In an interview with Chris Smith of New York magazine to be published on September 9th, outgoing New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg accuses his likely successor, Bill de Blasio, of waging a campaign that’s based on “class-warfare” and is “racist.”
Bloomberg accuses De Blasio, whose wife is black, of “making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing.” He added that while “I do not think [de Blasio] himself is racist, it’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote. You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”
Bloomberg is concerned that de Blasio’s “two cities” rhetoric is unnecessarily divisive, especially in light of the fact that “if to some extent it is [two cities], it’s one group paying for services for the other.” When asked if he had “second thoughts” thoughts about how he dealt with the Occupy Wall Street movement, he claimed to have “none whatsoever”:
I had at various times during the two months discussed options with the Police Department and the Fire Department and the Health Department and the Sanitation Department and legal counsel. So when it came time I said, “Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!” And they executed it.
But he can’t seem to escape the issue of race, even when it comes to discussing how his unwavering support for “stop and frisk” will influence perception of his legacy.
“We have not racial-profiled, we’ve gone where the crime is,” he said. “Most of our crime is in two neighborhoods: southeast Bronx, central Brooklyn. All minority males 15 to 25. We’ve got to do something about that.”
The Bloomberg administration requested that New York alter the interview to add “Well, no, no” before his “class-warfare and racist” comment, but New York‘s editors declined, writing “The mayor’s office asked us to amend the remarks to add an interjection that was inaudible in our audiotape of the interview, which was conducted over speakerphone. In our view the added words do not alter the meaning of the exchange as reflected in the published interview.”
["Michael Bloomberg" via Asterio Tecson on Flickr]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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