioned the prospect of a discussion with Collin during his podcast appearance saying, “While I would be open to having a truthful, fair dialogue with a person like Liz Collins [sic], it’s hard for me to see how a conversation wouldn’t devolve into an argument pretty fast.”


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.