Bermudian author Ty-Ron Douglas got in a heated debate during a slot on Fox News sparked by the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
Dr Douglas, a professor at the University of Missouri, locked horns with Burgess Owens, a former NFL player and Republican candidate for Congress in Utah, over the treatment and representation of black men.
Dr Douglas said: “We see an amalgamation and proliferation of police brutality that plays out in front of our eyes and in front of our screens far too often, and we are far too comfortable with the death of black and brown people in this country, and it is a problem.”
Mr Owens, who played in the NFL for the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders between 1973 and 1982, hit back saying that there were “black elitists” who avoided talking about the failings of young black men in today’s society.
He said: “I am really sick of stereotyping. We have black elitists who jump in and point to police and, because they are in a blue uniform, they are racist.
“The police serve 30 to 40 million interactions every year and we have such a small group and meanwhile we have all this death in the black community and nobody seems to be talking about it — black-on-black crime, black illiteracy and we have these elitists who will never talk about it until a white man kills a black man.
“If it is wrong is wrong, stop using my race as fodder for ‘get out and vote’.”
Dr Douglas said it was important to put black crime into a historical context.
“I think we have to get to the point where we begin to ask questions about the systems and structures that create the realities that we see in our cities and our communities and not only in the US — this is a global reality of black death — the pain we see in our communities — so I think it is problematic when we focus on black-on-black crime.
“Decisions are made in the context of opportunity, so if you understand the history of the this country, systematic oppression, the reality that before black people could own property they had to stop being property. Personal choices are related to opportunity.”