The Problem With the “Say Their Name” Slogan

MYTH: The ‘say their name’ slogan is designed to bring awareness to black people being targeted by anti-black racism and police brutality. People like George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Tamir Rice, and Jacob Blake are proof that there is systemic racism in this country. Police officers often target black people just because of the color of their skin. By saying the names of the victims, we bring awareness to this reality.

REALITY: Much of the BLM narrative is built on misleading data, falsehoods, and confirmation bias. It’s important to highlight actual examples of racism. Unfortunately, the ‘say their name’ slogan doesn’t do that. There are so many objections to the slogan that can’t be ignored.

No one is denying that there are disparities, corruption, or individual cases of racism; but none of it is because of systemic racism.

Another objection is that research into the subject has failed to find any link that racism was the driver in a majority of these cases (Check below for more information)

In fact, there are many examples equivalent to BLM cases where the unarmed victims were white. (Check below for more information)

One of the biggest objections to the ‘say their name’ slogan, is that any group can use the same method to push a different political narrative.

For example, white or Asian people can put together a list of names of victims of their race/ethnicity who were attacked or killed at the hands of a black person (Check below for more information). They can then push the political narrative that black people are racist and out to get them. This of course is very misleading, but that’s my point.

As you can see, it’s very deceptive to use the ‘say their name’ slogan as evidence of systemic racism or any other BLM narrative.

(Check below for evidence)


As I stated above, studies have failed to find a connection between police shootings and racial bias.

According to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, Asians are more than 50% less likely to be killed by police than white people.

A 2015 analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department, by the Justice Department, found that white police officers were less likely than black officers to shoot unarmed black suspects.

According to a large study conducted by African-American Harvard Economist Roland Fryer, there’s no racial bias in police shootings. The study examined more than 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments, in Texas, Florida, and California.


According to the Census Bureau, there are 41.6 million black people in the United States.

According to the Police Blue Nation Organization, there are now “more than 900,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States.”

Despite, the high number of officers and the large black population, there were only 27 unarmed black men were killed in 2019, according to Mapping Police Violence.

The odds of an unarmed black man being shot dead by a police officer are about the same as being struck by lightning.

A 2018 study conducted by Jon Shane and Zoë Swenson, two criminal justice researchers, found that an overwhelming majority (90%) of times an officer used lethal force against unarmed suspects, it was because the officer felt their life was in danger— not racism. The other 10% of cases involved “accidental shootings or unintentional discharges.”

“The study’s findings show that when police officers used deadly force during an encounter with an unarmed citizen, the officer or a third person was facing imminent threat of death or serious injury in the vast majority of situations. Moreover, when police officers used force, their actions were almost always consistent with the accepted legal and policy principles that govern law enforcement in the overwhelming proportion of encounters (as measured by indictments).”

According to Lexipol, of the 90%, the suspects had been “attempting to disarm an officer, drown an officer, throw an officer from a bridge or rooftop, strangle an officer, gesturing as if armed with a real weapon, keeping hands concealed despite commands and charging toward an officer with apparent intent to assault.”

If you are a law-abiding citizen, your chances of being shot by the police are almost nonexistent.


Contrary to popular belief, the rate of black-on-white violence is more common than white-on-black violence. The rate of interracial violence has significantly declined in the last several decades, but it’s still a problem.

According to a 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, “Similar to the trend for intraracial violent victimization, the rate of interracial violent victimization declined from 1994 to 2015. The rate of white-on-black violence declined 74%, from 10.2 victimizations per 1,000 black persons to 2.6 per 1,000. The rate of black-on-white violence declined
80%, from 14.9 victimizations per 1,000 white persons to 3.0 per 1,000. In 1994, the rate of black-on-white violence was higher than the rate of white-on-black violence.”

When you adjust for population, black people are more likely to be criminal offenders than whites, Asians, and Hispanics.

The 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics report said, “Based on victims’ perceptions of the offenders, the offender-to-population ratio shows that the percentage of violent incidents involving black offenders (22%) was 1.8 times the percentage of black persons (12%) in the population. In contrast, the percentage of violent incidents involving white (50%) or Hispanics (14%)
offenders was about four-fifths (0.8 times) the percentage of whites (62%) or Hispanics (17%) in the population, and the percentage involving Asian offenders (2.5%) was about two-fifths (0.4 times) the percentage of Asians in the population (6%). The percentage of violent incidents
involving offenders of other races (Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and persons of two or more races) was 3.8 times the percentage of those races in the population.”

Heather Mac Donald, a contributing editor of the City Journal, pointed out that “according to the National Victimization Survey, whites are the overwhelming target of interracial violence. Between 2012 and 2015, blacks committed 85.5 percent of all black-white interracial violent victimizations (excluding interracial homicide, which is also disproportionately black-on-white). That works out to 540,360 felonious assaults on whites. Whites committed 14.4 percent of all interracial violent victimization or 91,470 felonious assaults on blacks. Blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population.”

Mac Donald used data based on an October 2017 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, titled “Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-15.”

When it comes to violent attacks against Asian Americans, blacks are the most likely to be the offenders. According to the 2018 Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 27.5% of the 182,300 violent attackers of Asians were black, 24.1% were Caucasian, 21.4% were either Hispanic or other/mixed, and less than 25% were Asian.


The examples listed below are unarmed police shootings or killings of white people. These examples are meant to illustrate that these cases are not exclusive to one race or ethnicity. Similar to the BLM cases, in many of the examples listed the police were justified or it was an accident. Being unarmed and shot by the police remains very rare, no matter what race or ethnicity you are.

Here’s a list of unarmed white people who were killed or injured by the police—

Tony Timpa: similar to George Floyd, there is a video of Timpa dying while police were on his back for 14 minutes. In the video, you can hear him stating that he couldn’t breathe and that the police were killing him. To make matters worse, the officers joked about the whole incident.

Nicholas Farah: similar to George Floyd, Farah was killed while handcuffed in police custody. Like George Floyd, he was also a resident of Wisconsin.

Timothy Coffman: similar to George Floyd, Coffman died after an officer had their knee on his neck.

Daniel Harris: was a deaf man killed by a black officer.

Gilbert Collar: a white man killed by a black police officer.

Justine Damond: was an unarmed white woman killed by a Black police officer in Minneapolis.

Ariel Roman: similar to Jacob Blake, Roman, after resisting arrest, was shot. The officer that shot him was a black female officer. He survived being shot (there was no mention of race in the ABC News article about the story)

Jonathan Mansilla: unarmed and shot by a black police officer. First Aid wasn’t provided immediately after the shooting.

John Geer: unlike Michael Brown, Geer was actually killed by police while his hands were up.

Jeremy Mardis: an unarmed six-year-old with autism that was shot by police.

Noah Hunter Brittain: unarmed white teenager shot by police.

Daniel Shaver: unarmed and killed by police while crying. There is a disturbing video of the incident.

Zachary Hammond: unarmed and shot by the police.

Trevor Seever: unarmed and shot by the police.

Dylan Noble: unarmed and shot by the police.

Jason Conoscenti: unarmed and shot by the police.

John Winkler: unarmed and shot by the police.

All of the people on this list died except Ariel Roman.


Andy Lopez, Peyton Ham, Alexander King, and Hannah Williams: similar to Tamir Rice, all were shot by police while carrying a toy or replica gun.

According to CBS News, “86 people carrying fake or toy guns were killed by police in 2 years… Of those killed, all but five were men, 54 were white, 19 were black and 11 were Hispanic.

Full Disclaimer: Peyton Ham was also armed with a knife. However, he didn’t pull out the knife until he was first shot after aiming the fake gun at the officer.


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