The June 17 shooting in Charleston, South Carolina has, among many other things, reignited debates on gun control. But hope for more effective conversations on gun control remains feeble when those doing the talking draw on racially prejudicial material.

This Sunday, NBC’s “Meet the Press” compiled a video montage of inmates serving time for gun violence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. All of the inmates featured are black.

As he introduces the video (which we saw via Raw Story), host Chuck Todd asks viewers “to look at this as a colorblind issue.”

But as Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson points out in the above clip, curating a video that solely depicts black men sends a damaging message, especially in light of the very recent hate crime that left 9 black churchgoers dead at the hands of a white gunman. Many felt similarly, and Todd was met with considerable backlash after the video aired. His defense? “It wasn’t meant to be a black and white issue,” he explained on a later panel. “And I understand maybe it’s one of those moments when people are only seeing through black and white.”


It’s true, the montage did not suggest a “black and white” issue. It instead focused squarely on the “black.”

Do better, NBC.