Friday, February 14, 2020

Trump Is A Notorious Racist-- So Is Republican Oligarch Michael Bloomberg


Is this the 2020 presidential campaign that Americans deserve? Image Trump and Bloomberg-- two notorious racists-- fighting about who's the bigger racist! Or how about a five-month debate between Trump and Biden about who's a bigger liar, about who's more senile and about whose family is more corrupt and disgusting?

Thank God for Bernie (and, to a lesser degree, Elizabeth)! But back to the notorious racist oligarch with the "D" next to his name for a moment. Charles Blow's column yesterday was entitled The Notorious Michael R. Bloomberg. And Blow, no Trump fan, wrote of the American oligarch trying to buy the presidency that "his racist stop-and-frisk policy as New York mayor can't be forgotten." While you're reading Blow's column and listening to Bloomberg speak on the Aspen video below, remember that 3 African-American members of Congress have been bought off by him, New Dem Gregory Meeks of Queens (Congress' most corrupt member), pretty much just as corrupt Bobby Rush of Chicago, and New Dem and single-issue congresswoman Lucy McBath. The reformer running for the Chicago seat Bobby Rush holds, Robert Emmons, noticed the Rush endorsement of Bloomberg. He recalled that "In 2013, I was wrongly pulled from my PoliSci 280 class by two detectives because I fit a 'Xerox' description. Because I was a 20-year-old Black man, I was guilty until proven innocent. The harm that came afterwards proved irreversible. This was a blatant example of the prejudice in our criminal justice system, and perfectly fits the description of Mike Bloomberg’s philosophy on 'fixing' black and brown communities. The fact that our incumbent, a former Black Panther, would align himself with such a candidate is very confusing, until you remember that Bobby Rush has been bought and sold by big money his entire career. If our incumbents’ behavior ever confuses you, just follow the money."
Let’s state some facts: Michael Rubens Bloomberg notoriously expanded stop-and-frisk in New York City to obscene proportions, violating the bodies and constitutional rights of mostly minority men and boys, and not only defended the policy, but mocked his detractors and bragged about it.

What Bloomberg did as mayor amounted to a police occupation of minority neighborhoods, a terroristic pressure campaign, with little evidence that it was accomplishing the goal of sustained, long-term crime reduction.

Nearly 90 percent of the people stopped were completely innocent. He knew that. They were the collateral damage in his crusade, black and brown bodies up against walls and down on the ground, groped in the middle of the city by strange men with guns, a vast expanse of human psychological wreckage about which he couldn’t care less.

A recording from a speech Bloomberg delivered at the Aspen Institute in 2015 underscores just how callous and cavalier he was in his thinking about this racist policy.

"Ninety-five percent of your murders-- murderers and murder victims-- fit one M.O.," Bloomberg said. "You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city."

He goes on to say: “One of the unintended consequences is, people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana, they’re all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.”

Later he says, “The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the wall and frisk them.”

So many things to dissect here.

First, Bloomberg didn’t see individual criminals, many of whom happened to be minorities; he saw a class of criminals who were minorities. “They are male, minorities, 16 to 25.” Many of these were children.

He was articulating an explicitly race-based policy.

He spoke nonchalantly about giving these young people criminal records for marijuana, ignoring the enormous harm these criminal records cause to individuals and whole communities. And a vast majority of those people and communities were minorities.

As Daniel Nichanian, editor of The Appeal, wrote this week on Twitter: “Each year of Bloomberg’s 12-year mayorship, at least 50 percent of the people arrested for marijuana were black. And at least 85 percent were nonwhite each year, usually much higher. That’s tens of thousands of people each year.”

And Bloomberg defended the practice by saying that the only way to get the guns out of the kids’ hands was to throw the kids against a wall. But nearly 90 percent of these young people were completely innocent. They had done absolutely nothing wrong, let alone possess a gun.

The Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan produced a report that became part of a class-action lawsuit against the city in 2010. It found that “[s]eizures of weapons or contraband are extremely rare. Overall, guns are seized in less than 1 percent of all stops: 0.15 percent... Contraband, which may include weapons but also includes drugs or stolen property, is seized in 1.75 percent of all stops.”

As Fagan wrote, “The N.Y.P.D. stop-and-frisk tactics produce rates of seizures of guns or other contraband that are no greater than would be produced simply by chance.”

Bloomberg didn’t care about any of this. He didn’t care about these innocent black and brown bodies. Somewhere in each barrel of good apples there was a bad one, and he was willing to spoil the whole batch to purge that rare bad one.

These minority boys were being hunted. Their neighborhoods were experiencing an occupation. Citizens wanted crime abatement, but they didn’t expect apartheid.

And yet in the same way that white people in New York City had turned away when Bloomberg was executing his racist policy, many Democrats-- including some black ones-- appear willing now to turn a blind eye to his past.

Bloomberg is blanketing the airwaves with slick ads and glamouring liberals into amnesia and acquiescence. These liberals are then openly gaming out scenarios in which Bloomberg is the last, best option.

They don’t recognize that Bloomberg is the master of this sort of emotional manipulation. During his 2001 campaign for mayor, he ran ads that The New York Times noted focused on old crime fears.

“The scenes, set to dramatic synthesizer music punctuated by sharp blasts of percussion, come from what could well be called ‘N.Y.P.D. Bloomberg,’” The Times reported. “They seem calibrated to throw fear into the hearts of the citizenry at the thought of crime mushrooming again in a post-Giuliani New York City.”

During a campaign debate that year, Bloomberg, a Republican at the time, was asked how prevalent he believed racial profiling was in the New York Police Department. His answer is fascinating to examine in retrospect. He said: “In terms of the actuality, it is probably a very small number of police officers. Most police officers in this city work very hard. They are not racist thugs.”

But then he turned them into just that, making them part of a citywide system of racial profiling. Even the police objected. When Bloomberg was finally forced last fall to apologize for stop-and-frisk so he could run for president, Patrick Lynch, president of the city’s Police Benevolent Association, issued a blistering statement:

“Mayor Bloomberg could have saved himself this apology if he had just listened to the police officers on the street. We said in the early 2000s that the quota-driven emphasis on street stops was polluting the relationship between cops and our communities. His administration’s misguided policy inspired an anti-police movement that has made cops the target of hatred and violence, and stripped away many of the tools we had used to keep New Yorkers safe.”

In 2012, after million of stops, Bloomberg stood up in a church in Brownsville, Brooklyn, among the neighborhoods hardest hit by the policy, and declared that racial profiling was banned in the Police Department. “We will not tolerate it,” he said.

That was a Donald Trump-level lie.

The next year a federal judge ruled that the way the city used stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional because it amounted to a “policy of indirect racial profiling.”

No amount of Democrats’ anti-Trump fear and panic will ever erase what Bloomberg did. Democrats have a field of fascinating candidates. Many have some crime and justice issues of their own, but nothing approaching the scale of Bloomberg’s racist policy.

If Democrats cast aside all of these candidates in favor of Bloomberg and his wealth, I fear they will be making it harder to defeat Trump in November.

If that's not bad enough, I would suggest you also read Brian Slodysko's AP piece from yesterday, Bloomberg once blamed end of 'redlining' for 2008 collapse, one that clearly shows the difference between real Democrats and a Bloomberg kind of "Democrat." Slodysko wrote that "At the height of the 2008 economic collapse, then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the elimination of a discriminatory housing practice known as 'redlining' was responsible for instigating the meltdown. 'It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone,' Bloomberg, now a Democratic presidential candidate, said at a forum that was hosted by Georgetown University in September 2008. 'Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.' He continued: 'And then Congress got involved-- local elected officials, as well-- and said, Oh that’s not fair, these people should be able to get credit. And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.'"

You're reading that right. Bernie and Elizabeth and most Democrats blamed the greed of the banksters, greedy oligarch Bloomberg blamed... poor people who wanted to buy homes and Democratic elected officials who wanted to end discriminatory policies like redlining entire neighborhoods.
Bloomberg, a billionaire who built a media and financial services empire before turning to electoral politics, was correct that the financial crisis was triggered in part by banks extending loans to borrowers who were ill-suited to repay them. But by attributing the meltdown to the elimination of redlining, a practice used by banks to discriminate against minority borrowers, Bloomberg appears to be blaming policies intended to bring equality to the housing market.

The term redlining comes from the “red lines” those in the financial industry would draw on a map to denote areas deemed ineligible for credit, frequently based on race.

“It’s been well documented that the 2008 crash was caused by unethical, predatory lending that deliberately targeted communities of color,” said Debra Gore-Mann, president and CEO of the Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit that works for racial and economic justice. “People of color were sold trick loans with exploding interest rates designed to push them into foreclosure. Our communities of color and low income communities were the victims of the crash, not the cause.”
Greg Meeks' opponent this year is progressive Shan Chowdhury. He wasn't happy about Meeks' endorsement of Bloomberg-- especially not in NYC. "We all have seen the videos and heard the testimonies of individuals who were hurt by Bloomberg’s time as the mayor of NYC. Stop and Frisk set a record number of unjust arrests landing people in prison and ruining their lives. As a Muslim-American, I was stopped by two NYPD officers late at night coming home from the local mosque. They accused me of a neighborhood robbery which I knew nothing about. They insisted I fit the description of their suspect. I went home that night and cried. I was stripped of my identity. I felt unsafe for being a Muslim in the most diverse nation in the world I called home. I would be stopped several times after that. Now, I am livid because we have corrupt politicians like Meeks who are bought off by billionaires and simply do not care about the trauma poor communities of color have gone through. We cannot replace one racist oligarch with another. Anyone like Meeks who thinks otherwise, is complicit in this injustice. I can never support anyone who unjustly throws Black people in prison. I can never support anyone for targeting Muslims. I can never support someone who is transphobic. It’s time for Meeks to go because we need a representative who actually gives a damn about their people. I will always fight for all people."

A question people are asking Congressman Meeks today: "Did he have to stop and frisk you to get your endorsement or just hand you some cash so you could cut a ribbon?"

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At 5:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think it was possible, but Bloomberg might be even more dangerous as President than Trump. Trump's ability to pass legislation is pretty much limited with a Democratic majority in the House, and even when he had a majority in both houses he pretty much had to pass legislation with Republican votes. Bloomberg could get at least 20-30% of Democrats to vote with Republicans on right wing legislation like "entitlement reform" and other austerity type programs if he had a "D" by his name as President. And of course he has the money to continue buying politicians as he's done for at the last 20 years.

Bloomberg has certainly exposed the white liberals and black politicians who are willing to support him because they hate the fact that Bernie Sanders stands for ordinary people and wants to get the money out of politics.

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump and Bloomberg are racists? Like that matters?

Biden is racist. His history is filled with racism. Yet he is reportedly the favorite of Black voters.

What matters more to Black voters about Buttigieg is that he's openly gay. I don't know enough Black people to know how they feel as a group, but the Black men I do know are universally hostile to homosexuals.

I haven't heard a word about Black voter reaction to the recent exposure of racist comments Bloomberg made in the past several years. Whether they care about Bloomberg's racism is thus an unknown quantity. Someone should look into this.

I had this weird thought as I was awakening this morning. What if Bloomberg's real goal is to destroy the viability of the Democratic Party in the minds of the voters? Implant the idea that only the Republican Party can win, so support us instead?

Sure, he's running as a Democrat, but when has he ever ACTED like one? Except for lying to the voters like too many Democrats do?

Another thought: why is it that Sanders is lambasted about NOT being a Democrat and we don't hear such a label directed at the carpetbagger billionaire? The only answer I can suggest is the money mini-#MeToo "donated" to the Democratic Party just to win the right to carpetbag the Convention, maybe even to take the nomination as his own property no matter what the voters have to say.

Democratic Party motto: Anyone's Green Will Do!

At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@6:47, if you take a look at the toxic website Democratic Underground, which is filled with old people who are establishment Democrats, they are so unhinged by Trump and Bernie Sanders that they will support literally anybody else who has a D by his or her name. People post that Bloomberg supported Georgie W. Bush, that he supported Scott Brown against Elizabeth Warren in the 2012 MA Senate race, that he spent $12 million propping up Republican Pat Toomey in a 2016 PA Senate race he won by just 1.5%, and they excuse it all. When somebody points out Bloomberg's 2 big racist scandals in the news this week, they say but this or that black politician or group is supporting him so if he's OK with them he's OK with me. But they seethe with rage every time Bernie says something like "we're taking on the Republican establishment, the Democratic establishment and the corporate media". They are triggered by terms like "corporate Democrat" or "establishment Democrat". They are so delusional that they think these are terms with no basis in reality.

I don't think they actually care if Bloomberg is green. They hate AOC and the Green New Deal. They don't really care if Bloomberg is a racist. They just want anybody with a D who isn't Bernie.

At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:47 and 7:03, you're seeing just how colossally stupid voters on the left are. simple as that.

when an electorate like ours is so colossally stupid and evil, how can any kind of democratic(ish) government ever be any good?

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the golden age of racism. as long as you pledge fealty to the corporations, you can become the DEMOCRAP nom for prez AND be a virulent racist.

We already know that whomever the Nazi party nom will be from 1968 on is a racist.

what a shithole and fuck we're stupid!


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