The billionaire and frisk re-emerge

Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Being a multi-billionaire and a former mayor of New York City has its perks. However, being a billionaire shouldn’t help buy your way onto the democratic presidential candidate conversation.

Michael Bloomberg served as mayor from 2002-2013, and earlier this week an audiotape surfaced on the internet of him making racist remarks. The audio was from a speech Bloomberg had given at the Aspen Institute in 2015, according to The New York Times. He spoke about his city’s stop-and-frisk protocol during his time as mayor. At the time, police brutality was in the national spotlight. 

“The way to get guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them against the walls and frisk them,” said Bloomberg in the audiotape.

Stop-and-frisks were astronomical during his administration. He needs to acknowledge that during his time as mayor, frisking was at an all-time high. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York Police Department made roughly 700,000 stops in 2011, when frisking was at its peak.

In 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that stop-and-frisks were unconstitutional. Bloomberg was a strong advocate for this protocol, and for him, this is a humiliating thing to advocate for. 

“We disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little,” said Bloomberg in the audio. Bloomberg speculates in the audio, going as far to proclaim that roughly 95% of murderers fit one M.O., and that those murders are overwhelmingly male minorities between 16-25. This ghost has come back to haunt him. Bloomberg needs a powerful response in the form of a sincere apology.

If this 77-year-old billionaire wants in on any political campaign, the American people deserve to know the truth. He should think again – “Cancel Culture” is ready to weed out this heavily-stacked democratic party.

2020 presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who uses race as a focal point in his campaign, blasted Bloomberg in a written statement according to Axios. “Mike Bloomberg’s remarks in the video are extremely disturbing. The racist stereotypes he uses have no place today, and anyone running for the presidential nomination should disavow them,” said Steyer.

Agreed – Bloomberg needs to address this situation to the American people. Not a quick comment walking outside, but if he manages to get on a debate stage, he needs to address this issue.

Nonetheless – Bloomberg did his job for the city of New York. Bloomberg inherited a $5-billion deficit after the 9/11 tragedy, according to The New York Times, and brought them out of that debt. During his time he expanded and invested heavily in the transit system. Although those are necessary public goods, the American people shouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, especially when he is running for the highest office.