MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
No, BuzzFlash at Truthout is not making this up.
After three terms of carefully grooming an image that the mainstream media referred to as an "independent thoughtful" mayor, Michael Bloomberg -- who got the City Council to change the rules and allow him a third term -- spent the last few weeks of the NYC mayoral primary (in which he had wisely chosen not to push for a fourth term) making a few remarks that normally one expects from a racist sexist cracker.
To start with, as BuzzFlash at Truthout wrote in its commentary yesterday, Bloomberg has been petulant and irritated by the thought of a populist Democrat becoming the next mayor, which is likely to happen. As BuzzFlash noted, with the Democratic nomination inevitably going (even if there is a run-off election) to NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (who is the odds on favorite to win the general mayoral election), Bloomberg sees his legacy of "trickle down" NYC economics (mixed in with a few concessions to contemporary urban sustainability, such as bike lanes and garden programs) in dire danger of being rejected as a sham.
As the Washington Post (WP) reports, it may have been Bloomberg's remark that de Blasio was a racist for essentially having a bi-racial family that boomeranged in de Blasio's favor:
But the mayor saved his most controversial comment for last. Just before Tuesday’s primary, a New York magazine interview was published in which Bloomberg labeled de Blasio’s campaign “racist.” Why? Because de Blasio, who is white, had featured his black wife and bi-racial children in his campaign ads and his family had frequently joined him on the campaign trail. Bloomberg said de Blasio was “making an appeal using his family to gain support. I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing.”
As we said, we're not making this up.
But Bloomberg also revealed the ugly, ill-informed side of his stop-and-frisk policing policies during the campaign in response to de Blasio denouncing them:
In defending the disproportionate rate at which African American and Hispanic men are stopped in the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, Bloomberg argued that it was actually white people who are stopped too much. A federal judge disagreed, finding that the program had violated minorities’ civil rights. (Only 10 percent of those stopped are white.)
Okay, so according to Mayor 1%, a politician is a racist for marrying a black woman and having children who are bi-racial and campaigning with them. And according to the mayor of Wall Street, white people are stopped more under his stop and frisk program than blacks, even though this is an egregiously preposterous statement according to the facts.
These are the kind of sub-epidermal racist sentiments of a billionaire who has spent three terms helping to redistribute the wealth upwards to his best buddies in the financial and real estate worlds, few of whom one can presume are black or Hispanic.
As the WP also points out, Bloomberg managed to even dump on his protege, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who despite being a Democrat tied herself to the Bloomberg record and policies in running in the primary:
Her ability to work amicably with him, and often compromise with him, set her a part from the Democratic critics with whom he was often at odds. As a testament to the professionally intimate nature of their relationship, when critics (including myself) derided the mayor’s critiques of Quinn’s wardrobe and hair color, she brushed them off, declining to categorize them as sexist....
In addition to the aforementioned remarks about Quinn’s wardrobe and hair, the mayor was forced to clarify remarks he made about drunken Irish people (Quinn is of Irish descent).
If you want to give Bloomberg some bonus points, he did appear to refrain from mocking Quinn for being gay. He's a socially modern guy, right?
Often a key problem for billionaires and big dog politicians is that they are surrounded by people who slavishly agree with them. This makes them extremely vulnerable to becoming publically unglued when under pressure.
Such appears to be the case with the multi-billionaire lame-duck mayor.
It's been a rugged battle over the last few years in this nation about whether or not the future of America belongs to a plutocratic white America or a pluralistic one of all economic classes.
It's pretty clear that the "moderate" outgoing mayor of New York doesn't take kindly to the latter outcome.