Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel once said that rising gun violence was a function of "hip-hop culture." Nope. If anything, hip-hop is saving America from crime.
Several years before he decided to challenge Mississippi's incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran this year, McDaniel hosted a conservative talk radio show. Mother Jones, which has a pretty solid track record of uncovering embarrassing audio files recently, came across (via Dark Horse Mississippi) a teaser promo from McDaniel's radio show, which he hosted from 2004 to 2007. In it, McDaniel made the claim.
"Let's be very outspoken about what we're talking about here. The reason Canada is breaking out in brand-new gun violence has nothing to do with the United States and guns. It has everything to do with a culture that is morally bankrupt. It's called hip-hop."
"Before you get carried away," he continues, "this has nothing to do with race. There are just as many hip-hoppin' white kids and Asian kids as there are black kids." The hip-hop culture, he said, can't get control of itself.
Well, let's consider this. First of all, we'll accept for the sake of argument that McDaniel, who was last in the news when his links to pro-Confederate groups came to light, doesn't consider this is a racial issue. We will also set aside the lack of any "redeeming qualities" of the genre; that's subjective. And we'll even ignore the claim that Canada is breaking out in new gun violence. In 2005, the country saw a sudden increase in gun-related homicides — that brought the national total to 223. The next year, it was back down to 190.