Over the past month, the nation has watched in quiet revulsion as Republican billionaire Michael Bloomberg muscles his way into the 2020 primary with the sheer power of his wealth alone.
Trampling what little integrity our democracy has left under the weight of his fortune, the former New York mayor has bought his way up the polls by inundating the nation with hundreds of millions of dollars in ad money and likely depriving hungry Democratic local candidates of campaign staff by hiring away all political operatives.
But a recent slew of publicly available videos showing Bloomberg using racist tropes to justify his controversial and unconstitutional “stop-and-frisk” reminds us all just what kind of a man he really is.
What struck me most about this audio is that Bloomberg so casually accepts the violence and trauma that will be inflicted on Black children.
"And the way you get the guns out of the kids hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them."pic.twitter.com/GvgKG4yFAj
— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) February 11, 2020
In the audio of a 2015 speech he gave at the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg claimed “95%” of all murders and murder victims were minorities. “They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”
In another clip, Bloomberg claimed that his police force “stop whites too much and minorities” too little.
"I think we disproportionately stop whites too much, and minorities too little." pic.twitter.com/iugZcTam9v
— This handle kills fascist rats (@BethLynch2020) February 11, 2020
If he wants to talk about statistics, let’s look at what actually happened in his institutional racial profiling policy. The NYPD conducted over 5 million stops, with over a quarter of them targeting young black men despite making up just 1.9 percent of the city’s population.
It was also supremely ineffective; the police recovered weapons from stopping and frisking less than 0.02% of the time, because the idea that young minorities are constantly carrying weapons is a racist trope with no basis in reality.
But these tropes are beloved among America’s newly emboldened white supremacists, who quickly took to various social media platforms to share their excitement.
Scott Greer, a man who earned the unenviable title of “too racist to work at the Daily Caller,” called him “based,” which is right-wing slang indicating that this person shares their white nationalist beliefs.
BASED Bloomberg https://t.co/TGua44pfaP
— Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) February 11, 2020
Ashley Rae, who runs prominent white nationalist Twitter account “CommunismKills,” also agreed that he was “based.”
Bloomberg used to be based before becoming a totalitarian nannystater and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. pic.twitter.com/KAWViIEG2R
— Ashley Rae Groypenberg (@Communism_Kills) February 11, 2020
The virulent neo-Nazis and other myriad racist extremists over at 4chan’s “politically incorrect” board similarly agreed that he was “based” and declared that he was “/ourguy” and that everything he said was “absolutely true.” Others wondered why they hated this guy again (it’s because he’s Jewish) and argued that he was better than Trump.
While this is no means an exhaustive list, if this is the kind of response that the Bloomberg is getting from average Trump fans, it’s clear that he has no business representing the Democratic Party in anything. Federal election finance records show that Bloomberg was donating money to white nationalist Republican candidates like Steve Scalise (R-SC) and Pete King (R-NY) as recently as last election cycle; in 2016, he gave twelve million dollars to make sure that Sen. Pat Toomey beat his Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, which he did by just two points.
Bloomberg actively obstructs the Democratic Party’s agenda whenever it suits him; he spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2004 and just because he’s putting on a blue hat and trying to buy the election doesn’t wash away his past.
He has more similarities to Trump than he does difference; his racism and long history of appalling sexism should be a dealbreaker for anyone who actually believes in what the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for.
What do you think?
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.