Of the remaining Democrats running for President Joe Biden garners the largest share of support among American Black Democrats. Now that Michael Bloomberg has spent over $300 million on political ads promoting himself, polling data shows that he garners the 2nd largest share of support among American Black Democrats. So the question for American Black Democrats is whether Michael Bloomberg is black gold or fool’s gold for addressing the issues that affect American Blacks.
Any question of whether Joe Biden is black gold or fool’s gold for American Blacks is a FALSE narrative. His service as Barack Obama’s Vice President alone make him black gold and render any questions null and void. But those who still have questions cite to 2 points:
1) Senator Kamala Harris’s infamous presidential debate attack that Biden opposed busing school children to integrate schools in America.
Harris’s attack that Biden opposed busing to integrate America’s schools was proved to be false, it fell apart when it was revealed that Biden’s position was the same position that Harris herself had taken. As always hindsight is 20/20, Biden’s 3 Strikes Crime Law definitely has had a disproportionately negative effect on American Blacks. But at the time he authored it, it had the support of the black Mayors of Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Denver, and 25 members of the then 40 member Congressional Black Caucus because the law was intended to affect all Americans not just minorities.
Any objective analysis of Biden’s record indicates he is black gold for American Blacks. The question of whether Michael Bloomberg is black gold or fool’s gold for American Blacks is a very valid question. Because any objective analysis of the past record of Michael Bloomberg raises some unanswered troubling questions, questions that portray Michael Bloomberg as more fool’s gold than black gold.
The 1st question is why was Michael Bloomberg only willing to admit 4 days before his campaign announcement that stop and frisk was wrong, and apologize for it. Unlike Biden’s crime bill New York’s black citizens expressed disapproval of stop and frisk because it was primarily only applied against them and other minorities. Protest against it led by New York resident Rev Al Sharpton was the norm in New York. When a federal court ruled in 2013 that stop and frisk was an unconstitutional “ policy of indirect racial profiling,” that led police officers to stop “ blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white,” Mayor Bloomberg declared the city didn’t get a fair trial and said, “ You’re not going to see any change in tactics overnight.”
Even though an analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that 86 percent of people stopped during Bloomberg’s stop and frisk were black or Latino, and 88 percent of stops were of innocent people who were not arrested or issued a summons, Mayor Bloomberg said: “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.” After Bloomberg left office in 2013 his successor current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio immediately ended stop and frisk, as a result, the crime rate in New York went down considerably.
Nonetheless, 2 years after leaving office as Mayor, Michael Bloomberg still defended his use of stop and frisk in a speech to the Aspen Institute in 2015 by saying: “ One of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana. They’re all minorities,’” Bloomberg said. “ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do you do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.” He also said the way to stop crime was to “ throw them up against the wall and frisk them.” These comments are not only those of a man deeply committed to a flawed policy, but they sound like a man who is possibly guilty of racial prejudice.
Questions about the racial prejudice of Michael Bloomberg don’t end there. In 2008 Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed that ending the discriminatory housing practice against American Blacks known as redlining, was responsible for creating the 2008 economic meltdown. There is no doubt that the high mortgage default rate, by both white and black people, was the major factor that created the economic meltdown.
But as Debra Gore-Mann, president and CEO of the Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit that works for racial and economic justice, said: “ It’s been well documented that the 2008 crash was caused by unethical, predatory lending that deliberately targeted communities of color, 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.”
When a person with the intelligence and financial background of Michael Bloomberg blames one of America’s greatest financial crisis on ending financial discrimination against American Blacks, it raises at a minimum the question of his ignorance about the realities of the difficulties American Blacks face living in American society, and it raises at a maximum the question of whether he is possibly guilty of racial prejudice. Either way, it means currently Michael Bloomberg is fool’s gold for American Blacks when compared to Joe Biden who is currently black gold for American Blacks.
Both Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden are the only Democrats running who realistically can beat Donald Trump in a general election. But until Michael Bloomberg does more than just apologize for making racially insensitive statements, and enacting racially discriminatory policies, it’s in American Black’s best interest that Joe Biden is the one to run against and defeat Donald Trump in the November general election.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.
Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on February 18, 2020.